The community is rallying around a Northwest Portland art gallery that was forced to temporarily close after a burglar stole thousands of dollars in fine jewelry and artwork.
Police said someone broke into OKO gallery on Northwest Thurman Street on Jan. 19. The owner, Lisa Mangum, said the thief got away with about $10,000 worth of irreplaceable merchandise.
"I think a lot of us thought this wouldn't happen here," said Mangum. "No one would break into the art co-op."
Mangum said the burglar used a cinder block to break the front glass door, they climbed inside and cleaned out her jewelry collection.
The thief stole gold, silver and rare pieces from around the world. Some of the stolen items were made by other artists who work in the building. Ten artists create everything from pottery to clothing in the studios. They're now helping Mangum get back on her feet.
"Everybody here is incredible," she said. "Really, really supportive."
Mangum said even strangers have donated money and supplies to help her re-open. People who live nearby have left messages of support on the temporary closed sign outside her gallery.
"It says, ‘I'm so sorry this happened to your lovely store. I'm so sorry to see this. It's a beautiful space. I hope your faith and sense of security are restored soon,'" said Mangum as she read one of the notes.
The gallery will be holding re-opening celebration on Friday, Feb. 8 at 5 p.m.
The gallery currently doesn't have a security system, but Mangum said she will look into getting one.
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