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Vehicle theft on the rise in Southwest

West Portland Park hit hardest


Officer Brian Hughes of the Portland Police Bureau's Central Precinct Neighborhood Response Team shared some troubling news at a Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. Public Safety Committee meeting March 7.

“Car theft is starting to really spike out here,” he said, “specifically in the West Portland Park neighborhood.”

Demonstrably baffled, Hughes revealed that, “for all the districts south of downtown Portland,” there have been up to 35 vehicle thefts so far in 2013, compared to approximately 21 stolen cars this time last year.

Just in the last few weeks, Hughes said, the neighborhood unit has responded to vehicle theft reports from:

  • an apartment complex at 4820 SW Barbur Blvd. (South Portland)
  • the intersection of Southwest Huber and 40th Avenue (West Portland Park)
  • the 3500 block of Southwest Pasadena Street (West Portland Park)
  • an apartment complex at 4600 SW Dickinson St. (West Portland Park)
  • the 10500 block of Southwest 43rd Avenue (West Portland Park)
  • the 740 block of Southwest Evans Street (South Burlingame)
  • the 4500 block of Southwest Luradel Street (West Portland Park)
  • the 9100 block of Southwest Eighth Avenue (Collins View)
  • the 3000 block of Southwest Water Avenue (South Portland)
  • the 9800 block of Southwest 35th Drive (Markham)
  • According to Hughes, the majority of vehicles stolen have been cars, with 24 car thefts compared to seven trucks and three motorcycles. He added that the day of the week most cars were stolen was Thursday, and 20 percent of car thefts happened overnight, with the majority of vehicle owners unaware of exactly when the thefts took place.

    This uptick in vehicle theft is particularly befuddling because, Hughes said, "Burglary, both commercial and residential, (has) gone down for this same time frame south of downtown."

    “Something is odd,” he said. “There’s got to be an end point up here, some reason why these people are coming here."