Business owners say crime and vandalism in SE Portland continue to rise

Image: KPTV

A group of business, building and property owners in southeast Portland are fed up with crime and vandalism in the area.

They said over the years, it has only gotten worse. They're planning to take the issue to the City Council this week.

Bridgid Blackburn is the owner of Cargo near Southeast Yamhill Street and Water Avenue.

She’s been in business in Portland for more than 20 years and at the Yamhill location for three.

She said in those three years, she’s noticed crime and vandalism in the Buckman and Central Eastside neighborhoods only grow.

“We see that with smash and grabs of windows with cars parked in the district, the amount of graffiti and vandalism and property damage has just gone up tremendously as well,” she said.

Blackburn said at her business alone, she’s seen more shoplifting and even had people try to smash her outside windows.

“That kind of property damage is just so difficult for a small business to recoup from,” she said.

Blackburn said she’s not the only business affected by crime.

“One going through the neighborhood right now so heavily is just smashing the front window, grabbing the register, and going,” she said. “There’s been I think six in our district in maybe the last three months.”

“The other thing we’ve had a hard time with are the amount of needles we find on the street and the amount of human waste,” Blackburn continued.

Blackburn and a group of other business, property and building owners plan to take the issue to City Council this week, asking for help and resources.

“We’re hoping to one have true ideas that can be true partnerships with the city,” Blackburn said. “We are not interested in just complaining, we’re not interested in saying it’s your problem, do something about it,” she continued. “But we are working really hard to find ways where we can actually help be a part of the solution.”

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