PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Nearly two weeks after a home intruder was released from jail, Portland police say she is in trouble again, this time for alleged harassment and shoplifting.
Terri Zinser, 54, was re-arrested Monday around 10:15 p.m. on Southeast Powell Boulevard, between 112th and 115th avenues.
PPB said they received complaints of Zinser acting erratic and harassing people in the area. Zinser was allegedly trying to break into vehicles and shoplifted a nearby store, according to authorities.
Zinser is charged with providing police false information, third-degree theft, and second-degree disorderly conduct. The District Attorney’s Office issued a “no complaint” on these charges — meaning they aren’t pursuing them now but can in the future after more investigation — but she remains in the Multnomah County Jail on a “county hold.” In the jail roster, her name is spelled Zinzer.
Prior to this most recent arrest, Ring camera footage captured Zinser on Sept. 13 napping inside Kelsey Smith’s home in Northeast Portland. Smith told KOIN 6’s Joelle Jones it was “horrifying” to find a stranger curled up in her 10-year-old’s bed.
Smith said when she confronted the barefoot intruder, Zinser picked up an ottoman and chucked it at her before running off.
Zinser was later arrested but not before she hit another home.
“She started by going up to my neighbor two doors down and urinating on their porch, and then she came directly over to my house, came in, crawled up into the bed and that whole thing happened,” said Smith. “They actually found her five minutes later around the corner trying to break into somebody else’s house. So, what happens the next time that she breaks into somebody’s house, and they have a gun?”
Zinser was taken into custody for first-degree burglary and harassment charges, however, she was released from jail the next day on “no complaint.”
“No complaint” means that the district attorney’s office is not pursuing these charges at this time but can bring the charges again in the future following further investigation.
Despite having no criminal convictions, Zinser has been arrested multiple times in the past for criminal trespassing, harassment, and theft. Court documents reveal she has failed to appear in court 11 times before.
After Zinser’s latest arrest, Smith sent another statement to KOIN 6 News, saying she hopes Zinser gets the help she needs, “both for her sake and the victims of her crimes.”
“They cannot continue to let her back on the street over and over again, or the next story might very well be covering her death, and the traumatized homeowner who shot her,” Smith said. “The police are doing their jobs, I’m sure they are absolutely as frustrated as we are. This is on the city officials, but it’s so much bigger than this one story.”
Smith believes this could have gone differently if there were services in place that “supported people’s needs, instead of waiting until they are in crisis.”
“All of this highlights the work I’m doing with Advocates for Disability Supports, which wants to make sure that children with mental health needs are supported in their home from the first day of diagnosis,” she continued. “This is bigger than a Portland issue. The nation has to come together and realize the long-term value of supporting families in crisis. Without acknowledging the importance of mental health supports, all we’re doing is putting a bandaid on these problems.”
After initially declining to comment, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office later told KOIN 6 News that Zinser’s “lack of participation in treatment” warrants her case to be reviewed by their Strategic Prosecution Unit.
The DA’s Office’s full statement can be read below:
“Based on recent federal court rulings and recent history with this defendant having similar cases dismissed due to a lack of participation in treatment and the court’s inability to compel the defendant to participate in treatment, we had initial concerns about whether we could proceed with this case at this time. The lack of mental health resources in our community is unacceptable when coupled with the inability to compel unadjudicated defendants to engage in available treatment options. The current crisis of capacity at the Oregon State Hospital puts the safety of our community, and the most vulnerable persons in our community, at risk. In this particular case, the accused had recently spent months at the Oregon State Hospital during which time the staff there was unable to restore her ability to aid and assist her court appointed lawyer. She was then ordered to engage in treatment in the community, but she did not appear for her evaluation and she left the treatment facility. Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Nan Waller dismissed the previous charges pending against her in early August. Our Strategic Prosecution Unit is reviewing this case and the previously dismissed cases to determine whether we are able to proceed with prosecution. Due to the ongoing process, MCDA will not be making further comments on this issue.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler issued a statement to KOIN 6 News as well, calling the fact she was issued a “no complaint” concerning.
“This continued behavior is highly concerning. Our County partners must give proper weight to community impact when considering pretrial release of arrestees,” Wheeler said. “Services and supervision must be assured when those who cause harm are released from custody. Anything less risks further public harm and misses an opportunity to create lasting change for those arrested.”