‘Tuba Man’ killer arrested naked in dumpster, now charged as part of retail theft ring
Billy Chambers, who infamously was charged with manslaughter in the death of the well-known street musician known as “Tuba Man,” is a suspect in an organized retail theft crime ring, according to new details released by Bellevue police.
The King County prosecutor charged Chambers with two counts of first-degree organized retail theft along with two others, Memory Yearby and Earnetra Turner. Trey Kendall was also charged with first-degree stolen property trafficking for attempting to sell the stolen items on OfferUp. All four have extensive criminal histories.
Police are investigating a series of four thefts, between June 14 and 24, at Louis Vuitton and Gucci stores that they believe Chambers and his associates are involved in.
The primary method used by the crime ring, according to the reports, is that Chambers would stay near the door, while Yearby and Turner would grab as much merchandise as possible and flee the scene.
Each of their thefts became increasingly bolder, with their first theft only stealing $5,450 worth of handbags, which then increased to $38,579 and then $54,929 and $58,150 in their final two heists.
Security footage and information from store managers are consistent across all four thefts and investigators say they all match the description of Chambers and his associates.
“These suspects were aggressive and coordinated in their efforts and often physically confronted employees or security who stood in their way,” Bellevue PD Captain Shelby Shearer said. “This crew also caused significant damage to the stores during the thefts, causing some businesses to close for the day to clean up the mess.”
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Recently, Chambers made headlines when police arrested him for involvement in a drive-by shooting in the Central District.
After a shooting near 27th Ave and East Spring Street around 3:30 p.m. on July 14, Chambers fled in a red BMW, which he later crashed.
Telling bystanders he had been shot in the leg, he was transported to a hospital where he gave a fake name to avoid a warrant for escaping community custody.
He later fled the hospital when police came to question him about the shooting and the two handguns they found at the scene. In a hospital gown, which he later lost at some point in his escape, Chambers evaded police, taking shelter in a dumpster.
Police found him nude and arrested him.
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Chambers had previously been convicted of manslaughter when, at 15 years old, he and another teenager were charged with robbing and killing Ed McMichael, a street musician affectionately known as “Tuba Man.” He has also been convicted of five other felonies and three misdemeanors.
Because of his past convictions, he was not allowed to own firearms, and police are investigating whether or not he owned any.
He is currently being held on $100,000 bail for illegal possession of a firearm and is now expected to be held for an additional $25,000 bail for his role in the Louis Vuitton thefts.