Burglaries are up more than 60 percent in the first three months of the year over the same time period last year, according to figures by the Bellevue Police Department.
Items stolen have included money, electronics and other easy to carry equipment and, most of the suspects developed and the people arrested in connection with the burglaries have been juveniles, including some in middle school, according to Major Mike Johnson, Commander of the Investigations Section of the Bellevue Police Department.
The suspects are not part of an organized crime ring, he said.
According to the Bellevue Police Department, the first three months of 2011 saw 108 burglaries. In that same time period last year, there were 65 burglaries throughout the city, a 66 percent increase. The majority of the burglaries have occurred during the daylight hours when no one is at home, according to the Bellevue Police Department.
The information was shared with the Bellevue City Council Monday night at its study session.
Most of the people investigated or arrested in connection with the burglaries have been juveniles, according to the Bellevue Police Department. The department has arrested four adults and 12 juveniles, in connection with 27 cases, according to the police department. Ten other juveniles have been identified as suspects, according to the police department. Most of the juvenile suspects live in Bellevue, Johnson said.
The age range is in keeping with burglary patterns seen throughout King County, Johnson said.
The Lake Hills and Lakemont areas of the city are seeing a disproportionate amount of the increases, according to the police department.
The police have concentrated efforts to combat the burglaries, including increased patrols in affected areas, patrols with an automatic license plate reader equipment, creation of a Special Enforcment Team targeting "top offenders," and through interviews with people in the schools and neighborhoods, according to the police department.
The police department also plans to hold a community forum at Lake Hills Elementary School on April 18, to talk with neighbors about setting up block watches and other ways that neighbors can prevent burglaries.