Food cart owners ‘shocked, frustrated’ by burglaries

Crime

Thieves targeted businesses on NE Sandy Boulevard in Portland's Hollywood District

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Thieves broke into a popular burger cart in Portland’s Hollywood District on Monday night — and it’s not the first time businesses in the area have been targeted.

Jeremy Sivers is the owner of Hit the Spot on NE Sandy Boulevard. He told KOIN 6 News the thieves broke into the back of the cart and made off with $2,000 in electronic equipment.

Sivers noticed the break-in on Tuesday. The lock on the cart had been broken and the inside of the cart had been trashed.

“We’ve been closed all week, so that is super frustrating,” he said. “They took our whole POS system and we can’t operate without it.”

Thieves trashed the Hit the Spot food cart in NE Portland, Oct. 30, 2019. (Courtesy of Jeremy Sivers)

The owner of the food cart next door, the Whole Bowl, said he has been broken into 3 times with the most recent burglary happening about a week before Sivers’ cart was hit.

“There is a criminal element that is menacing the city,” said Daniel Drumwright, owner of the Whole Bowl.

Cart owners say crime and homeless camps in the area are growing. Drumwright said a man who’d been stabbed several times also wandered up to the carts to order a burger last week.

Whole Bowl food cart on NE Sandy Boulevard, Oct. 30, 2019. (KOIN)

“Around this corner here walked a thin man with tattoos, no shirt on, covered in blood. His throat had been cut from the top of his jaw down to the jugular.”

Drumwright said onlookers called 911 as the man got in line and proceeded to order a burger.

“This street, after hours, it becomes almost like the walking dead down here,” said Drumwright.

An ambulance arrived and took the injured man away.

“The last 2 weeks was like the Twilight Zone,” said Sivers. “‘Like the guy who got stabbed walked up, had a dozen stab wounds to his chest, stomach, his throat was slit — then we got in the next day and someone had an actual fire against the building, so they were burning tired and wood.”

Hit the Spot food cart on NE Sandy Boulevard, Oct. 30, 2019. (KOIN)

Sivers said he was going to install security cameras and motion lights. He added that the owner of the property planned to install an iron gate around the businesses to keep people out.

“It’s frustrating because we give away like 5-10 meals a day to homeless people and we try to support the community as much as possible,” Sivers said.

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