Bellevue police charged three subjects last week, in connection to what police say is a locker theft ring.
The number of locker thefts has grown as of late, not only in the city but across the country, according to police. Since the start of the year, there have been 80 reported locker thefts in Bellevue.
The three suspects — 50-year-old Troy Mitchell, 49-year-old Sean Savage and 50-year-old Sidney Williams — are allegedly responsible for dozens of locker break ins. The three subjects are not related to two subjects police arrested in early August.
The suspects work to take cash and credit cards they can use for purchases. Police have accounted fraudulent purchases amounting to more than $16,000.
Police believe Mitchell is the “ring leader” based on video surveillance footage and illegal gift card purchases, said Meeghan Black, Bellevue PD spokesperson. He was taken into custody in Seattle, after arriving back from Atlanta on Aug. 26.
Detectives tracked the suspect as he checked into gyms around the country. Locker room theft reports have been written in these locations and include Colorado and Minnesota, police said. He was booked into jail on nine counts of theft, identity theft and conspiracy to commit identity theft.
Following his arrest, police found two fake drivers licenses in Mitchell’s wallet and recovered five possibly counterfeit debit cards, they said.
Savage was arrested on Aug. 28 after detectives recovered clothing linked to surveillance footage where savage allegedly used stolen credit cards.
Williams had a warrant out for his arrest in Wisconsin.
Black said during in a preview story by the Reporter that video cameras act as a major deterrent from thefts. Since reports emerged of the locker room thefts, a large portion occurring at the Kelsey Creek LA Fitness location, the company has installed video cameras at its two Bellevue locations.
“We strongly encourage everyone to report these kinds of thefts and fraud,” Black said. “A lot of time people assume nothing will be done about it because it’s too minor. When these cases are reported, Bellevue detectives are able to identify a pattern as it’s usually only a few people committing the majority of the crimes. So it’s important for people to report it.”
Crimes can be reported through the MyBellevue app or online at http://bit.ly/2lWRHd1.