PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – KOIN 6 News was the first to expose safety concerns and criminal activity happening right outside Portlanders’ homes in the West Kenton neighborhood. Now, the city says Portland police filed an abatement and crews have worked to clear the site.
The city’s database shows the West Kenton neighborhood reported the illegal activity with stolen vehicles upwards of 60 times in the last few months with no response from the city.
Last week, the site had several cars on the grass, with more hidden within the trees.
Neighbors also captured photos of stolen vehicles showing up daily and catalytic converters being cut off outside their homes.
After seeing this, the city says PPB filed an abatement based on the criminal activity going on.
On Thursday, PBOT and police came to clear the site and recover stolen cars. They trimmed the trees and the transformation is night and day.
Neighbors are relieved to see results, but are still fearful of the criminals and asked to remain anonymous for safety.
“So thankful, cannot thank people for listening, the city for listening, for y’all for doing the effort to propel our voice, everybody is just so elated,” a neighbor told KOIN 6 News.
“If it wasn’t for your reporting, and for KOIN, we would still be having this criminal at the end of our street.”
Police recovered two stolen cars, but they say the encampment was abandoned and no arrests were made.
“That’s the bitter part of this entire story,” a neighbor said.
As KOIN 6 News reported last week, if no one is arrested or prosecuted for these crimes, neighbors say these criminals take their enterprise elsewhere.
For instance, a KOIN 6 News crew found that a green tour bus associated and photographed at the original site on North Trenton, has now just moved 6 minutes away near Farragut Park.
“What part of the system truly failed us for this to happen? Personally, I feel it’s the DA,” a neighbor said.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office responded sharing their prosecution rate for vehicle theft.
Since Mike Schmidt took office in late 2020, on average he’s prosecuting 64% of the cases.
The DA’s Office says they can only prosecute people that come their way.
Meanwhile, police have long said, they don’t have the resources or manpower anymore to tackle theft like this.