PORTLAND -- Just days before Christmas, a thief stole a Portland woman's only way to make a living.
Asta Chastain spends her waking hours delivering soup to businesses and homes every week. Her bicycle is her life and her livelihood.
She normally locks up her Soup Cycle. But on Wednesday, she was rushing to make a delivery near Northwest 22nd Avenue and Northwest Overton Street in Portland. She stepped away for a few seconds and everything she had was gone.
“I thought maybe, did I park it somewhere else? Is someone playing a joke on me? Then I realized it wasn’t there,” Chastain said.
It only took 30 seconds for a thief to take off with her bicycle, $200 worth of tools, stock for soup and a blue trailer.
“The only thing that comes to mind is somebody was in a desperate place and just grabbed it,” Soup Cycle founder Jed Lazar said.
Lazar said winter season is their busiest time of the year. With nearly 700 orders a week, they need every trailer in tow.
“We’re going to be scrambling and we’re not really sure what we’re going to do or how we’re going to look. The trailers are how we get our soups and breads to our customers,” Lazar said.
Lazar showed KGW one of the customized trailers that could fit three Coleman coolers.
“There are very few of those trailers out there in Portland, especially this size, and especially this color," he said.
Chastain believes someone may have been watching her or knew what they're doing since the bike and trailer are a little tricky to maneuver.
“The trailer is so large. It’s 200 pounds. You have to have a solid bicycle that can withstand pulling that much weight, and since that’s my sole job and that’s how I make a living, it’s crucial because without a bike, I can’t work,” Chastain said.