Image source: Oregon Live
Break-ins have become a persistent problem in Portland, Oregon, and a clothing store recently closed permanently due to the thefts.
This month, a series of break-ins has left the store owner in financial disarray.
The store owner then posted a note on the front of the store announcing the closure of their business.
The clothing store’s statement cited criminal behavior and employee safety concerns as reasons for the closure.
“Our city is in peril,” the Rains PDX store note reads. “Small businesses (and large) cannot sustain doing business in our city’s current state.”
“We have no protection, or recourse, against the criminal behavior that goes unpunished. Do not be fooled into thinking that insurance companies cover losses.”
“We have sustained 15 break-ins,” it continued. “We have not received any financial reimbursement since the 3rd.”
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Marcy Landolfo, the owner, said she had suffered 14 robberies in the last year and a half.
As a result, the business can no longer survive the financial strain all the break-ins cost the store.
“The problem is, as small businesses, we cannot sustain those types of losses and stay in business,” said Landolfo.
“I won’t even go into the numbers of how much has been out of pocket.”
“The products that are being targeted are the very expensive winter products and I just felt like the minute I get those in the store, they’re going to get stolen.”
Last month, Rains PDX had another break-in, which became the tipping point.
Meanwhile, Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office is hatching a plan to help business owners fix their businesses financially.
However, Marcy Landolfo said more than addressing crime in Portland is needed.
“Paying for glass, that’s great; but that is so surface and does nothing for the root cause of the problem, so it’s never going to change,” she said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office said Mayor Wheeler and his team understand the situation local businesses face.
They said companies should pay out of pocket or file a claim with their insurance company.
On Sunday, the spokesperson said:
“For this reason, we’ve worked to increase funding for Business Repair Grants through Prosper Portland, and recently held a Retail Safety Summit to strategize with local business leaders and loss prevention specialists on the retail theft crisis.”
“We are also working with interested property owners to streamline the permitting process to add enhanced lighting to storefronts, which can help deter nighttime break-ins.”
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In recent years, retail chain stores across the country have been plagued by break-ins.
The National Retail Federation conducted a study showing that organized crime in retail increased by 26.5% in 2021, posing a multi-billion dollar problem for businesses.
Meanwhile, Portland has seen an increase in violent crime.
A recent 2020 poll found the city experienced overnight protests and complaints following the death of George Floyd.
2020 also witnessed a 58% increase in homicides, while 2021 had a 54% increase.
Portland store shuts down, posts blistering note on front door slamming rampant crime: ‘city is in peril’