Increased security following break-in at site of Bellevue home slide
At the site where a house in Bellevue slid and collapsed earlier this week, there will now be 24-hour security.
On Monday, fire and police responded to a call in the Somerset neighborhood of Bellevue in the early morning hours about flooding in the area, and discovered one home had slid off its foundation and partially collapsed. Officers were able to rescue two people and their dog from the house. Residents from 17 other homes in the area were evacuated, and no one was injured.
Now, the City of Bellevue says around-the-clock security is being arranged after a break-in at the slide site. Bellevue police officers had been patrolling the area before, but will be there at all times until residents are allowed back into their homes.
“Security in this zone is a top concern for us,” Interim Police Chief Wendell Shirley said in a news release. “While our officers have been patrolling the slide zone on every shift, we are pleased the city has authorized us to provide off-duty officers as another line of security.”
On Thursday morning, a resident in the area reported that a man broke into the back door of one of the red-tagged homes and fled when the homeowner confronted him. Police received the call at about 8:30 a.m., but the suspect was gone. Officers are investigating.
Seven homes in the area are still “red-tagged” due to safety concerns for the collapsed home. Residents were escorted by city staff and first responders to their homes on Wednesday to get essential possessions, including vehicles. Water and power has been restored to all homes except those seven.
In order for residents of the other six homes to safely return, the collapsed structure will need to be demolished. Since it is on private property, timing for removal is unclear.
The source of the rushing water in the area Monday was confirmed by Bellevue Utilities to be an 8-inch water main, but it is not yet known what led to the break in the pipe or the cause of the landslide.