Over the last four months, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has spent several days focused on retail theft at Mall 205 and the Gateway area. Conducted in partnership with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), the crime reduction program concentrates efforts on a small geographic area that has seen a substantial rise in theft. The PPB statistics from the three Retail Theft Missions demonstrate the daily burden of crime experienced by these retailers.
On March 5th, 2023, PPB and MCSO officers made their third attempt to significantly reduce criminal activity at these Interstate 205 adjacent retail centers. This past Sunday, 34 people were taken into custody and served 28 warrants. Police recovered seven stolen vehicles actively driven in the area. Officers also recovered over $3,000 worth of stolen merchandise. In February and December 2022, program operators saw similar daily results from these police operations.
Although presented as an effective retail theft sting that together netted 138 arrests and the recovery of almost $14,000 of reportedly stolen merchandise, it also shows a steady level of crime in the area. The data presented is insufficient to draw credible conclusions about the program’s efficacy, but the numbers show consistent theft.
If the Retail Theft Mission continues in this area, the numbers may diminish as miscreants see this as a policed area. However, the numbers indicate this has yet to occur, and theft remains steady. Even if these efforts are effective in the Mall 205 and the Gateway areas, retail theft crime will likely shift to another commercial corridor unless additional diversion tactics reduce the overall occurrence of this type of crime.
PPB provided Retail Theft Mission numbers
March 5th, 2023 (Single Day Mission)
– 34 arrests
– 28 warrants serviced
– 7 stolen vehicles recovered
– $3,006.32 in recovered stolen merchandise
February 6th, 2023 (Single Day Mission)
– 40 arrests
– 60 warrants serviced
– $2,237 in recovered stolen merchandise
December 17th and 18th (Two-Day Mission)
– 64 arrests
– 70 warrants serviced
– 10 stolen vehicles recovered
– 3 firearms recovered (2 stolen)
– $8,743 in recovered stolen merchandise