Retail crime rings have been reeking havoc on Bellevue, Washington. The organized thefts often take place in the middle of the day with the thieves walking in, grabbing whatever they can carry, then running out of stores.
One recent theft attempt at a Louis Vuitton store had a happy ending. The 17-year-old suspect grabbed $18,0000 worth of handbags off of the display then ran right into the glass at the front of the store. He knocked himself out in the process.
"Brazen is the perfect word for it," said Bellevue Police Captain Rob Spingler.
Prosecutors say the 17-year-old is part of a retail crime ring that includes convicted killer Billy Chambers. Chambers killed beloved Seattle street performer Tuba Man during a robbery back in 2008.
The crime in Bellevue has made it difficult for businesses in the area. One business owner talked about the impact of crime on their business. They also questioned what the criminals face when they're caught and arrested.
"It's just not okay, it isn't, something that needs to be done," said Penny Pahl. "We put our blood and sweat into our businesses and for someone to just be so brazen to walk into our business and take what we work our whole life for? It is taking away our livelihood."
"If these guys are caught, they go to court, they go through the process, but what are the repercussions?" asked Pahl.
Louis Vuitton Stores Are A Good Place For A Quick Nap
Bellevue police have implemented an anti-crime initiative to crack down on the retail theft rings. They say it has cut retail theft by 52% this year over last year.
Spingler said of the retail crime rings, "The message is, if you come to the City of Bellevue, you commit these crimes, we're going to put together solid cases."
It sounds like they need to implement more glass store fronts in Bellevue that look like welcoming exits. It made catching this criminal and recouping the handbags a whole lot easier.
This thief either didn't realize there was glass or thought he was going to make a sweet broken glass exit. He instead took a little nap. You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes.