PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Frustrated business owners in Southeast Portland are asking for help, after months of burglaries, vandalism and what they describe as general lawlessness.
Emre Taskin, who owns Wild Shaman Kilims and Rugs on SE Grand said he's spent close to $20,000 dollars since March, 2020, repairing damage from break-ins and vandalism. This past Saturday, his surveillance cameras captured a man kicking in the glass on the front door of his business. Taskin said the burglar stole his high-end camera.
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"People who are doing this, they feel really comfortable while doing that. They feel like nothing’s going to happen. No response will come as quick. They can do whatever they want," said Taskin.
Taskin said he'd like to see a more visible police presence in the neighborhood, and a quicker response when he calls for help.
"The last few incidents, when I called 9-1-1, it took them 10-15 minutes to answer. I think that’s ridiculous," said Taskin.
Taskin, who moved to Portland with his wife from Istanbul, Turkey, said they chose the city because of its charm and because they felt safe. Eight years later, he wonders how much longer the rampant crime in the neighborhood will go unchecked, and how much longer he can afford to run a business here.
Taskin said he'd like to add install security shutters outside his business, but because the building is considered a historic structure, he's had trouble getting approval from the city.