As the storm quickly moved in, one local driver coming home from work in Oregon City had to leave his car along northbound I-205 just before the Washington Street and Mall 205 exit. He tried to walk home from there, not realizing his car would be targeted before he could get it back out.
His wife Brenda said she had texted her husband to come home just as the snowstorm began.
“When I sent him a picture of our house with the snow, he said, ‘Oh my gosh,’ so he immediately left to come home, without being prepared, really,” Brenda said. “He tried to go up the hill but a bus kind of had jackknifed on the top of the hill and he couldn’t get up the hill and neither could a lot of other cars, so he was able to back our car back down the hill and park it on the side of the freeway.”
Like many, he left his car when he wasn’t able to go any further on the roads because of disabled vehicles. After parking, he started walking through the freezing weather to get home.
On Friday, friends went to help him pull his car out from the spot along I-205, when he discovered the passenger window was broken and thieves stole much of what was left inside.
Brenda said it looked like they weren’t the only car targeted.
“It looked like at least two or three cars left with windows broken out. My husband could see spots where people had come to retrieve their cars and there was broken glass all over the ground,” Brenda said. “They had broken out our window and they stole whatever they could grab out of our car.”
Brenda said it appeared that someone had taken a cooler, an air mattress, her husband’s thermos and even some jewelry.
“My husband had a couple crosses that were important to him, hanging from his windshield rearview mirror,” Brenda said.
For now, they were able to get the car back home in SE Portland and are covering the broken window with a tarp until it can be fixed.
Brenda said she and her husband are frustrated because it’s more money out-of-pocket to fix the windows, in addition to trying to get the car home, and they feel like those who were caught in the weather were already going through enough.
KOIN 6 reached out to Oregon State Police and Portland Police Bureau and neither says they’ve seen any theft reports come in yet. PPB added that they typically receive online reports of car prowls usually a bit later after they’re discovered.