City of Portland struggling with rampant property crime
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Thousands of property crimes in Portland are going unsolved, with no punishment for the criminals that commit them.
According to statistics from the Portland Police Bureau, burglaries, car thefts and thefts of personal property, which are described as “larceny,” have increased each of the last three years. In 2021, PPB’s Property Crimes Unit reviewed more than 5,000 reports of property crime, but only assigned 141 cases, and made only 36 arrests.
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell blamed continued staffing shortages and a spike in violent crimes for the low number of arrests.
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“We have moved detectives from our property crimes investigations to investigate other things. Right now a lot of our investigative resources are focused on gun violence. And some of that has come from property crimes,” said Lovell.
For victims of property crime, that reality is a tough pill to swallow.
“As a business owner, I just feel like we’re not supported at all,” said Rhonda Nienburg, who owns Hendrix McGuire Optical in downtown Portland.
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At the end of August, someone broke into Nienburg’s shop and stole her laptop. Even though the crime was captured by her security camera, Nienburg never heard back from a police officer or detective after the initial report was taken.
“We’re all frustrated. I’ve talked to a lot of people and we’re all frustrated, and we feel like the city and the police in general just don’t have our backs,” said Nienburg.
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