East Portland’s Red Castle Games burgled thrice in two months

INCLUDES ASTOUNDING SECURITY VIDEO | Learn why the owner feels overwhelmed by the loss to his small business in outer East Portland, after being burglarized, over and over …

This family-owned store, Red Castle Games, has been the repeated target of burglars – three times, in just seven weeks.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

All over Portland, criminals smashing plate glass windows and burglarizing businesses has become rather commonplace; so common, in fact, that it often doesn’t make it into the evening TV news anymore.

However, a burglary – or, more accurately, a series of three burgling break-ins – took place overnight on Sunday, August 6, at Red Castle Games on S.E. Foster Road, at the corner of 72nd Avenue.

As seen in this still frame from video surveillance, in the first crime of the night a burglar enters the store, snatches up merchandise, and then heads back out the door.

“The first call, early that Sunday morning, from the alarm company, was at 1:57 a.m.,” owner Matthew Micetic told East Portland News.

Then, hearing a commotion, residents of the 72FOSTER apartment building nearby called in again at 2:30 a.m. – and yet another called person reported another break-in around 6 a.m., Micetic said.

During the series of break-ins, a criminal uses a crowbar to pry open the door of a storage room. Video surveillance still frame

Apparently at no time were Portland Police Bureau officers dispatched to the store by the Bureau of Emergency Services, which operates the 9-1-1 service.

A check of its communications log for that 24 hour time period listed six (6) burglary calls dispatched – but none of them was to that address.

Watch, and listen, as burglars steal merchandise from this local, family-owned store:

“I don’t know where the failure occurred,” Micetic commented. “I realize that the police are understaffed; but, at the same time, those who commit crimes are not being held accountable for their actions.”

Intent on taking another load of merchandise from the store, this crook casually strolls back into the business for seconds. Video surveillance still frame

Security camera footage – with sound – clearly documented people breaking into the store, looting it of merchandise, and exiting out the front of the building, on at least three different occasions that same morning.

“It’s like when people broke in on June 7, when I lost $10,000 in merchandise and building damages,” Micetic said. This was followed by another burglary on July 30, and an abortive break in – through the same boarded-up window again – on June 31.

Sound in this video surveillance segment captures the two criminals discussing which products to steal, and which to leave behind.

At the most recent incident, as was the case previously on June 7, criminals broke into the storeroom, and loaded up a wheeled 40-gallon trash can with such products such as Magic the Game and Pokemon sets – then, just wheeled the stash out of the store. “You can hear them talking while in our stock room saying ‘don’t take that, it’s not valuable; take this instead’ as they rummage around,” Micetic remarked.

At first glance, Micetic and his staff estimated that the burglars stole about $15,000 of merchandise. “But now, as we’ve completed doing inventory a couple of days later, it’s really closer to $58,000 in lost product and property damage,” he told us on August 9.

So far, Micetic hasn’t made any insurance claims for the losses. “I’m afraid that, if I do, I’ll lose my business insurance, or the rates will skyrocket.

In addition to cleaning up the mess left in the wake of this burglary, the store’s owner is facing mounting bills for replacing windows and merchandise.

“It is becoming more and more difficult to be a small business owner in Portland, with the constant threat of crime,” Micetic said. “We’ll likely endure this attack on our business, but I really don’t know if we’ll survive another loss of this size.”

If you have information that can help bring these criminals to justice, email it to crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov, and write that your information is about Case No. 23-205662.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

Comments are closed.

© 2005-2024 David F. Ashton East PDX News™. All Rights Reserved.