The Snohomish County Jail is pictured on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The Snohomish County Jail is pictured on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

3 arrested in home invasion near Everett, series of heists

Detectives spent weeks investigating the case. The trio was arrested after breaking into a Lynnwood home in search of jewelry, police said.

LYNNWOOD — Authorities arrested three men suspected of a string of heists in Snohomish, Whatcom and King counties, including an armed home invasion near Everett, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

Lynnwood police booked the suspects — ages 21, 29 and 33 — into the Snohomish County Jail on Monday for burglarizing a home near the Alderwood Costco, sheriff’s spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe said Tuesday.

The 21-year-old and 33-year-old were arrested for investigation of residential burglary, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and first-degree theft. The suspects had been “involved” in burglaries from Everett to Federal Way, O’Keefe said. The third man faces two counts of burglary.

On Oct. 5, two men burglarized a home on Meridian Avenue S, south of Everett, and stole about $5,000 in valuables, according to a sheriff’s office report. The suspects reportedly awoke the homeowner, 74, and ordered him at gunpoint to get face down on the bed while they ransacked the home.

Security footage showed a white Ford Edge circling the neighborhood before and after the robbery, deputy Matthew Barker wrote in a police report.

Shortly thereafter, Barker wrote, “I became aware of a larger investigation involving other detectives” who were looking into similar break-ins in Redmond, Sammamish and Lynnwood, “all with an identical white Ford Edge” near the crime scene.

The car was registered to the 29-year-old, who was “ruled out” as one of the home invasion suspects, Barker wrote.

Detectives got a warrant to put a GPS tracker on the Ford, and it was planted on Oct. 15, according to the police report.

On Oct. 17, deputies tracked the Ford from Burien to 21st Avenue SE in Everett. The vehicle reportedly circled the neighborhood before going to a nearby Winco, where the car stayed for the night. Barker wrote the man may have been “scouting out” the area. Deputies stopped trailing the car but continued to track it.

The same night, residents reported two masked men “hiding in the bushes” in their backyard, according to Barker’s report. The suspects reportedly left without attempting a break-in.

Around 6 a.m. Monday, detectives noticed the tracker was in Lynnwood. About 30 minutes later, police were notified of a burglary at a nearby home. Officers stopped the Ford Edge near the Lynnwood Costco and arrested the three suspects.

The three men broke into the Lynnwood home through the sliding glass door in the back of the house, police say. The men were reportedly trying to steal jewelry.

“During the investigation, detectives determined the suspects have targeted Asian and Middle Eastern homeowners,” O’Keefe wrote, “with the belief that they keep large sums of cash and jewelry stored in their homes.”

The suspects were finding potential targets by looking up names on open-source databases like whitepages.com, and 411.com, O’Keefe said.

The sheriff’s office reported two of the suspects were “connected” to recently arrested members of an organized crime group from South America.

In June, detectives arrested three men in Seattle accused of similar burglaries targeting the homes of Asian American families in Snohomish County, according to the sheriff’s office. Agencies from Snohomish, Whatcom and King counties collaborated on the investigation.

The suspects appeared in court Tuesday.

The 21-year-old and 33-year-old were held on $500,000 bail. The 29-year-old’s bail was set at $200,000.

On Wednesday, all three defendants remained in the Snohomish County Jail.

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486; jonathan.tall@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @snocojon.

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

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