Numbers show car thefts up in Portland, 606 reported in March - KPTV - FOX 12

Numbers show car thefts up in Portland, 606 reported in March

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The rising number of cars stolen from city streets is a growing concern across the city of Portland. 

Portland police crime stats show a 70 percent jump in the number of car thefts reported in March 2017 compared to that of March 2016.

For southwest Portland neighbors in the Hillsdale neighborhood, the concern is growing along with the stats.

Anthony Denero has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years and says over the last two years, car thefts and car break-ins have gotten out of hand.

“I don’t know what else to do anymore,” Denero said. 

Denero says on Monday morning he came outside and found someone had broken into his pickup. He says the back window was smashed out so the crooks could open the front door. Inside the seat was littered with shattered glass.

“They had peeled off my mantle, on the steering wheel and they had cut my wires to try and hot wire it,” Denero said. 

He adds either the suspected thieves couldn’t get the pickup to start or they were spooked and took off. 

Denero says vehicles being broken into is not the only problem his neighborhood is seeing. The gravel parking area outside his home has become a dumping ground for stolen cars.

“They’ll be here for an hour or a night, or day or two and then they are gone and that will go every week a new round,” Denero said. “I’m at the point now, I love this house but I almost want to move into a safer neighborhood.”

Denero says he understands that police are under budget constraints but says something needs to happen.

“I know budgets are low, but as much as they can put on it, you know, and really smack at it for a couple weeks and really try and get as many of them off the streets as they can,” Denero said.

Portland police say they are aware of the growing problem and are working to find ways to address it. The department no longer has a designated auto-theft unit like it did in the past. It was cut many years ago during budget cuts. 

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