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November 4, 2014 at 4:29 PM

King Co. deputies arrest three in car-prowl, identity-theft ring

Officers have arrested three people suspected of being responsible for a rash of car prowls and identify-theft cases throughout King County.

King County Sheriff’s Office and Sammamish detectives have linked two men and one woman to possibly more than 30 cases in Seattle, Redmond, Mercer Island and other jurisdictions around the county, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The cases go back to at least July.

Deputies arrested the three Thursday on suspicion of possession of stolen property and identity theft after someone reported a suspicious vehicle in a parking lot at Marymoor Park.

A Sammamish detective had developed probable cause for the arrest of occupants of a silver Kia Sedona van, and arriving deputies found that the was suspicious vehicle was the same van.

On Friday, Sammamish detectives served a search warrant on the van and recovered evidence linking the three suspects to more car prowls and identity thefts, the sheriff’s office said.

Detectives served another search warrant Monday at a storage unit belonging to one of the suspects and found identification cards of several victims who reported that their cars had been broken into around Green Lake in May, September and October, according to the Seattle Police Department.

Officials believe the suspects would break into cars, take valuables to resell, use ATMs to withdraw cash and buy gift cards until the victims’ bank accounts were emptied.

Detectives have recommended charges against each suspect in connection with four cases, with at least five more cases to be referred soon, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Seattle detectives are working with Sammamish detectives to link the suspects to several Seattle cases, including one highlighted in Danny Westneat’s column in Sunday’s Seattle Times. SPD is conducting a review of how it responds to property-crime reports.

Comments | Topics: Danny Westneat, King County Sheriff's Office, Silver van

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