Brazen thieves entering homes in Renton while people are sleeping, police say

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

RENTON, Wash. — The Renton Police Department is dealing with a recent rash of home burglaries in the north Renton and south Newcastle area.

So far, the department is investigating 14 reports. Investigators are concerned because the crimes are happening while people are home; in some cases, children were asleep in their beds.

It’s a neighborhood that residents usually describe as safe. But along Park Avenue in Renton, burglars have them thinking twice.

“It’s concerning, and the fact there’s a string of them makes one think maybe they’re working in groups,” said Laura Knutson, a neighbor.

Debbie Melby is one victim whose car was ransacked weeks ago.

“I thought that somebody in the house had done it, and now I’m just more cautious about locking my doors,” said Melby.

Renton police said the thieves are getting bolder. They've moved from targeting cars to homes, all while people are inside.

“One of the scariest things about this is that this is happening in the middle of the night,” said Terri Vickers, the Community Programs Coordinator with Renton police.

“In one of the cases, the suspect removed a screen from a window and crawled into a window where three children were sleeping.”

Investigators said the thieves enter unlocked doors or open windows. So far, no one has been hurt, but they fear it’s only a matter of time.

“Anything can happen when a suspect is in your home, when they are brazen enough to go into a house when they know people are sleeping, clearly they are willing to take risks,” said Vickers.

Renton police said it is possible that more incidents have gone unreported, with the owners thinking they misplaced their property without considering someone entered their home.

It’s unclear if the same person is responsible for all the burglaries, but police did indicate there is a pattern in the crimes. They said they aren't ruling out a group of people working together to commit these acts.

The biggest piece of advice police want to pass on is for people to lock doors and windows, even if tempted to keep windows open as the weather gets warmer.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

8 comments

  • ryan menges

    how can these alleged victims state these robberies happened while they were sleeping? How would one know this that was sleeping unless of course security cams saw something? Whos to say its not one of there roomates, friends, or perhaps even themselves stealing???

    • Steven H

      Being as we’re one of the houses, I’ll tell you exactly how. My house is a family of 6 (no roommates). We woke up in the morning to our garage door open, my cars doors ajar (this car was parked in the driveway, not the garage and I must have accidentally left it unlocked) and the garage door opener that was usually in the car was now on the floor in the garage. We had a bunch of tools and office equipment stolen from our garage. Luckily, they did not enter our house even though the door into the house from the garage was unlocked. It was pretty easy to determine what happened. I’m not sure why your taking such a condescending tone here using words such as “alleged victims”. Do you really have no sympathy for these people? Are you siding with the criminals here?

  • tootietuttle

    stealing is a way of life here in Washington. They break into your home and beat you leaving you with a lifelong physical and mental scar, and if they are caught, they might have to spend 3 months in jail because the state is so lenient.

  • Kennydale Neighborhood Watch Guy

    The Renton police department aren’t doing much about this issue. I live in this area and 2 of my neighbors got robbed in the middle of the night. I have proof of who was involved in committing both robberies ( 6 houses apart ) and I presented it to the Renton detectives and they just put it in file with the rest of their cases. They agreed that this said person did the robberies and did nothing about it. This suspect is using multiple people when committing these crimes. Trust me everyone, I have proof and presented it the Renton Police department and they just don’t care to stop this guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys are responsible for these robberies. I’m very close to contacting our news agencies and letting them know about this. I have plenty of footage to prove who it was and I was able to identify they people. I’m so disappointed in the Renton Police department, same with all my Neighbors and those who got robbed because we all know who is doing this and they do nothing about it.

    • Former 98059 Resident

      Please do out these criminals and the police who are turning a blind eye! There is far more police corruption in this area by King County Sheriff’s Office than people know. I’ve seen it first hand and reported these things to the prosecutor’s office. They don’t care. None of them care. I was beaten, stalked, robbed, and harassed multiple times in unincorporated King County and unincorporated Renton by my ex – despite my filing multiple police reports and there being a criminal no contact order and DV restraining order in place. He has yet to serve a day in jail for those offenses. Shame on the police and “justice” system in this area. You won’t realize just how little they’ll do for you until you’ve been victimized yourself.

    • HIghlandsresident

      I too have dealt with similar issues. We are in the Highlands and have had strings of vehicle break ins and mail theft. Our entire neighborhood has locking mail boxes unless they cant afford one (another issue I think should be addressed- people should not have to deal with identity theft because they cant afford a locking mail box. Several neighborhoods has multi-home locked units that the city has paid for, imo all neighborhoods should have these if the police dept can’t stop the thieves…) But back to my point lol. Our friends HAVE SURVEILLANCE and multiple people have been able to identify (myself included) the suspects. We also coerced a confession (via his mother) out of one of the kids (young adults) involved in breaking into vehicles belonging to myself and a friend/neighbor. The police said their “hands are tied” unless they actually see something or your cameras are registered with the Police Dept. (you can do so on their website) The fact of the matter is, with as many crimes as we are having, along with all those that go unreported, it is our duty as citizens to get together and fight back as much as we can. If the police can’t/won’t do anything with the evidence provided, the media certainly will. Just remember- Its not that the police “don’t want to help”, its that our justice system protects the “rights” criminals more than citizens the majority of the time. One wrong move obtaining evidence or one BS claim of misconduct and the whole case goes down the toilet. Then what? Then they get a slap on the wrist and skip away to steal more things and buy more drugs. Unfortunately for those of us who have had things stolen and know the feelings of violation that come along with that, we are not a priority. Theft is not a priority. Breaking into a home with sleeping children may be what it takes for them to start taking this seriously.

  • Colin Christianson (@ColinAC)

    Police don’t really care to catch these people. There is surveillance footage of part of their group on the Shell Gas Station surveillance cameras where they filled up their car’s tank with a stolen credit card last weekend (March 28th). But police decide not to follow up on an investigation to get their license plate number, car description and likely faces. Their excuse is that since the credit card is outside their jurisdiction, another police station would need to take up the investigation (Even though the gas station is in their jurisdiction). All the evidence is out there if the police are just willing to go get it.