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Portland Police Blame Protests for Unsolved Robberies

Burglaries are up 21% this year from 2019, rising from an average of 349 to 423 a month.

Portland police say nightly protests are curtailing detectives' ability to respond to a string of cannabis shop robberies.

Last week, WW reported that Portland-area weed stores have been the target of at least 47 break-ins since late May—a rate of one burglary every other night—and three armed robberies ("Bud Snatchers," WW, Aug. 19, 2020).

Police say they don't categorize property crimes by the type of business that gets hit, but bureau data shows burglaries are up 21% this year from 2019, rising from an average of 349 to 423 a month.

Police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Allen says the bureau has 109 open robbery cases.

"However, most of the Police Bureau's detectives are working the protests and not able to actively work their cases," Allen says. "It adds an extra challenge that certainly has an impact on their ability to investigate, identify suspects, and build criminal cases against them."