PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Police Bureau has launched an investigation into a series of robberies, thefts, and vandalism in Southeast Portland believed to be conducted by the same group of people.
Investigators said the suspect descriptions and proximity of the crimes indicated the same group of people were involved in similar crimes over the past several days.
Three of the four recent incidents happened on May 17 between 3 and 7:30 p.m. in the Montavilla neighborhood. PPB said the group entered a convenience store in the 9100 block of SE Division Street and began stealing items. On their way out, they pushed an employee out of their way to escape.
Roughly 20 minutes later, the group entered a restaurant about four blocks west on Division. They began yelling loudly at staff, creating a disturbance while one of the group stole the tip jar, then the whole group left, according to PPB.
The group entered a nearby salon at around 3:45 p.m. and began throwing products from shelves and table tops onto the floor. Members of the group then moved into an employee-only area and stole personal property. PPB said at least one person attempted to take a purse from a customer.
At about 4:15 p.m., the group approached a person parking a car in the 2700 block of SE 82nd Avenue in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood. PPB said they surrounded the car and demanded money from the driver. One of the group members stole property from inside the car before the group ran off, according to police.
A half-hour later, the group surrounded a different car as it drove through a parking lot in the 5200 block of SE 82nd Avenue, and got the driver to stop. One of the people in the group opened the driver side door and pulled the driver out of the car. The group got into the vehicle and drove off.
The group was seen driving the stolen car in the area of SE 86th Avenue and SE Bush Street in the Lents Neighborhood around 7:30 p.m. At that point, members of the group blocked the path of a person driving through that area, trying to get the car to stop. However, the driver was able to drive away.
PPB said the people in the group were described as one Black female and up to four Black males, ranging in age from mid to late teens. Investigators believe others may have been victims of these suspects, but have not called in to make a report.