Portland Police Closer to Cracking Theft Ring

November 24, 2014

Police say they’ve made progress in solving a series of burglaries at new home construction sites across the Portland, Ore., metropolitan area. The thefts have cost more than 20 homebuilders and related companies thousands of dollars in the past year.

The Oregonian reports that a transient already jailed on an unrelated matter has been charged with three counts of burglary and six theft counts and additional charges are pending. Tigard police spokesman Jim Wolf says there could be additional arrests.

The 14-month investigation has involved six police agencies. On Wednesday, Wolf says Tigard and Happy Valley police seized a host of recovered appliances from a southeast Portland residence.

Dave Nielsen is chief executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland. He says there’s always going to be some kind of theft, but this was “an obviously professional hit ring” that knew how to target model homes, staged homes or homes under construction.

Wolf says the thieves made off with refrigerator-freezers, ovens, microwaves, venting systems, televisions, tableware, draperies and wall art.

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