NE Portland businesses, residents tired of rise in crime


Some employees point to the poor response time from Portland Police

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Businesses and residents have become tired of the growing issue with crime in the Hollywood District of Northeast Portland.

On Monday, there was a break-in at the “Hit the Spot” food cart on NE Sandy Boulevard. Killer Burger down the street recently had multiple thefts. On Friday, another business reported a theft near NE 46th and Sandy that stranded some of Hot Lips Pizza’s delivery cars—the thieves took to cap on the car tires that keeps the air in. Although it’s a small part of the car, it caused big problems for the business.

“It’s been a rough couple weeks for the neighborhood,” said Nikki Petrilli of Hot Lips Pizza. “Killer Burger got hit with some theft, the dispensary down the street got hit three times. Hit the Spot got hit.”

Manager Nolan Henderson said someone stole the valve stems off three cars from the Hot Lips Fleet that left tires deflated and deliveries flat.

“For three out of four cars, that’s pretty significant on a busy day,” said Petrilli.

Three of the 4 Hot Lips Pizza delivery cars had the air let out of their tires on Friday. November 1, 2019 (KOIN)

A nearby resident told KOIN 6 News his valve stems were also stolen from his car as it sat in the driveway. A few days before the theft, an employee’s car was stolen as they worked the dinner rush at Hot Lips.

“I was out for a break 10 minute before,” said Petrilli. “I could have seen it happen if I had stayed out there two minutes longer.”

Next door, Killer Burger employees said they were also broken into—twice in the last few months. Following the Monday break-in, Hit the Spot was still closed on Friday as the owners worked to replace approximately $1,500 worth of stolen sales equipment.

“We are losing a significant amount of money in sales,” said Hit the Spot owner Jeremy Sivers. “Closed for a week—that is the most frustrating part.”

Business owners and employees feel that improving response times from police could help with some of the issues. Petrilli said often times it takes three hours for an officer to come out after they make a non-emergency call.

“Everyone I talked to is unbelievable frustrated with the last of response,” said Daniel Drumwright, the owner of Whole Bowl food cart.

After the theft, Hot Lips is now installing security cameras to catch those responsible in the future. Henderson estimates the cost to repair the valve stem runs around $20-40 per car. The pizza place had to borrow cars from other store locations while they made the repairs.

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