BELLEVUE, Wash — The Bellevue Police Department (BPD) said Thursday its officers busted three major organized retail theft rings accused of stealing over $100,000 in merchandise.
In one of the cases, police said Bill Chambers, Memory Yearby and Earnetra Turner were charged after stealing over $93,000 in handbags from Louis Vuitton in Bellevue. Investigators said the group targeted the same store twice in June.
The trio was charged with two counts of first-degree organized retail theft, according to the King County Prosecutor's Office.
Chambers was previously convicted in the death of Tuba Man Edward McMichael and was arrested in connection to another incident in Seattle in July after escaping community custody.
Detectives later found the stolen bags for sale online and arrested Trey Kendall, the fourth suspect related to the theft. Police said Kendall faces charges of first-degree trafficking in stolen property. Charging documents indicate the four suspects have "extensive criminal histories."
“These suspects were aggressive and coordinated in their efforts and often physically confronted employees or security who stood in their way,” said BPD Capt. Shelby Shearer in a release. “These crew also caused significant damage to the stores during the thefts, causing some businesses to close for the day to clean up the mess.”
In another case, police said a 24-year-old suspect was accused of multiple thefts totaling nearly $13,000 from Bellevue's Nordstrom Rack in October and November 2021.
Janay Luckey is accused of walking into the stores, cutting security tags off merchandise and leaving without paying. She is also accused of selling the stolen goods online. Luckey was charged with first-degree organized retail theft and two counts of first-degree trafficking of stolen property. She is also facing five counts related to thefts in Seattle that totaled more than $84,000.
Investigators said a third case involved a nearly $7,000 theft from Ulta in Factoria. Two suspects are accused of stealing 62 bottles of perfume from the store, detectives said.
One of the suspects was arrested in Kent, while charges are pending for the other person involved. A rental car was believed to have been used to pull off the theft. Police said the merchandise was returned to Ulta.
“We joined the state’s Organized Retail Task Force committed to cracking down on this crime,” Shearer said. “These cases involved regional collaboration and partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and the affected businesses. Arresting these suspects reduces crime not only in Bellevue but regionally.”
Investigators say additional charges are possible in these cases.