Trio tied to armed robberies, carjackings, kidnappings across King County arrested

Bellevue police have arrested three men accused of a two-month-long crime spree, spanning across several cities in King County.

Detectives say the trio used vehicles they stole during violent carjackings and kidnappings to commit armed robberies.

Over 100 pages in court documents, say Daniel Recinos, Cesar Sandoval and Ricardo Valencia-Alvarez targeted gas stations and convenience stores in Bellevue, Burien, Kent, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Redmond and Seattle between October and December.

The men allegedly in and out within minutes, armed with guns walked in demanding money and cigarettes or took vapes, according to Victor Kolta, an employee at the Shell gas station off 145th Place SE in Bellevue.

He says it was around midnight, two men walked in on October 18 armed with guns.

"They told me don’t move we’re going to kill you," Kolta said.

He says he's been behind the register for 12 years working at the same location for over four now and he's never been in this situation.

Surveillance videos show Kolta complying and putting his hand up as the men load up the register and vapes into a recycling bin before running out.

"These people put me and other people under very risk," Kolta said.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has filed charges against the three men, according to Casey McNerthney.

"It's not worth it for what harm we're doing to the public to the clerks," McNerthney said.  "It's so small value, it's frightening how this could turn much worse."

The violent spree started October 12 in Maple Valley around 2:26 p.m. at the 76 off Maple Valley Black Diamond Rd SE.

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The clerk reported three men walked in pointing guns at him and left with approximately $300 in cash.

An hour later, the men allegedly walked into the 7-Eleven store off Sunset Boulevard in Renton.

The clerk at the location told police one of the men fired a shot inside the store and got away in a Silver Kia Sorrento with an unknown amount of money and cigarettes.

Documents say detectives later found it the 2020 model was stolen in Kent October 11, the day before the robberies began.

The next robbery happened October 18 at Kolta's gas station where the men ran off.

Later that morning, around 2:20 an employee reported a robbery at the Shell on Redmond Way in Redmond.

The clerk told police all three men pointed guns at him while yelling at him to give them the money in the registers or they would shoot him.

The employee reportedly gave them $299 and locked himself in the back of the gas station.

However, on Oct. 17, a Redmond resident made an online report saying packages had been stolen from his porch overnight.

He shared surveillance footage and noted the same men and two men, one of which allegedly had an ongoing relationship with one of them.

Documents say a man was pistol-whipped and carjacked by two of the men in the Skyway Neighborhood near Renton. 

The victim told police he got out of his car to get something from the back when he was hit in the face, he looked up and the two men pointing guns at him, one of them Recinos.

The thieves asked him to get back in his Honda Civic, where they all drove to a dead on off SE 44th Place he asked him for his shoes, wallet and phone before hitting him with a gun and forcing him out of his car.

While documents say Recinos is only 20-year-old he already has a violent and lengthy criminal history including burglary, assault-2, vehicular assault, possession of a stolen vehicle, participating/aiding/abetting in a prison riot and criminal trespass.

According to documents he was the driver involved in the road rage shooting that sent 9-year-old Isaiah Johns to the hospital after being shot in the face and chest.

The robberies continued through December, according to charging documents a clerk in Burien told officers he fired 11 shots at the men as they got away with $100 in white BMW on Dec. 4.

Just a few days later, documents say 22-year-old Valencia-Alvarez bragged about the crime, posting a video of the same BMW on TikTok saying, "Fat Shoot Out".

Detectives in Bellevue say there are several things that tied these men to the crimes, including their clothes as they wore the same outfits to several robberies. 

Cell phone records also placed them within feet of the crime scenes and their back and forth on social media saying – "Let go hit", "I need money" and "we finna run up in gas stations and stick 'em up" which helped lead to their arrests. 

Police say guns, knives and stolen property were also found in their homes.

"It’s too much crazy and too unrespectable, they’re supposed to be going to jail forever," Kolta said.

Recinos has been charged with five counts of robbery in the 1st degree, kidnappings in the 1st degree, theft of firearm and two counts of unlawful possession of firearm. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Sandoval is charged with nine counts of robbery in the 1st degree and is held on $1 million bail.

Valencia-Alvarez has eight counts of robbery in the first degree his bail set at $750,000.

Their bails set high as KCPAO says they are likely to re-offend if released.

"Ultimately, it's up to a judge, judges decisions, but we're going to keep going to the court to say this is what we see and what we think is in the interest of public safety," McNerthney said.