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Neighbors help Portland BBQ business owner get back on his feet after his smoker, trailer were stolen

Neighbors started a GoFundMe after thieves took away James Dixon's only source of income. In three days, it has raised over $30,000.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Neighbors and community members are helping a Portland man get back on his feet after his only source of income was stolen last week. 

James Dixon owns Dixon's Rib Pit, a mobile barbecue and catering business that's become a staple at events like "Last Thursday" and "Good In the Hood." He's lived in the same house in Northeast Portland for 22 years, and considers his neighbors to be his friends.

Just over a week ago, his meat smoker and trailer were stolen from outside his house. A neighbor's security camera caught the thieves in the act, but they have not been identified. 

"That was how I made my money. So by them doing what they did, they kind of shut me down," said Dixon.

It's been a tough year for Dixon. He lost his wife last year and the home he's been renting for more than two decades is now being sold.

"The straw that was risking to break the camel's back was the recent theft," said neighbor Daniel Greenstadt. 

James Dixon's smoker and trailer were stolen from his NE Portland home

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Greenstadt and other neighbors wanted help, so they started a GoFundMe on Dixon's behalf to get his business back up and running. 

"Everybody felt helpless about what could be done," Greenstadt said, "but we just couldn't let it go ... and do nothing."  

In three days, the GoFundMe has raised over $30,000. An anonymous donor contributed $10,000 alone. 

Dixon expressed his gratitude for the help and support. 

"I appreciate it greatly. Anything that anybody does, trying to make me whole again, I appreciate it," said Dixon.

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