Food cart owners fear vandals will put them out of business

Food cart owners fear vandals will put them out of business »Play Video
Someone's been cutting the power cords at two Northeast Portland food cart pods. The reason for the vandalism is not clear.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Someone continues to vandalize two Northeast Portland food cart pods. It's been going on for six months now.

Vandals have cut the power cords to carts at Green Castle at Northeast 20th and Everett and Rose City at Northeast 52nd and Sandy.

The cart owners say they don't understand why they're being hit. Is it for money? Are they competitors? Or are they just doing it for the thrill of it?

Cart owners are just not sure what the motive is.

Jason Manolian found four of his power cords cut in just a matter of a few weeks at the Green Castle carts.

"We lost – on average – 12 to 20 feet, I would say every time," he said.

The recent incidents aren't the first time the vandals have struck. During the summer, cart owners also discovered dozens of cut cords.

There are a couple of different theories about who is most likely vandalizing the carts. Some think they are metal thieves going after the copper wire inside the power cords. But others aren't so sure because the cords are cut right at the source, and the wire wasn't taken, which leads some to think it's the competition.

Cart owner James Garcelon said that's the only thing that makes sense to him, because the vandals sometimes leave most or all of the cords behind.

"You take a foot out, and that's just to shut someone down or to cause their inventory to spoil," he said.

But other cart owners don't want to believe that.

"I really hope that's not the case, because we all know how hard it is," said Autumn Burns whose power cord was also cut. "I mean, we're here 17 hours a day."

Whoever is responsible for the vandalism, cart owners say they can't afford to keep paying the repair expenses.

"It's 150 bucks a pop," Manolian said.

The Portland Police Bureau is investigating. Cart owners say they hope someone will start talking so police can catch the culprits before the vandalism drives some of them out of business.