Northeast Portland

Neighbors worried after string of garage, shed burglaries

Neighbors worried after string of garage, shed burglaries »Play Video
John McCann (left) said he found something missing from his garage, along with something that didn't belong there.

PORTLAND, Ore. – John McCann woke up to find his garage door left open.

When he went inside, he discovered his heater was missing. Even more surprising, McCann said, was that he found something he hadn’t seen before.

“About four feet away, a cloth bag, like a shopping bag, and it had art supplies in it,” McCann said.

He reported the burglary to police, and soon learned that his heater was recovered from a different garage with a similar report.

“Whoever left the heater at the other person’s house took something else,” McCann said.

He can only guess why.

“A reverse scavenger hunt, just to prove you could break into it, steal something and make off with it like it was fun,” McCann said. “Because they were never really taking anything of great value.”

No matter the reason, McCann and his neighbors are on the lookout.

The victims are all in the Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood of Northeast Portland. Police said at least six garages or sheds were broken into at the end of October. While many of the homes impacted have security systems, the garages and sheds that were actually broken into were left unlocked.

Similar burglaries happened at two homes for sale near McCann’s house. A bike was stolen from one home, while a bike that didn’t belong was found at another.

Dave Steinman said his neighbor’s garage was broken into last week, which would be the seventh victim.

“All it takes is one to cause concern,” said Steinman.

Neighbors are emailing each other to warn everyone in the area.

“It was concerning to me,” said Shannon Weir. “I thought we better keep all the doors and gates locked.”

The neighborhood association has been in touch with police and hopes to get more information on Tuesday. They plan to send out another warning email this week.

We heard about this story from a KATU news tip. If you have news in your neighborhood, send us an email to