PORTLAND – The University of Portland is alerting students after a burglar hit two homes in the University Park neighborhood while residents were still inside.
Gerald Gregg, the university’s Director of Public Safety, sent an email to students and staff Saturday morning warning them to keep their doors locked and their phones close in case of an emergency.
KGW learned that other homes were burglarized during winter break when many students were gone and their homes empty.
“They smashed our window, came in, stole hundreds of dollars worth of stuff, (and) trashed our house,” said Sara Barr who said she was burglarized while she was gone for winter break.
She said four other homes were hit at the same time.
Other area residents have also been recently been burglarized. Gil Weis said someone stole his horse trailer and his neighbor’s house was also ransacked.
“We were home and it was in the middle of the day, and they just broke the sliding glass window and walked into the home,” Weis said.
Portland police and University of Portland officials are asking residents to keep valuables out of sight. A few homeowners have gone as far as installing surveillance cameras, which police encourage.
“In the most recent case on the night of March 6th, the suspect was described as a male, black or pacific Islander, in his 20's, 5'6" to 5'9", 160-170 pounds, with a round face and large lips wearing a dark hoodie,” the email from Gregg reads.
Anyone who knows about the break-ins was urged to call police.
KGW reporter Wayne Havrelly contributed to this report.