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Crime Stoppers tip leads to arrest in Auburn of fugitive who prompted Jefferson lockdown
Auburn police on Tuesday morning arrested 27-year-old Kent resident Blake B. Bellecourt, the fugitive responsible for the May 18 lockdown of Thomas Jefferson High School in Auburn.
Police – acting on tip turned into Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound by a Q13 Fox "Washington's Most Wanted" viewer – surrounded an apartment building at 207 D. St. SE in Auburn, where Bellecourt, who is also known as "Little Nutzo," was holed up.
After initially being told by Bellecourt's girlfriend that he was not in the apartment and that she didn't even know him, police searched the residence with a K-9 unit, finding Bellecourt hiding, entwined around a water heater enclosed behind a wood panel in a closet.
Police took Bellecourt into custody and arrested the girlfriend for rendering criminal assistance.
Bellecourt, a known gang member who is wanted on three arrest warrants including escape and assault, prompted the May 18 lockdown at Jefferson, which began with an eight-hour, overnight standoff with a SWAT team.
Officers first surrounded a house in the 4800 block of South 288th Street shortly after 8 p.m. May 17, when Bellecourt was seen on the grounds. When efforts to coax the suspect from the house failed, members of the Valley Regional SWAT entered the home but were unable to locate him inside, authorities.
Police were summoned back to the area on May 18 after witnesses reported seeing Bellecourt leaving the property. He was later seen on campus at Jefferson High School, prompting a lockdown that lasted until 7:55 a.m.
Bellecourt was the subject of an ongoing felony investigation. He is wanted for a number of incidents, including escape from community custody and assault.
Bellecourt has prior convictions for assault and illegal possession of a firearm.