VIDEO: Alki arrests linked to ‘high-end burglary ring’ that stole $3+ million around the region


11:26 AM: We’re at Bellevue Police HQ as BPD and Seattle Police go public with more details about the “high-end burglary ring” linked to the two Alki arrests we covered back on Monday.


They’re talking behind a table covered with what they say is seized loot – cash, jewelry, purses, more. They say the victims include Seattle Mariners star Felix Hernandez. (Added – What was taken from him included a keepsake watch:)



They say the burglaries happened starting in April 2016. “The thieves would use luxury automobiles to commit their crimes in an attempt to blend in with the neighborhood traffic …” Here’s a map of some of the incidents:


The arrests in the 3200 block of 62nd SW followed a nine-month investigation involving Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, Medina, and Clyde Hill Police, according to the information we’ve received so far, even before the briefing (which we’re recording on video) begins.

Police say the three suspects are expected to “be charged today with numerous counts of burglary” and are identifying them as 23-year-old Alonzo Severson, 26-year-old Joseph Sims, and 29-year-old Shon Shanell.

11:33 AM: The briefing has begun, with Bellevue Police‘s chief saying the two people arrested in West Seattle were the “two remaining members of the Rock Smash Burglary Crew.” He says the items stolen by the ring totaled at least $3 million in value, taken in the course of “at least 123 residential burglaries.”


They worked in daylight and “often defeated (alarm systems).” The chief says they won’t elaborate on how they tracked down the suspects, but that police spent “hundreds of hours” doing that. He says they have recovered at least $400,000 in stolen items, and that the suspects seem to have motivated just by “greed,” and lived it up on the spoils of what was stolen.


Deputy Chief Carmen Best from Seattle PD says “these are significant arrests” and that they don’t believe any other suspects are on the loose.

The police leaders here say that breaking the case started with discovery of a phone in a Mercer Island yard – the citizen who found it turned it in to police, who made note of a call that came to the phone, and it rolled on from there, exemplifying the “if you see something, say something” philosophy.

11:44 AM: We asked the first question, about how the suspects arrested in West Seattle were linked to the house in Alki where they were found. Police wouldn’t elaborate on that but they said these suspects “were very good at what they did” and that investigators were often just a step or two behind – the suspects apparently even did “counter-surveillance.” But one of the suspects arrested at the Alki house, they say, Shon Shanell, allegedly was wearing a wristwatch among the items stolen from Mariners player Hernandez.

In some of the burglaries, police believe the burglars were armed, and they say that in some incidents, residents were home when the burglaries happened.

Other details as the Q/A section goes – some of the handbags being shown here among recovered loot are worth tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars.


They’re looking at safe-deposit boxes and storage facilities to see if they can recover even more of what was stolen.

Another local note – we don’t know yet if any of the burglaries happened in West Seattle (that section of the map, above, is covered by its legend), or if the arrest location is the only link.

The suspect that was arrested elsewhere was taken into custody after leaving jail about a week ago following a hold in connection with a Department of Corrections warrant, per the Bellevue chief.

11:59 AM: The Q/A has wrapped up and police are taking us and the other media crews to see the vehicles they have seized in relation to this – “five luxury cars” are mentioned in the news release. We’re also checking on the suspects’ status – Shanel is being held without bail; Severson is being held on half a million dollars bail and is listed as having been charged already; Sims is being held without bail.

12:23 PM: Here are the vehicles. BPD tells us the Audi is the one they seized at the arrest location on Alki.


While the cars were not stolen, we’re told, they are believed to have been bought with money resulting from the crimes.

12:39 PM: Reading the charges already filed against Severson, the evidence includes a monitoring bracelet he had to wear from another case, allegedly placing him inside some of the burglarized homes. The jail register shows he has been in since January 12th, meaning that the two arrested in Alki are Shanell and Sims.

ADDED 9:36 PM: We’ve added more photos inline above, and right above this line is our video of the entire briefing.

42 Replies to "VIDEO: Alki arrests linked to 'high-end burglary ring' that stole $3+ million around the region"

  • Just Wondering January 25, 2017 (11:44 am)

    you mean greed?

    • WSB January 25, 2017 (12:22 pm)

      yes, we do have the occasional typo, sorry, fixing.

