PORTLAND, Ore. – A mob of dozens of people crowded Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard Thursday night, throwing rocks through bank building windows and bottles at pedestrians, according to Portland police.
Police said one caller to 911 reported that the group numbered between 50 and 75 people. It was reported that the vandals also walked into traffic and blocked vehicles. No arrests have been made, police said.
It is unknown at this time what motivated the vandalism.
Messages returned to KATU News by local members of the Occupy movement said the event was not sanctioned, organized or affiliated with them. "The action last night was not an Occupy Portland action or march," a spokesperson said.
Virginia Suftin said she saw about 50 people headed her way. "I heard the noise and the glass shattering as I was walking to my apartment," she said. "and they threw a rock right at the bank."
"They had a huge banner that said 'no prisons, hug cats'? And a bunch were wearing ski masks," Suftin recalled.
A total of four banks and a pharmacy were hit by the mob. Someone in the group threw a rock through the Chase Bank Window at 3902 Southeast Hawthorne, police said.
They also said the group broke windows at the U.S. Bank at 1225 Southeast Cesar Chavez Boulevard and the Walgreens Drug Store nearby.
The Umpqua Bank at 3557 Southeast Hawthorne and the Wells Fargo Bank at 3782 Hawthorne were also hit by the vandals.
Police collected evidence at the banks, including what was observed to be a large rock at the Chase Bank that a police officer placed into an evidence bag.
Police detained several people but haven’t arrested anyone at this time. They said the group was last seen walking eastbound on Southeast Belmont Street and then scattered.
Police said they will contact the affected businesses to find out if they have surveillance video so investigators can attempt to identify suspects.
They are also asking that anyone who has video of the incidents or information about the vandalism to email Portland police at CrimeTips@PortlandOregon.gov.