PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Boarded up windows are becoming a way of life for some Portland businesses.
Sheets of plywood covering up windows and doors is no longer unusual in downtown areas of the city, and some businesses in other neighborhoods of Portland are following suit after experiencing an uptick in burglaries.
“This is sort of like a last resort action,” said Clever Cycles co-owner, Eva Frazier from her boarded-up bike shop on Monday.
Frazier said her businesses has been hit repeatedly since March.
“We’ve had three successful burglaries and nine broken windows,” Frazier said.
The latest break-in was early Sunday morning, and by far, the worst.
Surveillance video shows a suspect throwing a rock through the window and then go back and forth, grabbing several bikes and shoving them into his white SUV.
Frazier said police did not respond for an hour, leaving time for other thieves to stumble upon an opportunity.
Another video shows a separate group stealing bikes.
“it was a pretty tough loss for us,” Frazier said. “I’ve cried several times -- it’s difficult. I think we’re all feeling a little tired.”
Altogether, Frazier said nine bikes were stolen, totaling nearly $20,000 in losses.
“We’ve always had break-ins, people smashing windows and taking bikes, we’ve never seen this slow of response time from the Portland Police Department,” Frazier said.
It’s a big problem in Portland and one police blame on the relentless protests and riots that have consumed the city.
Officers assigned to work crowd control are pulled from their normal duties, and remaining police are spread thin to respond to crime.
“At this point, hopefully, our insurance company keeps us around,” Frazier said.
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