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Crime in the gorge spikes in July

Burglaries on the rise in Corbett


July was the busiest month of the year for crime in and around Corbett and the west end of the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah County Sheriff Deputy Joe Graziano said at a recent public safety meeting.

Of all the crimes people commit, burglaries are on the rise, Graziano said.

“This is the highest we’ve had in a month,” he said.

For the month of July, there were seven reported burglaries, according to the Corbett cop log.

Graziano said that number doesn’t include burglaries that are not reported, or those that are reported as thefts, of which there were 19 in July.

During the summer, Graziano said, burglars will steal from homes or outdoor sheds in broad daylight, when they know no one is home or when a family has gone out for the day.

Most of the Corbett burglaries took place between 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

And while people may have their idea of what a burglar looks like — masked, wearing dark clothing and driving a shady-looking van — Graziano said often they will appear normal.

The husband of Stephanie Nystrom, a state representative candidate for House District 52 running in the Nov. 4 election, was approached by two such characters at their home, located in a remote neighborhood almost a mile off the Historic Columbia River Highway in Corbett.

A truck had gone so far as to drive up the couple’s long, tree-hidden driveway and ask Nystrom’s husband for gas.

The man and a woman said they were moving to Arizona and they were trying to get gas to make the move, Nystrom said. Their truck was full of stuff.

Nystrom said the situation struck her husband as odd: “Why would you come down a dead-end street to get a gallon of gas?” But he went and got them a can of gas anyway.

After he gave it to them, the man thanked him and they drove off.

Graziano heard the story at Corbett’s public safety meeting and said the Nystroms should have reported the suspicious incident by calling the Multnomah County sheriff’s non-emergency number at 503-823-3333.

He said it’s a good idea to get the license plate number and a description of the car and people.

Stephanie Nystrom said she and her husband now keep the sheriff’s non-emergency number posted on the refrigerator.

“It’s good to let people know,” she said, “so our neighborhood is better protected.”

Graziano said burglars may act friendly, but they just might be checking to see who’s home.

“If no one is home, it’s a free for all,” he said.

The seven burglaries in Corbett occurred in the 1700 block of Northeast Brower Road, between the 32000 block and 36000 block of the Historic Columbia River Highway, the 40000 block of Gordon Creek Road, the 2000 block of Southeast Littlepage Road and the 34000 block of Smith Road.



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