Bellevue Police make 23 arrests, recover items stolen during May looting

Bellevue Police announced on Tuesday that they have made 23 arrests in connection to looting that took place on May 31st. Much of the looting took place at Bellevue Square that afternoon and evening.

Alleged thieves took items like thousands of dollars in clothing, alcohol and jewelry, said police.

During an arrest on Friday at a home in Renton, police also found a cache of weapons and drugs.

Two of the suspects face felony charges. Jose Giovanni Magana-Arevalo faces second-degree burglary, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possessing stolen property and drug charges.  Magana-Arevalo posted his $30,000 bond on Monday. The other persona facing felony charges is Fernando Joel Valenzuela. He is facing second-degree burglary, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possessing stolen property, and drug charges. Valenzuela is being held on $25,000 bail.

According to Police, they served a warrant at their residence in Renton, with the assistance of Renton Police. Police recovered more than $19,000 worth of suspected stolen merchandise, alcohol and tobacco products. Detectives also confiscated an AK-47, a 10 mm Glock, stockpiles of ammunition, drugs, and cash.

Both Magana-Arevalo and Valenzuela are accused of targeting the d'Original Jewelers store, just north of Bellevue Square.

Police said that during the protests that day, hundreds of looters converged onto Bellevue Square Mall. Court documents state that suspects forced entry into more than 30 individual stores, primarily retailers of clothing, jewelry, and electronics. Hundreds of suspects stolen millions of dollars in merchandise according to court documents.

Bellevue Police said one police sergeant pulled over a car that day and saw merchandise inside. The sergeant made a traffic stop and was able to recover an estimated $24,000 worth of merchandise. Five people were arrested as a result of the stop.

Bellevue Police credit the public for submitting tips and videos.

“We are just beginning to make arrests in these cases.  The public has shared at least 10-thousand pieces of video and photographic evidence of the looting and violence. The public’s assistance has been a tremendous help. We will continue to work with our regional and federal partners to hold these individuals accountable," said Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett.

Police said that they have leads on at least a hundred other suspects.

“Bellevue has seen many peaceful protests since Mr. Floyd’s death, and we welcome them all.  But the criminals who engaged in the violence are on notice; they won’t get away with it. We have dedicated extensive resources to investigate these crimes and will take as long as necessary to identify and arrest those responsible. I cannot emphasize it enough, the criminal behavior leading to these arrests has absolutely nothing to do with people raising their voices in opposition to Mr. Floyd’s death or demands to end systemic racism,” said Mylett.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has not filed charges against peaceful protesters.