Bellevue police warn of thieves targeting elderly residents

Jun 26, 2024, 4:39 PM

Bellevue Police Department (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)...

Bellevue Police Department (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

In a series of incidents, Bellevue residents have fallen victim to a pair of thieves who prey on older individuals. The Bellevue Police Department (BPD) is urging vigilance when encountering strangers.

BPD Spokesman Drew Anderson emphasized the need for caution.

“When we see this kind of repetition, something is ongoing. Residents should take precautions and remain vigilant,” he said.

Detectives told KIRO Newsradio they have identified a consistent pattern in these street thefts.

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The suspects, described as a young woman and a young man, approached their victims under the guise of seeking directions.

After receiving assistance, the woman expressed gratitude by offering jewelry and either a hug or handshake. She then used the physical contact to snatch valuable jewelry from the victims before escaping in a waiting car driven by the man, as reported by police.

The BPD blog reported incidents including mid-evening Tuesday when a 91-year-old man was targeted while checking his mail on the 13800 block of Southeast 44th Street. The woman approached him from a white SUV, pretending to ask for directions. When he extended his hand for a handshake, she allegedly swiftly yanked his Rolex watch, leaving the victim with cuts. The suspects then fled with the stolen jewelry.

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On June 19 at about 6 p.m., a 71-year-old woman fell victim to the same scheme. On the corner of 124th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 2nd Street, the woman received a similar “thank you” gesture. The suspect then snatched her Rolex watch, and the man driving sped away in a similar white SUV.

Two victims, aged 68 and 78, encountered the suspects at the corner of 108th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 2nd Place on June 17 around 11:30 p.m. The man, speaking a different language, gestured urgently as if his pregnant woman passenger needed hospital assistance. While distracted, the suspect stole from the victims before fleeing in a black sedan.

Police said if you encounter strangers asking for directions, be wary — especially if they offer unexpected gestures of gratitude. Report any suspicious activity to BPD immediately.

Contributing: James Lynch

Bill Kaczaraba is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here. Follow Bill on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email him here

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Bellevue police warn of thieves targeting elderly residents