Milwaukie business finds thank-you note burglar left behind

Clackamas County

Some iPhones were stolen, but other valuables were left behind

MILWAUKIE, Ore. (KOIN) — A Milwaukie business said they were robbed overnight—not just because some of their things were stolen, but because the burglar left behind a thank you note, and even signed his name.

“I was shocked,” said Erin Foster, an employee at Shields Painting Corp. “And had to put the pieces together and it still doesn’t seem like it actually really happened—because who leaves a note?”

The unwelcome visitor rummaged through business papers, took souvenirs along the way, and then left a thank you note behind.

The note that the burglar left at Shields Painting Corp. October 4, 2019 (KOIN)

“I found a note on my desk with a pin that said, ‘Got the cards,’ and something was illegible about it, and then something said, ‘Thank you, Karl, just got back into town, anything that will help,'” said Foster. “And at that point I said, ‘This is very, very odd.'”

She didn’t know what to think when she called police Friday morning to report that Karl had gotten away with 6 business credit cards, documents, and 2 iPhones. Foster was surprised he didn’t take more as there were computers and other valuables inside the store.

“He used our restroom, possible took our water, took time to write and leave the note,” said Foster. “He turned on the heater in the bathroom.”

Milwaukie Police identified Karl Dorling as the suspect. They found him on the waterfront 4 hours later, just a couple of blocks away. Police said Dorling admitted to the crime.

Karl Dorling. October 4, 2019 (Courtesy to KOIN)

“Somebody made a call that he was screaming and they went over to check it out to see what was going on, and the officer said, ‘I saw some of the things that you had described on him,'” said Foster.

She said she is still shocked over the break-in — and how quickly officers found her suspected new pen pal.

“It was a feeling of relief to know that he was caught, and you can move on now a little bit,” said Foster.

The business is now looking into make some security changes. They are still not sure how the burglar got inside since the door wasn’t damaged. All of the stolen items were returned with the exception of 1 iPhone, according to Sheilds Painting Corp.

Dorling now faces burglary charges. Milwaukie Police believe mental health issues may have also played a role.

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