Recovered stolen car still can’t run without replacement parts, Portland man says

Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 9:55 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A southeast Portland man says he remains frustrated about a crime that happened nearly two months ago.

On Superbowl Sunday morning, Gregg Van Slyke’s car was stolen, and despite police finding it that same afternoon, he said it was damaged. The damage is proving difficult to fix, as he said the Hyundai dealership lacks the available parts to fix it.

Meanwhile, the car’s undrivable.

“The steering column was gone, smashed,” said Van Slyke. “The ignition was gone and smashed.”

He said he wasn’t surprised to become a victim.

“it happens way, way too much. Especially in the Southeast area. It’s frustrating. I’ve been without a car since Superbowl. You never think it’s going to happen to you until it does happen to you,” he said.

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Van Slyke said his daughter heard a crash outside early in the morning, and when she came out it was to her father’s car missing. In its place was a pile of broken glass in the spot he’d been using for three and a half years.

The event was captured on camera, where Van Slyke said you could see the culprits steal the car in less than three minutes.

“Then, they were gone,” Van Slyke said. “It was really quick.”

At first, Van Slyke was mad, “because it was an invasion of privacy. I do groceries for the family, and I have some medical issues that require me to do two to three appointments per week.”

He went on to say police spotted his car that same afternoon just a roughly two-mile, 10-minute drive away. He said when police got their hands on it, he was told by them that criminals often steal cars, commit another crime, and then dump it.

“The problem is,” Van Slyke hesitated, “it’s expensive.”

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His car continues to sit at the dealership, where he says they’ve been unable to get a necessary part for it to run.

“The ignitions are on backorder,” he said, “because of how many Hyundai’s are stolen.” Acknowledging police are busy, he said “I’ve never lived in a city like this. There’s a rampant crime ring going around and nothing’s happening.”