Portland officials remove stolen cars from neighborhood after KOIN 6 News report
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — KOIN 6 News was the first to expose the security issues and criminal activity taking place right outside Portlanders’ homes in the West Kenton neighborhood. Now the city says Portland police have filed a reduction and crews have been working to clean up the site.
The city’s database shows the West Kenton neighborhood has reported illegal activity with stolen vehicles more than 60 times in the past few months with no response from the city.
Last week, the site had several cars on the grass, and others hidden in the trees.
Neighbors also captured photos of stolen vehicles showing severed daily and catalytic converters in front of their homes.
After seeing this, the city says PPB filed a reduction based on ongoing criminal activity.
On Thursday, PBOT and the police came to clean up the site and recover the stolen cars. They pruned the trees and the transformation is day and night.
Neighbors are relieved to see the results, but still fear criminals and must remain anonymous for security reasons.
“So grateful, I can’t thank the people for listening, the city for listening, all of you for making the effort to propel our voice, everyone is so thrilled,” a neighbor told KOIN 6 News.
“If it hadn’t been for your reporting and KOIN, we would still have this criminal at the end of our street.”
Police have recovered two stolen cars, but they say the camp has been abandoned and no arrests have been made.
“That’s the bitter part of this whole story,” said a neighbor.
As KOIN 6 News reported last week, if no one is arrested or prosecuted for these crimes, neighbors say these criminals are taking their business elsewhere.
For example, a KOIN 6 News team discovered that a green tour bus associated with and pictured at the original site in North Trenton just drove 6 minutes away near Farragut Park.
“What part of the system did we really fail to make this happen? Personally, I think it’s the DA,” said a neighbor.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office responded by sharing its rate of vehicle theft prosecutions.
Since Mike Schmidt took over at the end of 2020, he’s been pursuing an average of 64% of cases.
The prosecutor’s office says it can only prosecute people who come to them.
Meanwhile, police have long said they no longer have the resources or manpower to tackle a robbery like this.