Premium

Kindergarten Teacher Carjacked As Portland Crime Escalates

A Portland teacher who was delivering school supplies to students was the victim of a carjacking this week, becoming one of the latest crime victims in a city beset by growing violence.

Police are looking for two suspects in the incident, which took place in broad daylight on the city’s northeast side.

Police said the victim, a kindergarten teacher, was delivering supplies to students when two suspects approached her car door, opened it, pointed a firearm at her, and demanded the car.

The woman fled the vehicle and the suspects, described as two Black males in their late teens to early 20s, drove away.

A neighbor told FOX 12 that crime is not new to this area but says he’s shocked it happened in broad daylight.

“I wasn’t home, but my roommates were. A lot of my neighbors are home during the day,” said Paul Berci. “It’s unusual and it definitely feels a little unsettling.”

There’s no shortage of unsettling news in Portland these days between the antifa types and would-be revolutionaries intent on destroying capitalism and the staggering rise in gang-related violence. Portland’s seen more than 800 shootings this year, which is more than double the number of incidents in 2019.

Since Saturday alone there have been at least five shootings. On Monday 44-year-old Michael Arthur was shot and killed during an armed robbery at a North Portland marijuana dispensary.

16-year-old Abdushukri Uren was killed earlier in the day near Southeast 136th Avenue and Southeast Division Street. Over the weekend, authorities say, more than 60 rounds were fired near Northeast Stafford Street and Northeast 11th Avenue.

“These are bullets that could hit anybody, walking their dog, minding their own business, driving down the street,” said Lt. Pashley.

Detectives are working to solve the cases. They are pleading with cooperation from the public.

“People know some of who’s committing these crimes,” said Lt. Pashely. “We need people to come forward and provide that kind of information. That may take a fair amount of courage sometimes.”

People are less likely to come forward if they’re scared, or if they believe that their testimony won’t matter much in a system that quickly returns criminals to the streets. Why would you put your neck out to publicly testify or cooperate with police if the most likely outcome is retaliation by gang members or armed robbers, not justice in court?

The cycle of violence is likely going to continue to escalate thanks to feckless politicians like Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County, D.A. Mike Schmidt. The downtown area of the city has been so devastated by repeated riots and violent protests that now many business owners say they can’t get insurance for their properties.

Jessica Getman, president of Brown & Brown Insurance Northwest, said that some insurance carriers have placed moratoriums on issuing new commercial insurance policies or increasing coverage for existing customers in downtown Portland, creating a barrier for anyone trying to open a new business. She said it is not uncommon for carriers to place temporary pauses on issuing new policies in areas where there is a perceived increased risk, such as when there are wildfires nearby.

While Getman said most insurance carriers aren’t walking away from existing customers in downtown Portland, she said owners who have had to file claims for property loss and damage this year could have a harder time renewing their policies or finding affordable options that offer property coverage. Business owners both in downtown and elsewhere in Portland where there have been instances of vandalism say they’ve run into this issue.
“The civil unrest and riots that have occurred have put Portland on the map,” Getman said. “We’re talking about insurance carriers that not only have a footprint here in Oregon, but nationally, and many are based outside of Oregon. So, they are seeing all of this heightened awareness of crime and damaged buildings over the news. That has made carriers more sensitive.”
Portland is a city in decline and it’s entirely of its own making, though that doesn’t mean that there aren’t innocent victims of the city’s light-on-crime approach. In fact, there are more innocent victims every day because of the unwillingness of city leaders to crack down on the violence. It’s incredibly sad to witness what’s happening in Portland, and I don’t expect it to change for the better any time soon, unfortunately.
May 17, 2021 1:30 PM ET