Car prowler-ID thief sought in Portland

This man is wanted for an April 27 theft of a purse with credit cards inside. (Photo released June 12, 2013, PPB)
This man is wanted for an April 27 theft of a purse with credit cards inside. (Photo released June 12, 2013, PPB)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In what police call a classic crime of opportunity, a car prowler and thief stole a woman’s purse and used her credit cards to buy hundreds of dollars of TriMet tickets almost immediately.

On April 27, Elizabeth Large called police around 7:15 p.m. and reported her purse – with her ID, credit cards, cash, a digital camera and glasses – was stolen from her car in a parking garage at 650 North Holladay Street.

“I drove to my office to go get things for a business trip the next day,” she told KOIN 6 News. “I left my purse in my car because I was going to be carrying some things back. Was gone about seven or eight minutes and my windows had been smashed and my purse taken.”

PPB Sgt. Pete Simpson said the thief “immediately went to a bus kiosk, a TriMet kiosk at a MAX platform nearby and purchased a large quantity of TriMet tickets, presumably to turn around and sell those for cash.”

The man has not been caught, and Wednesday police released surveillance photos of the suspect. He’s

described as a white or Hispanic man in his 20s, about 5-feet-9, 170 pounds, and was wearing a plaid shirt,

dark jeans and white shoes with black soles.

“We do find humans are creatures of habit and car prowlers likely will prowl again,” Simpson said.

In hindsight, Elizabeth Large said she shouldn’t have assumed her car was safe and she now urges others to use common sense. Don’t leave your valuable in plain sight.

“You feel violated and I don’t want other people to have to put up with that.”

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

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