PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — People in Portland’s Hazelwood neighborhood have been waiting for something to stop the rampant shoplifting at businesses in the area. They welcome the coordinated shoplifting stings police and retailers have held over the past few months but they question how effective they will be.

Several businesses in the area around Mall 205 and the Gateway Shopping Center — which is where the most recent retail theft sting took place on Sunday — told KOIN 6 News they routinely deal with break-ins.

There was a spike in burglaries in this neighborhood in 2022.

Ezequiel Gutierrez, the owner of Mi Cava Cocina, told KOIN 6 News he sees “broken glass around the area. That’s an everyday scene nowadays.”

His landlord brought in private security — that Gutierrez is paying for.

“When we first opened here, we had multiple break-ins, thousands of dollars in losses, called the police,” Gutierrez said. “They come and give us a little card, a little report. But no one followed through.”

He wants to see more done. So does Darren, who said he sees shoplifting “all the time and you see stores closing.”

“It’s sad. When you lived here and you grew up here, you don’t want to see this because it’s home,” Darren said. But the shoplifting stings, he said, “was for show a little bit.”

A graphic showing burglaries in Portland's Hazelwood neighborhood since 2018 (PPB, March 6, 2023)
A graphic showing burglaries in Portland’s Hazelwood neighborhood since 2018 (PPB, March 6, 2023)

Law enforcement made arrests on the spot Sunday. The 2 previous shoplifting stings netted 104 arrests and nearly $11,000 in stolen items recovered.

Portland police told KOIN 6 News the Sunday operation led to 34 arrests and more than $3000 in stolen items recovered. They also served 28 warrants and recovered 7 stolen vehicles being driven.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has not responded at this time to a question about the cases surrounding the 104 previous arrests.