Portland’s problem with property crimes appears to be growing

(Image: KPTV)

On a yearly basis, the city of Portland sees roughly as many property crimes as the city of Atlanta.

The problem also appears to be growing. According to statistics kept by the Portland Police Bureau, there were roughly 5,000 more property crimes reported in 2017 than there were the year before.

Officer David Sanders, who regularly patrols downtown Portland on his bike, said he's seen a large increase of property crimes at the street level.

"I don't think people realize the extent, the amount of people out here looking to victimize citizens out here," said Sanders.

According to the most recent crime statistics compiled by the FBI, there were more than 33,000 property crimes committed in Portland in 2016, which is significantly more than the similar sized cities of Boston and Denver.

Looking at property crime rates, Portland had about 51 property crimes committed per 1,000 people, which is about the same rate as Atlanta, Georgia.

Portland also had significantly higher property crime rates compared to other Oregon cities like Salem, Eugene, and Hillsboro.

Salem, for example, saw 40 property crimes per 1,000 people.

Sanders said those who commit the bulk of the property crimes in Portland have begun to organize into gang-like groups, which split up the city streets they target.

"You'd be surprised at how many occur in broad daylight," said Sanders. "It's amazing. It's just so fast and easy."

Sanders said bike thefts and car prowls are the most common crimes.

A member of the bureau's Bike Theft Task Force, Sanders estimates Portland will see a reduction in property crimes after three to four years of dedicated resources tackling the problem.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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