PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – Police said a burglary suspect gained access to two business in the 205 Place shopping center early Monday by accessing them from the ceiling and roof.
Police arrested the suspect, 30-year-old Cruz Ortiz Jr., after responding to a burglary alarm.
When officers responded to the Verizon store, they realized that the store had been accessed through the roof and ceiling, police said. Officers checked neighboring businesses and discovered that a coffee shop also had been broken through the ceiling.
Ortiz was booked into the Multnomah County Jail and was charged with two counts of burglary in the second degree and two counts of criminal mischief in the first degree.
Anna Ngo, an employee at the coffee shop, said she was told that the suspect first broke into the Verizon store, crawled through the ceiling and then broke into the coffee shop looking for an escape route. The suspect was found hiding inside the employee break room by a police K-9 unit, Ngo said.
Several of the coffee shop’s ceiling panels were ruined by the suspect, but can be easily replaced, Ngo said.
Charles Ray, general manager of AAA Heating & Cooling, Inc. said that it’s not uncommon for suspects to break into businesses by crawling through duct work or HVAC units. He said the City of Portland has certain codes for aesthetics if a business wants to cover their HVAC unit. Ray said that his company recommends that business have motion activated security systems that trigger a silent alarm to police.
Police have not said if Monday’s incident was connected to an similar style break in at the Sprint store at Southeast 82nd and Southeast Foster Road.