Lake Forest Park resident Gail Genereau did not expect to find any of her stolen belongings Tuesday when she came to the Redmond Police station to look through thousands of items recovered in the Movie Bandits case from earlier this year.
Genereau knew her case did not fit into the exact time frame of the other crimes. Plus, her home burglary was not preceded by a car prowl like many of the other incidents and had not been linked to the Movie Bandits by police.
"I thought it was worth a shot," Genereau said before going into a large room where police had laid out items ranging from jewelry to baseball cards. "You know, I have nothing to lose but to just see what there is."
But as she began walking down the rows of recovered items, Genereau began to recognize some of her belongings—mostly costume jewelry that is not worth a great deal of money but some of which still holds sentimental value. Perhaps even more importantly, Genereau was able to learn the people who burglarized her home have been caught and are awaiting prosecution.
"I'm actually shocked," said Genereau, who was able to retrieve hundreds of pieces of jewelry, trinkets and other items. "I just wasn't really sure but thought it was worth checking out."
Not everyone who came by the station on Tuesday to look through items was as fortunate. Even the victims who found some of their stolen items said most of the valuable jewelry was gone.
"All the good ones are, who knows, melted down," said Kea Rehn of Bellevue. "They got money for them."
Police now say the so-called Movie Bandits, a male and female couple from Bothell, are responsible for close to 70 car prowls, burglaries, vehicle thefts and other crimes that affected dozens of families throughout King and Snohomish counties. Cases from as far north as Mount Vernon and as far east as Wenatchee have been attributed to the duo.
In several cases, the suspects targeted movie theaters and other public places, where they broke into vehicles, stole registration info, and then proceeded to burglarize the owners' empty homes.
Redmond Police apprehended the suspects on Aug. 1 when they went to arrest the female suspect on another charge and caught up with the male suspect, who fled. Redmond Police K9 unit Vader tracked and located the man a short time later.
The King County Prosecutor's Office is currently reviewing the case and expects to make a charging decision soon. Patch typically does not name suspects until they are formally charged with a crime.
The male suspect, 31, remains in King County Jail. His accomplice, a 36-year-old woman, was apprehended but has been released awaiting a trial.
In an odd twist, Redmond Police spokesman Jim Bove says the couple got married in jail earlier this year.
Bove said several victims still feel traumatized by the ordeal and that police will hold a personal safety class next month specifically for Movie Bandit victims.
"We've seen a variety of emotion today," he said. "People were reminded of the crime and that they were violated, and that's a very emotional thing to go through."