Portland burglar shot by business owner

Police Line / Police Tape" by Tony Webster is marked with CC BY 2.0 DEED.

Portland, Oregon’s crime problems are well known far beyond the borders of the city, though it’s generally violent crimes that are making headlines. The city saw a record-high number of homicides last year, and only about half of them resulted in an arrest.


But while the homicide figures may generate the most headlines, almost every category of crime is rising across the city, including burglaries and retail theft. In fact, things have gotten so bad that a major retailers like Walmart are pulling out of the city, while some locally-owned businesses have been forced to close their doors because of the rampant theft.

If you’re a business owner in Portland it pays to be vigilant, and as one man learned this week, it’s a good idea to be able to defend yourself as well.

Portland police believe the man found shot in the Concordia neighborhood on Monday had broken into a business when an encounter with the owner escalated to a shooting.

According to police, at around 5:30 a.m., the burglary suspect, whom authorities haven’t identified, tried breaking into a business on Northeast Columbia Boulevard, east of Northeast 33rd Avenue. During the alleged break-in, police say the suspect and business owner got into a confrontation and shots were fired.

When officials arrived at the scene, the suspect was taken to a hospital with serious gunshot wounds.

The Portland Police Bureau said the owner, who was not hurt in the incident, stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators.


For now the investigation remains open, but if the initial police reports are accurate it sounds like the business owner was acting in self-defense.

While Democratic lawmakers in Oregon are advancing legislation aimed at retail theft, they’re also pushing for even more restrictions on legal gun owners. The state’s ban on “large capacity” magazines and it’s permit-to-purchase measure (which were narrowly approved by voters last year) are on hold thanks to court decisions, but the anti-gun majority in Salem is trying to put several additional restrictions in place including raising the age to purchase a modern sporting rifle from 18 to 21, banning home-built firearms, and expanding the number of “gun-free zones” established by state law.

It’s not responsible gun owners who are causing Portland’s downward spiral. Talk with local business owners and it’s evident that the city’s response to the growing lawlessness has been embarrassingly inadequate.

FOX 12 spoke to multiple local business owners and they all point to crime as the main reason many are leaving Southeast 82nd Avenue, including Walmart. Though a spokesperson for Walmart told FOX 12 last week there is no single reason for a decision to close a store, other business owners said they’re dealing with similar problems as Walmart: vandalism and shoplifting. Darrel Hanson has owned his muffler shop on Southeast 82nd avenue for nearly four decades. He said he’s watched the surrounding neighborhood decline in recent years.

“The whole 82nd area has changed in the last 20 years, especially in the last 10 years,” Hanson said. “Each year it keeps going down and down and down. More crime, garbage, homeless people, drugs and nobody wants to help.”

The Eastport Plaza sits in the Lents Neighborhood in Southeast Portland. According to Portland Police crime data, between Jan. 2022 and 2023, there were 147 burglaries, 634 personal property thefts, 424 car thefts, 53 robberies, and three stolen property offenses. This is just what’s reported to the police. Hanson said some fellow business owners don’t even call when something happens to their property.

An example can be seen on the north side of the Eastport Plaza. The U.S. Post Office has every window covered with plywood to hide broken windows. Those who use the post office told FOX 12 it’s been like that for weeks. A spokesperson for the United States Postal Service said on Monday they were sending out a contractor to get measurements to replace the windows. Hanson said the vandalism at the post office is just one case after months of ongoing property crime.

“We’re basically going through hell and we’re going through really sad times,” Hanson said. “We have no support, no backup.”


But they still have the right of self-defense, which is important given the staggering number of burglaries, robberies, and other acts of violence taking place. Portland’s business owners may not be able to fight City Hall’s progressive politics that have helped to create this nightmare, but at least they can still protect themselves if they are the target of a violent intruder or armed robber.

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