Caught on Camera: Vandals slashing tires in SE Portland

Multnomah County

Multiple cars had slashed tires in a Hawthorne-area neighborhood

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A group of vandals set their sights on a Southeast Portland street where they slashed the tires of one car after another late Friday night. It happened just off of a busy stretch of Southeast Hawthorne on November 1. Neighbors estimate about a dozen cars along Southeast 50th and 49th Street were vandalized.

“The security light went on,” said Jason Richard, who was home when it happened. “[I] kinda looked out the bedroom window and saw two figures walking by—didn’t really think anything of it.”

He didn’t realize what they had been up to until the next morning. Neighbors said it was frustrating, even a little scary, to come outside Saturday to find a line of cars on their street with flat tires.

“The truck was sitting kinda cockeyed,” said Richard. “When I saw mine, I looked around and saw another car back here that was flat—walked down to the end of the street, saw 3-4 other cars—same thing.”

Footage from a Nest security camera shows at least three people walking down the street, stopping at parked cars. This still image shows two suspects, with the third just out of frame on the far right. November 4, 2019 (Portland Police Bureau)

Richard said this has happened to him three times in the last couple of years. But during the most recent incident, the tire slashers were caught on a nearby home’s nest security camera. In the video, which has been turned over to the Portland Police, at least three people can be seen strolling down the street, stopping at each car.

“I was just horrified,” said Courtney Scott, another resident on the block. “I had this happen to me in Northeast, and it’s really disturbing when you have your car vandalized like that.”

They hope the surveillance footage helps detectives track down the tire slashers.

“Yeah, definitely frustrating. You don’t want to come out and see you have a flat tire, let alone it being slashed by a stranger,” said resident Caitlin Carter. “If they get caught, that’d be great—it’d help send a message.”

Portland Police are asking for anyone with additional video or who may have seen what happened on Friday night to give them a call.

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