PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portlanders have a warning for those leaving their cars parked at the Portland International Airport after they returned from a trip to learn someone tried to steal their car.
While KOIN 6 News has previously reported on the severity of car thefts in Portland, luckily thieves didn’t get away with a car this time, but the damage left behind still costs some drivers hundreds of dollars.
This week, Daniel Boxler flew back home to Portland from Detroit. He left his car in the blue economy lot, only to find someone drilled out the handle of his driver-side door in an apparent attempt to steal it.
“I was just trying to get in the car and just couldn’t get that handle open, so I just climbed through the passenger’s seat,” Boxler said.
The door no longer opens and will cost him hundreds of dollars to fix.
According to PDX spokesperson Kama Simonds, the airport gets about 10 reports of crimes like this in their parking lots per month.
“There are times that we see more of those reports, and we step up very targeted actions based on information that the police officers receive,” Simonds said. “At the same time, there are more than two million parking transactions by the end of the year — more than 16,500 parking spaces. Things happen despite our best efforts.”
The airport says they have hired security and are using both marked and unmarked police to watch their parking garages and economy lots 24/7.
But they ask travelers to keep an eye out.
“There are emergency call stations scattered throughout the lot, if something doesn’t look right, you’re parking your car and you see something, pick up one of those phones and report it,” Simonds said.
But Boxler thinks more should be done.
“Mostly we want the Port of Portland just to install cameras and have actual security guards at the front,” Boxler said. “If we’re spending [$2] billion on a new airport, I would think that they can take some safety precautions for the economy parking lot. I understand that they’re not responsible for the things inside [of the vehicle]. But I do feel like they should be taking more responsibility for the car itself.”
Until the city of Portland gets control of this car theft problem, Boxler advises parking at the airport at your own risk.
“I know Lyft and Uber are pretty expensive conditions right now. It might be worth it to do that instead of just leaving your car there now,” Boxler said.