At 3:17 pm on August 31, reportedly, a hipster robbed a bank.
"That was the description given by witnesses," says Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson. "It's definitely open to interpretation."
The employees of Albina Community Bank
at 5636 Northeast Sandy Boulevard also described
the unarmed assailant as "a male white or Asian in his early 30s, 5'7" tall, thin build, dark hair, black cap, tan pants, glasses, carrying a black bag."
It was the original 9-1-1 caller who said he looked like a hipster.
"I've not seen that coming from a witness as a description," says Simpson, "but we chose to put it out because that terminology might spark someone's memory."
It certainly does spark our memories a bit. We tend to shy away from the word hipster, worried that those who use it are only admitting they feel they weren't invited to the party. But it also seems appropriate that we take you on a stroll down roseate memory lanes, to Portland hipster crimes (very loosely defined) of the recent past.
Multiple, for some reason, seem to involve showering:
- Earlier this year, a bunny named Roger Rabbit was mammalnapped from the home of Portland Meat Collective Farmer Levi Cole, then returned after a week of hostage negotiations with an animal-rights activist. Roger has been moved to an undisclosed location "in the countryside."
- Ryan Biornstad, singer of Portland band Starfucker, was arrested last year at Austin's SXSW music festival for, allegedly, “standing in the street and resisting arrest.” Alternatively, the band's Twitter account described Biornstad's crime as "nothing."
- Timothy James Chapek allegedly joyrode a BMW and shoplifted at Wal-Mart, after previously breaking into a house, showering in it, then calling 9-1-1 when confronted by the owner.
- Pamela McGowan and Stanley Ames, otherwise peaceable bloggers bent on sustainable home farming practices, also liked to rob U.S. Bank branches in their spare time. McGowan also sold handmade soap bars, and the pair liked to attend meetings at creative meet-up group DorkbotPDX.
- Bike-activist Phil Sano, known familiarly as "Reverend Phil" (Disclosure: I went to college with him), was tackled and tasered for failure to have a front light on his bicycle in 2008.
- Derek Charles Zika was arrested for trespassing in a vacant home, showering and making "a mess cooking eggs in there."
- And in the ultimate Portland-hipster fracas, Chef Eric Bechard and Cochon 555 founder Brady Lowe were booked for a street brawl after fighting over the local vs. out-of-state provenance of a heritage pig. This spurred a multi-chef brawl, including a chef from Ned Ludd, outside indie-rock downtown strip bar Magic Gardens.
We now wash our hands of "hipster"—that dirty, useless word—and return you to your nondemographically defined life of bocce ball, organic food and tightpantsery.