Thieves break in through food cart roof in SE Portland

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 5:49 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The owner of a local food cart in Southeast Portland is looking for help with repairs after the cart was broken into Monday morning.

Tim Turcotte, owner of Esan Thai Eastport, found a window on the roof broken into and the cart ransacked. Turcotte, who lives down the street, says he got a phone call around 5:30 am saying there were people taking things through the fence. Turcotte ran outside in his robe and saw two people stealing carts, hoses and cables from at least four other food carts. That’s when he took action.

“One guy started to come towards me, so I just literally ran at him and tackled him because I didn’t know what he was going to do.” Says Turcotte. “I kind of just let him up.”

The suspect left and Turcotte brought everyone’s belongings back. Turcotte’s cart was broken into five weeks ago which prompted him to add more locks, but the suspects still got in.

“Pretty much cut out all the metal they could, broke away anything that was blocking them. I still don’t know how they got through this tiny hole but now everything is broken all the structure is just gone,” says Turcotte. “There was just soda spill all over here the fridge was open we looked at it no cans of water no cans of soda it was completely they just emptied it in the sink.”

Food worth a $1,000 had to be thrown out and repairs can cost him anywhere from $6,500- $7,500.

Turcotte says on three different occasions, police have given him a shocking response.

“The last break in, they literally told us there’s not enough police officers there’s not enough descriptions of the people it’s just going to go on a piece of paper into a file and no one’s going to look at it again,” says Turcotte. “They said we have to act on our own.”

Esan is open for business but Turcotte calls it disheartening. He says he hopes to get back on track so he can continue to help his community.

“We’ve raised money for different businesses that have been broken into in the past year we’ve always done fundraisers and donated all the money to everybody else even when it was happening to us.”

Turcotte says he doesn’t plan on moving locations but does plan on adding even more security to his cart. He told FOX 12, he checks on his cart every couple hours in the middle of the night and wonders when he’ll be able to sleep again.

Turcotte describes the suspect as a white male in his 30′s, with his face tattoo across his eyebrow, a baseball hat, tore up clothes and shoes with no laces.

There is a GoFundMe page set up for the owners if you would like to donate.