Could break-ins caught on camera be connected?

Crime

Police have not confirmed if the crimes are related

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two thefts caught on camera over the course of 2 months has KOIN 6 News reporter Jennifer Dowling asking if the crimes’ striking similarities are more than just coincidence.

First, multiple suspects robbed a Molalla restaurant, stealing an ATM’s safe, on September 16. Then, in October, Shadowbox Farms in Southeast Portland was broken into—targeted by thieves who stole $1 million worth of marijuana products.

On Friday, Portland Police confirmed that detectives are looking at both cases. While it has not yet been determined if they are connected—if they are, business owners worry a crew may be traveling the Interstate-5 corridor targeting local businesses.

Security cameras captured a group of thieves stealing goods from Shadowbox Farms in SE Portland, October 2019. (Courtesy of Shadowbox Farms)

The President of Shadowbox Farms shared video of a team of 3 thieves as they cut into the roof of his warehouse and dropped a ladder down in order to make off with the store’s inventory.

“They cut the phone lines. They were up on the roof,” said President Tim Winner. “I think I was surprised at just how brash they were.”

Brash and brazen are words we’ve heard before, used to describe another burglary. This one also involved 3 men who were caught on camera stealing a safe from the Markum Inn restaurant outside of Molalla.

“It appears that they’ve probably done this before,” said Mark Burnett, owner of the Markum Inn, during an October interview with KOIN 6 News.

Photo taken from security footage at the Markum Inn showing the people who stole the restaurant’s ATM cash. October 3, 2019 (Courtesy Crime Stoppers)

After noticing similarities between the 2 cases, KOIN 6 News’ Jennifer Dowling reached out to managers at the Markum Inn to get their take on how their surveillance footage compares to the video taken from the SE Portland case.

“I would definitely say it looks very similar,” said Markum Inn Sous Chef Aaron Johnson.

In both cases, 3 men assist in the crimes. At the Markum Inn, they broke through very secure doors. The burglary crew in SE Portland used tools to cut through some very secure metal bars. People at both businesses said it would take skill.

“They definitely seem like professionals and know what they are doing,” said Johnson.

Take a look: Side by side still images of a man knocking down security cameras in both burglaries.

Side by side comparisons of surveillance footage from two different burglaries.

In both cases, crews were wearing winter hats and similar masks. Johnson believes the same thieves caught at the Markum Inn are targeting other businesses in Marion and Clackamas Counties as well.

“Just the amount of places that have been hit, they’re not going to stop until they are caught,” said Johnson.

KOIN 6 News reached out to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and asked for an update on their investigation into the Markum Inn burglary but have not heard back. A reward for more than $7,000 has been offered in the Molalla case and $10,000 for an arrest in the SE Portland case.

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