Stolen cellphone leads to food cart vandalism arrest

Charles Johnson is accused of breaking into a number of food carts

Charles Johnson is accused of breaking into food carts around Portland. (MCSO/KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man suspected of breaking into several Portland food carts has been arrested, according to police.

Police say 32-year-old Charles Johnson was found at the Mississippi Gateway Food Carts on Thursday night. They found him after he allegedly stole a cellphone from the Hungaricana food cart on N Killingsworth Street and the phone owner gave police tracking details.

Johnson is charged with second-degree criminal mischief for the Killingsworth break-in. He is also charged with second-degree burglary for breaking into Sherpa Nirvana at the 42nd Avenue food carts on November 1.

Johnson was previously arrested on October 26 for a break-in at Tina’s Corner Restaurant on SE 122nd Avenue, but was released from jail shortly after.

KOIN 6 News wanted to know how authorities decide whether to release suspects from jail, and if they had considered keeping Johnson incarcerated after his arrest.

“Our correction technicians perform a risk assessment and that risk assessment looks at somebody’s criminal history,” Jessica Morkert-Shibley with Multnomah County said. “They look at charges they were booked on, they look at whether they were a flight risk and public safety risk.”

It’s still unclear why authorities decided to release Johnson after his October arrest.

Other food cart burglaries are still under investigation. Anyone with information related to these cases should contact Detective Matt Estes at 503.823.0462.