PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Maybe you’ve had your car stolen or you know someone who has.
The crimes have exploded in recent months, as Portland Police data shows that for much of the last year, reported car thefts averaged fewer than 600 a month.
Last month, there were more than a thousand.
Lori White and Alan Olsen are two Portland residents who became some of the most recent victims in November.
Olsen said he was attending a science fiction convention at the Red Lion Hotel on Hayden Island when he went to leave and discovered his truck missing.
“I had it parked in front of the hotel, right in front of the hotel in a well-lit area,” Olsen said.
His old Nissan pickup wasn’t the only vehicle stolen from the convention, Olsen said.
“Four cars were stolen,” Olsen said. “Twenty break-ins that I know of.”
White said her car was stolen from the street outside her home in north Portland.
“It was found two days later in a ditch, completely stripped of everything and everything I had in it, which was everything,” White said.
“My car was my freedom,” White added. “I had been without a car for a longtime.”
Her 1997 Honda Accord was nothing fancy, but it’s now trashed and completely useless.
White told FOX 12 that she’s disabled, unable to walk to the max line and now stuck at home with no money for another car.
“Those thieves have no idea what a big crime this was,” White said. “This is crippling to me. I have doctor’s appointments I can’t go to.”
Olsen’s truck is still missing.
“I don’t think I’ll get it back in one piece,” Olsen said.
Often these cars are found abandoned with no obvious suspect. If a suspected thief is nearby or even inside the stolen car it’s hard to prosecute because the burden of proof usually requires evidence that the person took it, and not, for instance, just found it.
White has a GoFundMe account to raise money to replace her car and her belongings that were inside it.
You can find more information here.