Portland Cops Will Use Overtime to Address Rising Retail Theft

The announcement comes as the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission prepared data showing spiking crime at its liquor stores.

SHOPPERS RUSH HOME: Lloyd Center at Christmas. (Mick Hangland-Skill)

In September, WW reported that liquor store theft was on a record-breaking pace. It turns out it’s not just breaking records, it’s blowing them out of the water.

Theft claims have nearly doubled in the past four quarters, to 748, compared with 426 in the four quarters before that, according to an analysis of new third-quarter theft data obtained by WW. The data was prepared by the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission and shared with other retailers.

Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission

Organized retail theft is skyrocketing, and the Police Bureau wants Portlanders to know it’s doing something about it. During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, Police Chief Chuck Lovell said the bureau would devote overtime to investigating property crimes.

Flanked by Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, Lovell told reporters the bureau would allocate overtime funds “to focus on some of this organized retail crime” as well as other property crimes.

“I’m directing our property crimes detectives to focus on some of these cases, because we know that oftentimes it’s the same people,” Lovell said.

Last week, WW reported how police had tied a string of eight different robberies over the summer to a single suspect.

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