Northeast Hillsboro neighborhood on alert following burglaries
HILLSBORO Ore. (KPTV) - Residents in a Northeast Hillsboro neighborhood say their community has been dealing with a string of burglaries over the last month they believe are connected.
Tuesday night, Sarah Alvarez and her husband had to rush to the hospital for a family emergency. When they returned home around 1 a.m., they discovered someone had broken in through one of their windows using a crowbar.
“We quickly discovered all of our camera equipment was gone,” said Alvarez. “We were scared. Shocked. Sick to our stomachs once we realized it had happened to us. Just knowing someone was in our house is a fear I continue to have.”
Alvarez says over $30,000 worth of camera equipment they had been collecting for years was taken.
“We feel lost,” said Alvarez. “It’s our life. We are devastated. We are simple, hard-working people. We enjoy photography and we like to share it with everyone. We’ve just been walking around feeling completely lost.”
They filed a police report and were told their break-in was not an isolated incident.
“This has been going on for around a month,” said Alvarez. “There have been multiple break-ins by the same man. He’s been caught on numerous doorbell and Ring cameras. He’s always in the same get-up.”
Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, shared chilling footage showing a man wearing a mask carrying a crowbar on her back porch earlier this month.
“My 11-year-old was on the phone playing Roblox,” said the resident. “All of a sudden she screamed ‘Mom, mom, there’s someone at our back door.’ I opened up the Ring app and I see this guy. He looked to be pretty tall, dressed in a long-sleeved shirt, some sweatpants with the Nike swoosh, a mask, gloves, a crowbar. He was looking around, looking for a camera I’m assuming. When the light on the camera turned blue, he got close to the door and noticed he was being watched. I yelled telling him to leave and he took off. He didn’t break in thank God.”
The resident says the situation was scary, especially knowing her daughter and granddaughter were in her home.
“The lights were on,” said the resident. “The TV was on. My grandbaby was watching TV. In the video, you could hear the cartoons. This guy knew there were people in there and he didn’t care. I think the only thing that stopped him was the camera.”
The resident said she reached out to law enforcement as well and recommends everyone get a doorbell camera to be safe.
“I really feel like it’s the same guy,” said the resident. “I feel like he lives here. I posted the Ring doorbell footage and people started commenting saying ‘He was in my backyard a month ago. Same tool and everything.’ Everyone seems to think he is a local guy. It’s scary to think that, but I want him to know that I have cameras everywhere now. I’m putting in flood lights. I’m not going to be afraid. I was afraid in that moment, but I am going to defend my family in every way that I can. I am going to spread the word and that video. I’m sure he is going to get caught. I’m confident in that.”
Both residents say they want their community to be aware and to be alert.
“People are worried it will happen to them next or the man will come back,” said Alvarez. “It seems like he has no fear. Unfortunately, law enforcement can’t tell us too much but they have sent extra patrols to try and catch him. That’s all they can tell us is that they are working on it and doing what they can do. I’d like for the community to be aware. Lock your doors, keep your outdoor lights on, keep indoor lights on, and just take care of each other. Watch your neighbor. We want this man to know he is not just ruining one life or two lives. It’s a community. We are living in fear and he is creating so much chaos. Just turn yourself in. It’s such a sad and scary situation. We just want it to end peacefully.”
FOX 12 reached out to the Hillsboro Police Department, and were told they cannot comment on ongoing investigations.
Alvarez says they were told they most likely wouldn’t be able to recover their camera equipment and were told to check local pawn shops and Facebook Marketplace, but haven’t had much luck in locating anything. She and her husband have started a GoFundMe to replace their stolen camera equipment.
Copyright 2023 KPTV-KPDX. All rights reserved.