As businesses scramble to get out, Portland resident says criminals will turn their attention to homes

Residents of Portland, Oregon, one of America’s most leftist cities, are increasingly worried that their homes will be the next target of local criminals as businesses flee the region.

As previously reported, Portland is a typical leftist “utopia” brimming with crime and homelessness. Making matters worse, the city’s entire criminal justice system is stockpiled with leftists who believe in leniency. And there’s also a public defender shortage.

The result? Massive amounts of crime, especially against businesses. Crime that is rarely, if ever, punished.

In fact, between February and December of 2022, the county reportedly dismissed nearly 300 cases just due to a lack of a public defender.

“More than two-thirds of the dismissed cases are felonies; in 53% of them, property crime was the primary charge. The next most common primary charge was for weapon crimes, which accounted for 16% of dismissed felonies, while person crimes, which include assault and robbery, accounted for 12%,” according to the Statesman Journal.

“We’re paying these public defenders slowly, and we’re paying them badly, and they don’t want to work for the state. The state controls this,” area resident Angela Todd said Thursday on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends First.”

She added that she personally thinks the city is using the public defender shortage as a scapegoat to avoid addressing the other issues that are contributing to society’s crime crisis.

“There’s so many problems in our justice system. Our vicious and continuous catch-and-release program, for example, is horrendous. We arrest people, we release them, they have a warrant, they fail to appear, and it just keeps going and going and going… It’s disgusting,” she said.

The point is that things are bad in Portland. But according to one local, they could get significantly worse.

“Right now, you’re seeing multiple businesses pull out of the Portland area, everything from Starbucks to Walmart, they’re taking their business across the border to Washington or just into neighboring counties,” local resident Damian Bunting told Fox News.

“I think the only natural thing for [criminals] to do is to go into the houses. I think that, for the people that are living in these areas, unfortunately in my neighborhood as well, we’re going to see a rise in home break-ins, we’re going to see a rise in car theft and vandalism and petty crime, and it’s going to become much more dangerous for the people that are living here, that voted for this,” he added.

Listen:

His remarks came just about a week after Walmart announced that it would be closing its last two stores in the Portland area by the end of March.

The closures likewise came a few months after Walmart CEO Doug McMillion warned during a CNBC interview that a further increase in shoplifting could force him into raising prices or closing more stores.

“Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been,” he said.

While he didn’t specify any location, it’s been known that Portland is a haven for criminals, particularly thieves.

Tamara Young knows all about it. In March of 2022, she decided to expand her well-performing, upscale consignment store on the outskirts of Portland. There was just one problem. Her new store close to downtown Portland quickly got overrun by thieves.

“Over the past year, crooks have hit Consign Couture’s Washington Square location 19 times, stealing more than $56,000 dollars in merchandise, according to the owner,” local station KGW reported earlier this month.

“After a year in business at Washington Square, Young plans to close her shop at the end of March. She’s not renewing her lease. Consign Couture can’t absorb the losses or pay for security in the same way big retailers can, she said,” the station added.

“The amount of work that goes into running a small business, down to the research, tags and training to do this the right way and then someone just steals a day’s worth of all your work, it’s like — ‘What’s the point?'” Young asked the station in frustration.

Exactly. And that’s why businesses are fleeing the area. But once they leave, who will the thieves and other criminals target next?

Adding to all this is the drug element. KGW notes that local thieves are “often driven by drug addiction.”

Remarking on this particular part of the problem, Bunting said, “The city of Portland and the state of Oregon, it continues to facilitate it. Measure 110, providing free needles and drug paraphernalia. We have created – and when I say ‘we’, I mean the people who were here well before I got here – have created an asylum for people who are seeking refuge to live this way of life, and it’s having horrible consequences.”

Horrible consequences, indeed …

Vivek Saxena

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