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UPDATE | Bothell man, convicted felon charged in connection with armed robbery, burglaries in Kirkland
Kirkland Police have solved a case involving a convicted felon who was charged in connection with a recent armed robbery and two burglaries in Kirkland.
Bothell resident Edward Diep, 19, was charged with first-degree robbery, unlawful possession of firearms and burglary in King County Superior Court on April 5. He is currently being held on $250,000 bail at the King County Jail and will be arraigned April 19.
The armed robbery occurred on Feb. 27 when Diep robbed two men at gunpoint in a parking lot located outside of Izumi's restaurant, according to court documents. The suspect pointed a loaded handgun at the victims and demanded their money. One of the victims handed Diep his wallet containing credit cards and $200 cash and the suspect fled on foot.
Kirkland Police brought in Max, the K-9 search dog, but officers believed the suspect had fled in a vehicle.
Following the armed burglary, the Kirkland Police Department began an investigation to determine the suspect's identity. Detectives released a composite sketch of the suspect to area law enforcement agencies, which generated a possible suspect. A King County deputy recognized the sketch as looking similar to Diep, who recently worked at the Woodinville Cafe. A restaurant employee told detectives that Diep had been referred to the cafe while on work release, but had walked off the job about two weeks prior.
Diep was found to have a criminal history, including prior convictions for assault, residential burglary, attempted theft, first-degree escape and a dangerous weapons violation. Bothell Police also found Diep to be a minor in possession of alcohol on March 1.
Kirkland Police arrested Diep on March 31 and served a search warrant on his Bothell residence. Officers recovered a gun believed to be used in the February burglary, the victim’s wallet that was taken during the incident, and clothing believed to be worn by the suspect during the burglary.
Diep later told police the armed robbery was motivated by "financial hardship" due to his recent job loss, plus his $1,300 monthly rent and car-related payments that he couldn't afford, according to court records. He told police he "took the back roads" to his parent's Bothell home to avoid detection following the robbery.
Further investigation of Diep’s residence recovered property stolen from burglaries committed in Kirkland’s annexation area, including the Kingsgate Public Library, and from a Finn Hill home. According to court documents, Diep forced entry into the Kingsgate Library by using a hammer to break a window on March 31. Diep stole a charity donation box containing money and checks, a Flip video recorder, digital cameras and a laptop computer from the library. All of the items were recovered from his Bothell home and returned to the rightful owners.