PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Two teenagers are in custody after a string of overnight burglaries in 3 separate sections of Portland.
The teens, 16 and 19, were arrested shortly after one burglary while two other suspects remain at large.
Alex Ryan Camero Johnson faces 7 counts of 2nd-degree burglary. The 16-year-old’s name will not be released because he’s a minor. Both are scheduled to appear in a Multnomah County court on Friday.
They are believed to be responsible for break-ins at both Red Square Café and the Cheese Bar in Southeast Portland.
Police also believe they hit Binks Bar in Northeast Portland, not far from where they were arrested at 26th and Alberta. Officials also believe this crew has been targeting businesses since February.
A police helicopter helped ground patrol during the investigation and led officers to the suspects. Police said they recovered some potential evidence but would not be specific.
There were at least 4 or 5 businesses broken into in the 3800 block of North Mississippi and 2 other businesses broken into along Northeast Alberta between 26th and 28th, police told KOIN 6 News. All of the burglaries happened Thursday morning between 3 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.
As many as 30 businesses have been broken into throughout the city within the past month-and-a-half. Most of the burglaries involved the front door window being smashed and the cash register stolen.
Steve Jones picked up broken glass outside The Cheese Bar, his restaurant at SE 60th and Belmont. “For a small business you can’t be closed for more than a few days,” he told KOIN 6 News. He said he was frustrated with the situation but knew “it was only a matter of time” before his restaurant was hit.
A security guard, who did not want to go on camera because of his job, told KOIN 6 News he heard a “crashing” noise near SE 46th and Belmont. He said he looked outside and saw 2 people “high-fiving” and running away.
The guard, who goes by Big Guy, pointed to 2 rocks that were likely used to break the door. An officer photographed the door and cash register, which looked like it had been tampered.
“It seems like they’re after the thrill of doing it more than anything and trying to get the money,” Big Guy said.
At Mae Ploy Thai restaurant in Northeast Portland, the owner is worried about what customers will think.
“Customers don’t like to see all the windows boarded up,” the owner said. “It’s not safe.”
Police have not said whether the two people taken into custody on Thursday are connected with all of the burglaries.
Anyone who has surveillance video of Thursday’s burglaries, or any past burglaries, is asked to contact the Portland Police Bureau at 503.823.3333.