      • HelperMonkey January 25, 2017 (12:59 pm)

        HAHAH! I just assumed “freed” was a portmanteau for “greedy for free stuff” 

  • Chuck January 25, 2017 (11:45 am)

    Hoooray! I love that these punks are off the street. 123 (known) robberies. Wow. I hope they are all convicted and face extreme sentences. They brought a lot of grief and anguish to a lot of people, and tied up valuable police resources. All so that they could have a good time. Beyond aggravating. Do your job, judges! The cops have done theirs. And well done, at that. 

    • John January 25, 2017 (12:53 pm)

      They’ll get 36 months and be out in 20 months……that’s my bet.

      • Andy January 26, 2017 (6:22 am)

        I’d bet money that you are right, John. If I decided to become a burglar, I’d only work in areas of expensive homes, too. I might be wrong, but I think the penalty is the same. I’d like to see these scumbags get 20 years cracking rocks on a chain gang. Of course if wishes came true ……………………..

  • Dave January 25, 2017 (11:59 am)


  • Eddie January 25, 2017 (12:03 pm)

    Two questions: What the back is “Freed”?  How in the world can a handbag be “worth tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars”? That’s a crime worth investigating in itself.

    • bolo January 25, 2017 (1:00 pm)

      Those bags are gorgeous! Crafted by artists in limited quantities and highly sought after by a small segment of our population with plenty of extra money to spend on such merchandise.

  • GB January 25, 2017 (12:43 pm)

    simple online search points to Shon Shanell as the 2009 Santa Claus burglar….interesting

  • Gina January 25, 2017 (12:48 pm)

    Bellevue police must have better support. Can you imagine what would have happened with the case breaking cell phone if dropped inside the city limits of Seattle?

    • Seattlite January 25, 2017 (6:49 pm)

      Gina  == SPD has used phone records to solve crimes. Please do your research before making such statements against SPD.  I’m sure WSB recalls a tragic WS murder that involved the use of cell phone records.

  • bolo January 25, 2017 (12:56 pm)

    Wowwwww! Seattle’s own “Bling Ring!” I wonder if they got the idea from the movie.

    I too am curious about any of the thefts possibly having happened in West Seattle. Although looking at the map, it looks like none of the thefts happened in any urban density zones. Wonder why not?

    • WSB January 25, 2017 (1:45 pm)

      Bolo – They were described repeatedly as limiting themselves to breaking into very expensive homes. Harder to get into one that’s oh say a condo penthouse (certainly Alki has some of those), for example…

  • rob January 25, 2017 (1:00 pm)

    The chief says they won’t elaborate on how they tracked down the suspects,”

    i have an idea…

    the evidence includes a monitoring bracelet he had to wear from another case, allegedly placing him inside some of the burglarized homes. “

    • WSB January 25, 2017 (1:35 pm)

      That was just one of the three, though, and nothing in the charging docs links him to the Alki location. And then there was the cell phone.

  • Jason January 25, 2017 (2:08 pm)

    wait wait wait…one had a monitoring bracelet that placed him (allegedly) inside some of the burglarized homes? haha. Wow. I also can’t get rid of the visual I have created in my head of the guys trying to figure out where one of their cell phones went. “So you are saying you don’t have it? And the last time you saw it was when we left that one house we burglarized? Well call the phone stupid! Maybe someone will pick up and you can ask for it back!”

    Oh I have a feeling this story is only going to get better. Hold on while I go get some popcorn.

    • Alki Resident January 25, 2017 (2:16 pm)

      Larry ,Curly and Mo

    • WSB January 25, 2017 (2:18 pm)

      According to the charging document, the phone turned up in a Mercer Island backyard through which, apparently, several people were seen running after a burglary in November. The tracing of the phone had something to do with somebody’s significant other (a contact labeled “My Boo”) calling the phone, and police then cross-referencing that number. Also described in the ensuing pages, an e-mail alert from an e-mail address that includes Severson’s name, plus cross-referencing facebook pages linked to him with one for the woman whose call came up as “My Boo.”

      • Jason January 25, 2017 (2:58 pm)

        Awww Severson’s girlfriend was trying to call to see how his evening was. Let’s not lose sight of the fact these are human beings with lives and loved ones…on second thought, let’s! Lockem UP!

  • Craig January 25, 2017 (2:29 pm)

    I recognize that stack of money.  It’s mine.  How do I go about getting it back?

