Crook smashes and steals, during Montavilla power blackout

See the damage left behind from an opportunistic crime spree in outer East Portland from which the thief profited little …

Police come to the Montavilla business district, to investigate a series of attempted break-ins that resulted in broken glass doors, during an overnight power outage.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Perhaps thinking he’d take advantage of an electrical power outage in the early morning hours of September 24, a man started smashing glass doors, trying to gain entry to Montavilla area businesses.

Along SE Stark Street, from SE 80th and 87th Avenues, alarms triggered at businesses – including at Montavilla Sewing Center, at 8326 SE Stark Street.

Workers from a glass company begin rebuilding the front doors at the Montavilla Sewing Center / Starks Vacuums.

“Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers responded to the store at 2:44 a.m. to conduct a premise check, after a report that someone broke out a window and tripped an alarm at the business,” said the Bureau’s Public Information Officer, Sgt. Pete Simpson.

“The officers spoke with a business employee who also responded to the alarm call,” Simpson added. “The front door to the business was broken out.”

A witness reported seeing an unknown person wearing a dark hoody walking westbound on Stark Street breaking out business windows, Simpson said.

They’re open for business, but with a broken front door, at the Chevy Store.

The door at Let’s Brew was completely kicked in, and is now boarded up until the door can be replaced.

Six businesses, including Let’s Brew, The Chevy Store, and Monti’s Cafe, also had doors either broken, or completely kicked in.

The suspect was able to break into boutique Branch and Birdie, located at 8021 SE Stark Street, and tried to pry open the drawer of the cash register, owner Anna Fickle told reporters.

However, because the store’s video surveillance system had a backup battery power supply, Fickle did have video of the thief in action to show police.

By late morning, the businesses were open, albeit some with broken front doors. A PPB Forensics Division Criminologist, his kit in hand, made his way from business to business, collecting evidence.

The door at Monti’s Cafe also was kicked in.

One of his stops was Monti’s Cafe, built into the east end of the Monticello Antique Market – a business that repeatedly had its own plate glass windows smashed last December [see our story about it: CLICK HERE]. This time, Monti’s was the one with glass broken.

The cafe’s manager said it was the second time in three weeks that they’ve replaced the glass in their business’s front door.

According to police reports, the actual amount of theft losses was minimal, but the suspect left behind a wake of very expensive glass damage.

Area residents or business people with information about the suspect, are encouraged to call the Police Non-Emergency Line at (503) 823-3333.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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