Construction imposter steals from coffee shop

Video shows thief taking computers, electronics from Portland Roasting Coffee

Police are trying to identify the man shown in this video freeze frame (Credit: Portland Roasting Company)
Police are trying to identify the man shown in this video freeze frame (Credit: Portland Roasting Company)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – As a legitimate construction crew worked to remodel the front office of Portland Roasting Coffee, a suspected thief managed to steal computers and other expensive items after pretending to be a part of the remodeling team.

Paul Gilles, Vice President of Operations for Portland Roasting Coffee, said the remodeling occurred in mid-September.

On Monday, an employee with the company posted a video link to Reddit that shows a man taking several items, including computers, monitors, keyboards, cell phones and a Star Wars Pez dispenser.

PRC Thief from PRC on Vimeo.

The theft occurred Sept. 20. Gilles said he let the man into the business thinking he was part of the painting team.

“I thought he was a painter,” Gilles said. “After I left, he told the painting crew that he was doing IT.”

Gilles said the man was conversational and didn’t raise any red flags. He is shown in the video raising the window treatments.

“I made him a cup of coffee,” Gilles recalled with a laugh. “A couple cups of coffee.”

When Gilles left, and with the other employees distracted, Gilles said the man made his way deeper into the company’s Southeast Portland building, where he started tampering with their video system.

“He thought that he had taken out a camera, and he did, but it was one that was not connected,” Gilles said.

Gilles said there has been a slight increase in crime around the company’s property near Southeast 7th and Oak.

On Tuesday, before meeting with KOIN 6 News, another employee was cleaning up after a car prowl. There was glass littered on the sidewalk and road.

Gilles said it was ironic when he left the suspected burglar back in September because he warned the group of the recent crime in the area.

“On my way out, I warned him that it can be a sketchy neighborhood,” Gilles said.

Anyone who has information on the case is asked to call Portland Police Officer Andrew Kofoed at 503.823.0097 or

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