Teens arrested in Bellevue carjacking tied to $100k high-end fashion store theft

Bellevue police confirmed Wednesday that the four teenagers arrested for an alleged carjacking last Friday are connected to a retail theft that occurred the same day that totaled over $100,000 in stolen merchandise.

Police said the store the teens targeted was Bottega Veneta, a high-end Italian fashion boutique.

Bottega Veneta’s store manager said the juvenile suspects arrived around 6:44 pm in a white Hyundai Elantra. Bellevue police also confirmed the Elantra was stolen before last Friday’s crimes occurred.

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The five teens, who were wearing all-black outfits that included ski masks that covered their faces, entered the store and immediately began ripping clothing from the display cases. The store manager said in about a minute, the teens stole 29 handbags, purses and tote bags.

After the burglary occurred, police said around 7 pm the suspects then targeted a woman driving a black BMW X5 at random in an attempt to dispose of their stolen Elantra. The suspects followed the woman until she parked at the 10000 block of SE 13th Place Bellevue and proceeded to carjack her, according to officials.

The teens also stole her purse, shopping merchandise, potted plants, an Apple iPad, two tabletop baby seats and three car seats.

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“The victim said she was very worried, she is a grandmother and did not see this coming she told officers that she didn’t see things suspicious or out of place,” said Drew Anderson, PIO for Bellevue police.

The stolen Hyundai was quickly found abandoned by officers near the scene of the carjacking. It was there where most of the victim’s belongings were found and left behind.

Bellevue police said they continued the investigation of the carjacking when they were contacted by officers with the Tumwater Police Department who reported receiving a call involving suspects matching the earlier carjacking and suspicious individuals dumping items involved with the Bellevue incident near a dumpster in the city limits.

A Thurston County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) deputy observed the vehicle traveling approximately 130 mph down Southbound I-5. Authorities said that when the deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, the suspects refused to pull over.

Since possession of a stolen vehicle isn’t a pursuable offense, the TCSO terminated the traffic stop and the vehicle kept going. Officers said around 9 pm that evening, members of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord notified Bellevue police about the suspects attempting to enter the base along its entrance at 41 Street near Exit 120 on I-5.

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This is when Washington State Patrol (WSP) joined the case where officers followed the vehicle southbound I-5 to the City of Vancouver. The WSP stopped the vehicle at 9:20 pm along I-5 near Exit 14 and arrested all four suspects during that time.

Although five people were involved in the shoplifting incident, only four teenagers, ages 14, 15, 16 and 17 years old, were taken into custody at the WSP’s Chehalis Office on charges of robbery, possession of a stolen vehicle, and shoplifting, police said . The stolen BMW was towed and secured at the department’s garage for further investigation.

“This is a safe community but crime does happen so stay vigilant,” said Anderson.

Bellevue police said they’re continuing to investigate last Friday’s incidents, and further information regarding them will be released at a later date.