PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A small business owner in Gresham said she’s one of seven food cart owners that fell victim to a break-in on Wednesday morning.
Krista Larsen has owned The Krazy Kokonut food cart for nearly six years, but it wasn’t until early December 2022 that she moved her business to the Gresham Food Carts pod.
A mere two months later, Larsen has said that someone broke through her cart’s tempered glass and stole many essentials that she needs to run her business.
“They stole my work cell phone,” Larsen said. “They ended up stealing my point-of-sale system [and] both of my cameras. They ended up stealing miscellaneous stuff, a blender… They stole all my cash and then also my tablets and then all my charging cables.”
Additionally, the business owner shared that the person used her Cash App account to send money to several accounts. However, the Gresham Police Department told KOIN 6 that none of the attempts were successful and it’s likely that the accounts do not belong to the suspect.
Overall, Larsen said she was impressed with how quickly the police responded, but “the law can only go so far” — so she did some investigating of her own.
Larsen used her phone’s location services to find that some of the stolen items were right around the corner from The Krazy Kokonut. She and her boyfriend were led to a nearby homeless camp where they were able to recover a few of her items and items from the other businesses that were affected by the break-ins.
Larsen said she’ll be filing an insurance claim to replace some of the remaining stolen goods, but she doubts that there’s anything else she can do and she doesn’t feel that the pod owners have been especially helpful either.
“The owners are really nice, but I am a little frustrated, and I feel a little disrespected because they basically have told myself and the other food cart owners… that it’s pretty much our problem, that security is our problem,” Larsen said. “And I’m like, ‘Not really, bro, because that’s why we pay you rent.’”
According to Larsen, the recent break-in has only added to what has been a difficult winter for her and others in Gresham Food Carts due to two new food cart pods that recently opened in the same area.
Larsen cited Multnomah County’s new rules on wastewater disposal for food carts as another factor that has affected many businesses. Regardless, she believes the community can help small business owners make it through these difficult times.
“Any type of word-of-mouth and walk-up traffic is always much appreciated and it helps out a lot,” Larsen said. “I want everybody to win. We’re all here to pay bills. We’re all here to create a better life for our families.”
The Krazy Kokonut, along with the other affected carts, are located at 2280 NW Burnside Road.