PORTLAND, Ore. – The manager of a brand new Northeast Portland Ace Hardware store is hoping the public will recognize a couple who, he says, stole hundreds of dollars worth of items on the store’s opening day.

The couple is caught on camera, walking up and down the aisles of the store, at 228 NE Broadway, on Tuesday evening. They also brought a boy with them.

“I think, to me, that was the most disturbing aspect of it,” General Manager Daniel Warren said.

Surveillance cameras show the man picking up a box cutter and slicing through the store’s security measures, then slipping an expensive item under his jacket. Warren says several employees approached the couple, but did not see them stealing items.

He says eventually the couple seemed to get nervous, paid $15 dollars or so, then walked out. But employees reviewing the security cameras and doing inventory discovered items missing.

This brand new Ace, Warren says, is about a $5 million project to make the community a better place. He hopes someone will be able to recognize the couple.

“I don't know if they were scoping us out, waiting, or just kind of an opportunity, but we are disappointed. It kind of soured a really good opening day," he said.

Warren said he alerted other Ace Hardware stores to watch out for the couple. He says they even signed up for the Ace Rewards program, but left a fake name and phone number.

He has filed a police report and hopes anyone who recognizes the couple will call police.

The Broadway Ace Hardware will celebrate its Grand Opening in April.

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