PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland City Council unanimously passed a yearly budget Wednesday night with a clear focus on crime, but one woman says more has to be done for victims of car thefts.
Margaret Tapley showed up at City Hall Wednesday morning to ask Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and commissioners, to help the thousands of people impacted by car theft. Tapley says her car has been stolen five times in the past year.
“For someone like me, your car is the most valuable thing you own and you don’t know if you’ll ever see it again,” Tapley said. “Losing your car means losing your job, means losing your housing, means you’re spiraling into the kind of poverty that’s nearly impossible to pull yourself out of.”
According to data from Portland Police Bureau, more than 6,000 cars have been reported stolen in the last six months.
“There is an epidemic of car theft, catalytic converter theft and other criminal activity in the city,” Wheeler said.
Tapley explained that even if your vehicle is found, you’re still on the hook for hundreds of dollars in tow truck fees and repairs. She told the council she didn’t show up to offer advice on how to prevent thefts but instead was hoping to suggest something that would ease the financial burden of victims.
“The city should pick up the tab for the tow. That’s hundreds of dollars that would go back into the pocket of somebody who really needs it,” Tapley said.
Mayor Wheeler said it’s something the council could look into. He also said they’re working on “lots of solutions” regarding the issue.