GRESHAM, Ore. -- Thieves are stealing doors off Jeep Wranglers in what Gresham police have described as a "crime of opportunity."
“Since January we’ve had seven reports of both doors being stolen off Jeep Wranglers,” said Gresham police officer John Rasmussen.
Allen Chamberlain said he came out last April 25th to jump in his 1997 Jeep Wrangler and found both doors gone with it filling with water from a heavy rain. “It cost $4,000 to find replacement doors, get them painted and installed,” said Chamberlain.
His insurance covered it, but he was still out the deductible.
One of the reasons it costs so much to replace these doors is because Jeep has quit making replacements for several Wrangler models. “What we're seeing is the thefts targeting Jeep Wranglers from 1997 to 2005,” said officer Rasmussen.
Chamberlain said he knows of several neighbors who also got the doors stolen off their jeeps. “The neighbor lady, her doors are gone, another gentlemen around the corner, I noticed his doors are gone. Just the last month somebody's been on the prowl,” said Chamberlain.
“It's actually all around Gresham. It's down southeast, it's northeast, it's down in the Rockwood area. It's really again a crime of opportunity, said Rasmussen.
There are several locking devices you can buy for under $50 to protect jeep doors but as Chamberlain put it, “if a thief really wants something, they’re going to get it.”
Officer Rasmussen said investigators do have a partial license plate number from a suspect seen driving away from another victim's jeep. “It’s an Oregon plate 819-A, with the description of the suspects car as a red or maroon Chevy Montecarlo,” Rasmussen added.