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Bellevue Police launch initiative to decrease crime levels in 'hotspots'

Local businesses say they are dealing with break-ins and thefts. Bellevue Police now aim to reduce crime with a new initiative.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Trev Dakan has owned Saltwater City in Bellevue for more than 20 years.

While the exotic animals in his tanks are worth hundreds of dollars, thieves pass them over, preferring cash. 

“They try to get the money, they can’t really take the animals so they come in and try and go through the till and find the safe," said Dakan.

Dakan said he’s seen more crime in the last ten years, but 2022 has particularly stood out. 

“I see a lot more activity in the evenings when I’m here late at night,” said Dakan.

Frying Fish in a nearby strip mall has also seen an increase in crime since originally opening eight years ago. 

“I think the crime is a bad thing but last year there was more crime than this year,” said Leo Liu, the owner of Frying Fish.

According to data from the Bellevue Police department, property crime did spike in 2020 and 2021. 

Theft is one of the most common crimes in the area, accounting for 26 percent of incidents. 

“We need to see more police around here to control that,” said Liu. 

Bellevue police say because of this increase, they’re upping their patrols as part of their anti-crime initiative. Police say in the last few weeks, they’ve already made many arrests. 

“It should help. Anytime they see police officers, it’ll make them think twice,” said Dakan. 

While they haven’t seen a stark contrast, the patrols are a welcome sign to small business owners.

Another big issue police are focusing on is catalytic converter thefts and DUIs. Bellevue police said that larger businesses have reached out, saying they’ve already seen a decrease in crime.

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