PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed to KOIN 6 that Kevin Dahlgren, a Gresham homeless advocate recently accused of identity theft charges, had targeted people experiencing homelessness.
Dahlgren was arrested Tuesday morning and booked into the Multnomah County Jail on 19 charges of theft, identity theft and official misconduct – 14 of which were felonies. Now deputies say he used the identities of homeless clients to defraud the City of Gresham.
“These are people with no home address, they are isolated, they’re vulnerable, and quite frankly, they’re leery sometimes of law enforcement,” Deputy John Plock said.
Dahlgren’s arrest was first reported by the OregonLive earlier Tuesday morning.
According to a statement from the city of Gresham, officials noticed “suspicious activity had taken place by a City employee” this past March. That employee was placed on administrative leave and, a short time later, resigned.
The statement later identifies the employee as Dahlgren.
Dahlgren often spoke publicly about his efforts to assist homeless people in and around Gresham, routinely discussed the issue via social media, and made multiple television appearances, including two on KOIN 6’s Eye on Northwest Politics.
“For someone who presented themselves as an advocate, and an outreach worker, someone who’s supposed to be helping these people, to in turn use them in the commitment of crimes and victimize them, It’s pretty disheartening,” Plock said. “And we really hope to prevent this from happening in the future.”
In July, Dahlgren appeared on the program to question Multnomah County’s Harm Reduction Program. During a March appearance, he discussed the need for long-term solutions to the homeless crisis.
Stay with KOIN 6 as this story develops.