Caught on camera: Couple breaks into community center


Surveillance video captured the break-in at the Linnton Community Center on NW St Helens Road

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two people were caught on camera breaking into a community center in Northwest Portland.

The break-in happened over the weekend at the Linnton Community Center on NW St Helens Road. The center offers a preschool and programs for students to attend before and after school. It also has a partnership with the Oregon Food Bank.

Preschool teacher Kate Horan told KOIN 6 News the pair that broke into the center looked like they were on a date.

A sign at the Linnton Community Center on NW St Helens Road, Oct. 29, 2019. (KOIN)

“She was wearing his hat and she was like, ‘Oh, you know, this is so cute and fun,'” said Horan. “They were both smoking their cigarettes while they were trying to do this.”

The couple used a code the center gives to people in need of spare showers in order to gain access to part of the building. From there, they forced their way into other parts of the center.

“When they couldn’t get in downstairs, then he went into his toolbox and he got a screwdriver and then he took apart the metal that holds the door,” said Horan.

A still image taken from surveillance video shows a couple caught breaking into the Linnton Community Center in NW Portland, Oct. 29, 2019. (Courtesy of Linnton Community Center)

The video shows the man gain entry as the woman smiles and watches. Horan said after the pair entered, they smashed a printer and took a generator but bypassed all of the center’s expensive electronics.

“It was just very peculiar,” she said. “We are a non-profit community center. It is not like we get a lot of money. The money that we do get, it goes to the people that we are helping for Oregon Food Bank or the kids.”

Horan said she knew what she would say if she ever ran into the thieves.

“Why would you do that to a community center when here we are, just trying to help people? Why would you do that to the kids, when you are taking things that they need?” she said.

Staff said the break-in has created a sense of fear at the center that should be a safe place for kids and the community.

The Portland Police Bureau is looking for the suspects. If you know anything, please call 503.823.3333.

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