PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On May 26, prowlers broke into 20 cars at once near Germantown Road, racking up thousands of dollars in damage.
Runner Brian Donnelly, who lives on Skyline, says he constantly sees broken glass in the parking lot. A lot of his friends had cars broken into as well.
“It’s so regular,” Donnelly said. “That like someone is like living around here doing this all the time.”
LA native Bryan Matsumoto is on vacation in Portland and wanted to along the Wildwood and Canon trails for some peace and quiet, but the evidence of shattered car windows made him nervous.
“It’s super beautiful but the glass was a definitely concern,” Matsumoto said. “It seems like there is kind of a racket happening here.”
There were at least 6 piles of glass alone the sides of the road nearby. “You can tell the glass is really fresh,” Matsumoto said. “Like it just happened.”
“If you prowl 20 cars you are a pretty busy beaver,” Sgt Greg Stewart said. “That’s a lot of vehicles.”
Two men and a woman were later caught on security cameras using credit and debit cards reported stolen from the cars. Police are asking the public to help identify those 3 people.
Police say it’s crucial not to leave valuables in your car, because a lot of times, breaks ins are crimes of opportunity.
Matsumoto says that’s not always possible.
“Our car is full of camping gear and all our stuff and we can’t hide anything so we just had to like stash everything and make it not visible,” Matsumoto said.
And Donnelly thinks it may not matter.
“I have friends who have left for runs and come back shortly after and they even leave their cars unlocked, you know, glove boxes open, nothing in the car and they’ve had their windows smashed,” Donnelly said.
Police couldn’t say if car prowls are up for this year, the number of stolen cars has jumped more than 90 percent according to recent data.
“Motor vehicle thefts have skyrocketed, car prowls are really cyclical,” Stewart said. “And so we tend to average them out they are hugely impacted both seasonably and around the holidays.”