Police looking to put pressure on car vandals by seeking public’s help

Police looking to put pressure on car vandals by seeking public’s help »Play Video
Portland police Detective John Fulitano (standing) speaks to the members of the community Wednesday, many of whom have been the victims of car vandalism.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Punctured tires. Slashed soft-tops. Keyed cars. Portland police have had it, and so have the hundreds of victims who've come forward so far.

Ladds Addition in Southeast Portland is one of the areas on the east side of the city that’s been hit hard by these vandals targeting mostly SUVs and trucks parked on the street.

Police have been working these cases for seven months and Wednesday night they revealed they have a pattern to all of it, which they presented on a map during a community meeting. There have been more than 500 cases of vehicle vandalism on the city's east side.

Police think they’ll be able to solve the cases with more information from more victims.

Portland police Detective John Fulitano has read every police report that's been filed over the past seven months – half of them are from people who've had their tires punctured.

"They aren't done with a knife," he said during the meeting. "This is different. This is a puncture. Those of you that are victims of it know it's a needle kind of hole."

Nearly everyone at the meeting was a victim of damaged tires, or in Christy Webber's case, a slashed soft-top.

"(A) 500-dollar deductible, and the whole repair was about 1,500 (dollars)," she told KATU.

And police estimate whoever did it has caused an estimated $70,000 in total damage to other cars just like Webber's.

Futilano said the crimes are happening overnight, only in north and southeast Portland, and not past 72nd Avenue.

And now, cars are also getting keyed.

Police don't have a suspect or a motive, but the public could have clues.

"I think they (the police) need more community awareness," said Webber. "Because it's such a wide area, you don't really know who's going to hit what (and) where."

Until police make an arrest, Webber's protecting her property.

"It has been out of town, and I've swapped cars," she said.

There are three more of these community meetings happening over the next week.

Brooklyn/Sellwood-Moreland/Neighborhoods
Thursday, November 14, 2013
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Aladdin Theater
3017 Southeast Milwaukie Avenue

Grant Park/Rose City Park/Beaumont-Wilshire/Hollywood Neighborhoods Tuesday, November 19, 2013
6:30-8:00 p.m.
Grant Park Church
2728 Northeast 34th Avenue

Alameda/Irvington/Sabin Neighborhoods
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
6:30-8:00 p.m.
Alameda School, Cafeteria
2732 Northeast Fremont Street