    • Jason January 25, 2017 (2:59 pm)

      Ha, I was thinking the same thing. Notice the stack is gone in later pics. Hmmmmm

    • WSB January 25, 2017 (3:05 pm)

      For those who seriously think something recovered might be theirs (no WS cases unearthed yet but maybe someone from another community is reading this) – Bellevue does have a special tip address.

  • Just Wondering January 25, 2017 (2:44 pm)

    The only brand name of a fancy purse that I know of is “Birkin”.  

    The info says they take 18 + hours to make by hand, that the alligator is humanely raised and “harvested”, and that the price is $ 7500 to $ 300,000.

    I’m guessing Washington D.C. is now probably a good place for purse thieves to “find” them!

    • Susie January 25, 2017 (10:00 pm)

      Not to nitpick but Hermès is the brand, Birkin is the style, and they’re made in multiple sizes, colors, and materials. The one being held up is crocodile. It looks like there may be at least one Hermès Kelly bag up there but I can’t zoom enough to say for sure. Yes, I speak fluent handbag ;) 

      You’d be surprised at how much some of us will scrimp and save to buy these high end bags. 

    • Swede. January 26, 2017 (8:19 am)

      Guess printer ink isn’t the most expensive thing per weight around.

      The super rich is the perfect customers. There is zero reasons or ways to motivate having a handbag for $300000 more than rubbing it in the face of people how excessively rich you are. They are not better than any other brand, they don’t do anything special compared to others, it’s just a name. 

      And at thousands of dollars an hour to make them I think I’ll start a handbag business. 

  • Seattlite January 25, 2017 (4:05 pm)

    BRAVO to all the brave law enforcement involved in getting these dangerous criminals off the street.  Hopefully, they will spend a long time behind bars.

  • JeffK January 25, 2017 (4:49 pm)

    Good job BPD/SPD!  Don’t let us down now judges.

  • Neighbor January 25, 2017 (5:22 pm)

    At least theee of those cars have been seen trolling around North  Admiral. Nothing says I’m up to no good like having windows tinted so dark you can’t inside.  Quite a few people in my neighborhood noted them and sent out emails regarding their presence.

     Most of the time our instincts are right! 

    • dsa January 25, 2017 (11:44 pm)

      I did hear of a smash and grab entry there recently.

  • bolo January 25, 2017 (6:05 pm)

    What color or kind of paint job is that Audi?

    • ak January 25, 2017 (8:02 pm)

      looks like matte black to me

    • Swede. January 26, 2017 (8:22 am)

      Flat or satin black. Most likely a vinyl wrap, even though some german (especially) cars can be custom ordered in whatever color you want. But considering that is an older Audi S6 it’s probably done after. 

  • Kathy January 25, 2017 (6:20 pm)

    Well, my Alki residence (a few doors from the arrest site) was safe from this Bling Ring. No way in Hades would I ever spend that kind of money on a handbag. 

  • Al January 25, 2017 (7:07 pm)

    My storage along with 4 other units had a break inn in December at uhaul in West Seattle. How can  I view these items and ID them.  West Seattle blog help and thanks

  • Mike January 25, 2017 (9:30 pm)

    Nicely done BPD!

  • New Thinking Needed January 25, 2017 (9:49 pm)

    GB – thanks for the simple online search points to Shon Shanell as the 2009 Santa Claus burglar with a link to the news article….Maybe this time he will ask the judge for double sentencing time!! What a bunch of losers – get a job and earn your wants – don’t take from others.

  • Swede. January 26, 2017 (8:26 am)

    Great job officers! 

    Do make me wonder a little if the same effort and reasorces is put in to all the burglaries in lower income areas…

    Don’t hear to much about any of the extremely common car burglaries and theft in WS get any closure. 

  • Dave January 26, 2017 (11:12 am)

    Any way to get their mugshots? I frequent the Alki bars regularly. I’m wondering if I met them before.    

    • WSB January 26, 2017 (2:20 pm)

      Should have them in the next Crime Watch update this afternoon. Still checking on their status – looks like some charges have now been filed against one of the two arrested here.

  • bolo January 26, 2017 (11:50 am)

    Ha, the “Bling Ring” connection grows! Guy was caught wearing Felix Hernandez’s diamond-encrusted watch– watchface even says “King Felix.” Guy was asking for it.

  • Admiral Guy January 27, 2017 (7:02 am)

    When there are so many people destitute, I can’t feel too bad that these guys were stealing from for sure the 1% and above… 

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