Rash of break-ins plagues Portland’s food carts

Crime

Half dozen food carts at Southeast Portland pod hit with break-ins

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Burglars smashed into about a half dozen food carts at a pod in Southeast Portland this weekend. Other carts have been targeted as well this week as cases of theft and break-ins continue to increase in the Rose City.

Cart owners told KOIN 6 News with many of their businesses struggling due to COVID, this is the last thing they need this holiday season. Those owners say the time and money spent on repairs is a big drag on their already tight margins.

At the pod at SE Bush and Foster, were busy Saturday morning repairing damaged locks, doors and windows. Food cart pod owner Steve Woolard said carts and structures on the property have experienced at least 10 break ins in the last 6 months alone. He said each one instance of repairs of this kind usually costs around $500-$1,000.

Cart owners said the people or person responsible didn’t get away with much. Woolard said food cart owners are smart enough to know to bring all their valuables home in the evening, including cash.

During a time when businesses are already struggling, cart owners said they can’t afford to have profits eaten away by repairs or downtime.

“It’s been a heck of year. Because of COVID, we can’t have indoor seating at this time. Which this time of year really comes in handy because our lot does have heated indoor seating and we’re not allowed to do that. Now on top of that, we’re broken into,” Woolard said.

The owner of Psycho Burger, John Nashlune, expects the thefts to continue, saying people get more desperate during the holidays and the weather gets colder. He said this is at least the sixth time someone has tried to break into his cart.

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