PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Continued vandalism in Portland leaves business owners having to pick up the pieces.
Several businesses told KOIN 6 News that they’ve been dealing with vandalism and break-ins and say these issues are only getting worse.
One boutique owner says her business was broken into Thursday morning.
Ragan VanSise, the owner of Ragan’s Boutique, says she got a phone call Thursday from another business to let her know her front door had been smashed. She says she’s not the only business that has had to deal with broken windows lately, and that she will have to replace more than just windows.
“They got away with a whole bunch of denim, jewelry and handbags,” she said. “It’s been rough. It’s been a rough week.”
Surveillance cameras captured a man milling around the store shortly after the break-in.
VanSise says she’s always dreamed of owning a boutique like this, but, the past couple of years have been challenging in Portland.
“I’m so tired of this, it’s wearing me down,” she said. “I feel sad. I feel like giving up, and I never thought if I got a chance to do this I would give up.”
She also said that sees people on drugs and in mental health crisis on the streets around her store.
“I was born and raised here and it’s heartbreaking to me what’s happening, this is the worst it’s ever been,” VanSise said. “The city needs to figure out a way to help these people.”
In North Portland, KOIN 6 News spoke with Amanda Horne, owner of Grindhouse Coffee, who has similar concerns.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of break-ins and unfortunately a lot of vandalism,” she said. “It’s unfortunate this is happening in Portland right now.”
Horne says they added bars on the window and steel doors to prevent break-ins, but says someone came and smashed the stained glass anyway. She also told KOIN 6 that the times she’s responded to vandalism, she’s found homeless men on her doorstep, who she says were clearly on drugs.
She tries not to take it personally, but it’s hard when she sees the damage to the stained glass her grandpa made for her — her grandpa, who was a stained-glass artist, passed away in February. Multiple customers started a GoFundMe to help Horne replace the windows.
Horne said she didn’t bother to tell the police about this latest instance.
“The vandalisms I haven’t reported. The last break-in, the cops took four hours to get here. I know that they’re sparse and they have more important things to do, which is exactly what they told me,” she said. “I do feel like we need more policing and our streets need to be cleaned up and people who are homeless need a better direction.”