Bellevue gun robber connected to gang, other robberies in area

Bellevue gun robber connected to gang, other robberies in area

The teen suspect is connected to robberies from Bothell to Covington.

Bellevue police have connected the 17-year-old Kent resident, who is a suspect in the robbery of more than 70 guns from Bellevue-based West Coast Armory, to other robberies throughout the area.

And, detectives say, the teen is suspected of being associated with a Tukwila International Boulevard group or gang called the “Tuk Town Kings.”

Detective Ray Lofink with the Bellevue Police Department said the Tuk Town Kings modus operandi is to steal weapons and drugs to sell on the black market.

“Most of these guns are just sold for quick money,” Lofink said.

That’s exactly what police believe the teen was planning when he and two others stole 72 firearms and stuffed them into a getaway vehicle that had rammed into West Coast Armory, 13216 SE 32nd St., on Dec. 26, 2017. Police are still searching for the two other suspects in addition to a getaway driver.

On the night of the 17-year-old suspect’s arrest on Feb. 13, four others were arrested as well.

“On the day we arrested them, they were going out to burglarize a place called Boerner Fire Arms in Bermerton,” Lofink said. “We had followed them. They had gone to a couple of different Walmarts in Auburn and Lakewood, buying buckets, gloves and hammers.”

Police were hot on their trail as the day before the suspects had stolen two cars and crashed one. The second was staged behind a business behind a gun store.

After the arrests, police obtained search warrants for various cell phones. Through information found on the cell phones, police linked the 17-year-old suspect to two burglaries at marijuana store Have a Heart on Sept. 11, 2017 and Dec. 13, 2017 as well as a burglary at marijuana shop Euphorium in Covington in April 2017. Lofink said two of those suspects, including the Kent teen, were also responsible for burglarizing and robbing Skagit Shooting Sports in Burlington in early February. All five, however, had stolen a car that night.

Police have recovered five guns stolen from West Coast Armory, which have turned up in other crimes and situations. The first gun was found to be used in an armed robbery on a Metro bus in Renton; the second was found during a traffic stop in unincorporated King County in which the suspect was arrested for a DUI, possession of a stolen gun and a pound of methamphetamine; the third was found in Des Moines during a disturbance at a gas station – officers arrived and a person consented to a search of their car. The person who possessed the gun hadn’t known it was stolen and returned it and another gun, which was also stolen from West Coast Armory.

The last stolen gun police recovered was involved in a “shoot out” in Federal Way. Lofink said “some guy” got in a confrontation with another who ran inside an apartment and was “shooting outside the bedroom window.”

None of the guns were altered in any way, Lofink confirmed.

The 17-year-old Kent resident is currently being held in King County Juvenile Detention.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

t
Peter Rogoff to step down as Sound Transit CEO in 2022

Became CEO in 2016; search for replacement to begin

File photo/Sound Publishing
Ban on single-use plastic bags in WA begins Oct. 1

Shoppers will have the choice to pay for a reusable plastic or recycled paper bag.

Photos from Emma Artz Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/emma__artz/?hl=en
Juanita HS student is one of the best downhill mountain bike racers in the world

Emma Artz represented the US in one of the most difficult bike races, placing in top-15.

file photo
Housing and finance insiders call for subsidized housing families can own, instead of rent

Advocates say increasing homeownership will strengthen the community, build intergenerational wealth

Screenshot taken from Rosa Parks Elementary School website.
Eastside school wins National Blue Ribbon honor

Rosa Parks Elementary School in Redmond is the only Washington school to win.

Screenshot taken of a King County video showing Wilburton Trestle
King County’s Eastside to receive major multi-modal transportation investment

Private and public investors will help build a regional biking and walking trail to mitigate traffic

Co-owners Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward stand in front of The Grange (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Co-owners Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward stand in front of The Grange (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
How a King County restaurant and farm work together to make a true farm-to-table experience

The Grange prepares sustainably produced meals pulled from the soil of the Snoqualmie Valley.

Artist rendering of new school classrooms and amenities (courtesy of BASIS Independent Bellevue)
Bellevue to have new private school by 2022 school year

The school will focus on having specialized subject teachers and high staff-to-student ratio.

Most Read