A man suspected in a series of violent robberies and sexual assaults across King County is in custody, and facing charges of rape, robbery, and indecent liberties following a joint investigation between King County Sheriff’s Deputies, Seattle, Bellevue, and Renton police.
Police believe 38-year-old Charles Linell Bluford is responsible for a number of violent crimes across King County since the beginning of the year, including attacks on two women near their homes. He is currently facing charges for robbery, rape, and indecent liberties in King County Superior Court.
Police are also looking to tie additional cases to Bluford, and this week, detectives from the King County Sheriff’s Office, Bellevue, Seattle, and Renton Police met with a group victims at Seattle Police Department Headquarters.
Squinting under the bright lights lining a scuffed black stage on the seventh floor of Seattle Police Department headquarters, six men—all wearing red jumpsuits, all tattooed, all about the same height and same build—walked out in front of their silhouetted audience.
Obscured by the bright stage lights and surrounded by robbery Detectives from all four agencies, 10 men and women all sat patiently as the group of men on stage took turns reciting their lines: “give me your wallet and purse. Don’t scream.”
That’s just what Bluford told a woman on March 10 when he attacked her in the driveway of her Shoreline home. Bluford pointed a gun at the woman, stole her wedding ring, purse, credit cards, cellphone, and threatened to kill her. Bluford then forced the woman into her garage, told her to take off her pants, and then beat her and sexually assaulted her.
King County Sheriff’s Office detectives were able to trace and locate the victim’s cellphone, stolen during the incident, and identified Bluford from several photos taken on the phone after the robbery.
King County Sheriff’s detectives learned Bluford was also a possible suspect in a number of robbery cases in Seattle, Bellevue, and Renton, and arrested him on a misdemeanor warrant.
Detectives then obtained a search warrant for Bluford’s home, where they found the victim’s purse and credit cards, along with items taken from a woman during another violent robbery in January.
In that incident, on January 26, Bluford attacked a woman at gunpoint in the garage of her Bellevue apartment building. Bluford pointed a gun at the woman, robbed her, shoved his hand into the woman’s underwear, and then fled.
In addition to these two attacks, Renton and Seattle police are investigating Bluford in at least 9 other cases which took place since the beginning of 2012.
Bluford is being held at the King County Jail on $200,000 bail.