Bellevue’s Home Depot one of the city’s most significant hotspots for crime, says police captain
More than 50 people have been arrested at one specific location throughout the year, the Bellevue Home Depot, with crimes ranging from shoplifting to robbery to possession of a stolen vehicle.
Bellevue police partnered with the Home Depot to reduce shoplifting and criminal activity in and around the business, led by Bellevue Police Captain Landon Barnwell.
“I actually don’t know if it’s the same people over and over,” Barnwell said on The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “I haven’t heard of that being one of the issues, but you know, it’s a retail establishment close to the freeway. It’s quite busy as it’s the only store of that kind in our area, so I think that those are some of the reasons why that is a particular hotspot.”
Home Depot has ramped up its security investments over the past year as retailers across the U.S. have been targeted by a surge in crime.
Some of the investments include product-activation technology, which utilizes Bluetooth to create an on-and-off switch that can activate certain products through a transaction at the register.
Home Depot Vice President of Asset Protection Scott Glenn told FOX Business he believes the rise of anonymous online marketplaces, mask requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, police funding being cut in some U.S. cities, and the opioid epidemic are all factors that have helped embolden people to commit retail crimes.
“Much like many other places around the region and country, [Bellevue] has seen an increase in property crimes this year,” Barnwell said. “I think one of the big things that we’ve done is we’ve developed this anti-crime initiative. Instead of being reactive to a lot of the crimes that occur here in the city of Bellevue, we’re trying to be proactive and get in front of those.”
Through data-driven analysis, Bellevue’s anti-crime initiative identifies crime-riddled hotspots and deploys a myriad of tactics to intervene and curb said crime, whether it be high-visibility operations, undercover operations, working specifically with different retailers, etc.
“I mean, we’re putting forward the best cases that we can. Our officers will put together a thorough case that we can forward and submit to the prosecutor to help them in their prosecutions,” Barnwell said. “We have a good relationship with our prosecutors.”
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