The graph shows an incline in the number of violent crimes in Bellevue. Graphic courtesy of Bellevue Police Department

The graph shows an incline in the number of violent crimes in Bellevue. Graphic courtesy of Bellevue Police Department

Violent crimes on the rise in Bellevue

About 132 instances per 100,000 population reported in 2018.

Numbers show an uptick in Bellevue violent crimes in 2018, when compared to numbers of previous years. The category includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. But the numbers also show signs of improvement in property crimes.

There were 188 total violent crimes in 2018, according to stats provided by the police department. In 2017 the number sat at 148.

When factoring in population numbers, the rate of violent crimes in 2018 was 132 instances per 100,000 population. In 2017 there were 105 reported violent crimes per 100,000 population.

Seth Tyler, spokesman for the Bellevue Police Department, said the actual crime numbers per capita are lower than a number of surrounding jurisdictions. A better picture will be painted at the end of March, when crime numbers from the surrounding areas are compiled into a graph, comparing Bellevue to their neighboring cities, he added.

The number of rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults were all higher than numbers reported in 2017. The homicide number remained at zero. Felony arrests were up — growing to 1,462 in 2018 from 1,388 in 2017.

The department’s data shows some decline in the number of reported property crimes.

“Obvious wins for us and residents have been in … things like car prowls and residential burglaries — These are crimes of opportunity,” Tyler said.

There has been a significant decrease in the number of reported car prowls happening in the city. In 2014, there were 1,660 car prowls reported. In 2018, the number dropped to 1,100.

Tyler partially gives credit to the department’s “Lock it, Hide it, Keep it,” initiative. It included a social media campaign, banners and signs reminding drivers of the dangers that come from leaving belongings in plain sight. With fewer opportunities, Tyler said, the numbers go down.

The department’s special enforcement team also could be attributed to the lower numbers, he said. The undercover unit focuses on crime trends and repeat crime offenders. And they’re not bound by city limits.

“If someone is living in another jurisdiction but coming into Bellevue to commit crimes, we will follow them to where we need to, to take them into custody,” Tyler said.

The civilian-clothed authorities have traveled as far as Los Angeles and Las Vegas. They have located homicide suspects fleeing the state and car prowlers hitting homes in multiple areas.

“Criminals don’t care about jurisdiction boundaries,” Tyler said. The team ensures they’re held accountable, no matter where they’re taking place.


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

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

Gov. Jay Inslee issued new guidance allowing the resumption of self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, drink stations and other types of communal food sources in Phase 2. File photo
Buffets and salad bars back on the menu in King County

Gov. Jay Inslee has revised rules to allow self-serve food areas in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Bellevue City Hall. Photo courtesy city of Bellevue
Open seat on East Bellevue Community Council

Applications are due by Friday, July 24

Brian Tilley (left) and Katie Dearman work the wash station Friday at Kate’s Greek American Deli in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

King County homeless count: 11,751 people, up 5 percent from 2019

One night a year, volunteers spread out across Seattle and King County… Continue reading

Free masks at the Bellevue Salvation Army. Courtesy photo
Free mask pickup for Bellevue residents

New dates and times for mask distribution this week

Nurse Sylvia Keller, pictured with Gov. Jay Inslee, is on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle in Yakima County. Courtesy photo
Governor doubles down on mask rules

Inslee: Starting July 7, businesses do not serve those who do not wear a mask

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Construction begins for Downtown Park entrance

The previously delayed entryway project is expected to be finished early 2021

Most Read