PORTLAND, Ore. — Area musicians are out thousands of dollars in equipment and gear after vehicle break-ins in North Portland.
“It’s just a giant middle finger to the face of musicians chasing their dreams,” said Jacob Westfall.
Music is in Westfall’s blood. He loves it so much he dropped out of school to pursue it.
“It’s what I do,” he said. “Every aspect of me revolves around music.”
That explains why Westfall is crushed. After wrapping up a gig Thursday night, he met some fellow musicians at The White Eagle in North Portland. When he walked outside to go home he noticed that somebody had busted the back window of his SUV.
“I sat on the curb for I don’t know how long and I just cried,” he said.
Westfall cried because the thief, or thieves, stole about $5,500 worth of gear. He says nothing was more precious than his guitar.
"This guitar is the guitar I learned to play music on," he said.
Westfall says musicians call the area around The White Eagle the trouble zone. Their vehicles are broken into and their gear is stolen. It happened to The Ferenjis in early February. The band lost more than $8,000 in gear.
“This is someone who in all likelihood, by my own guess, knows what they’re looking for and they’re experienced with this gear and equipment,” said Peter Ellis.
"They don’t go to a pawn shop or guitar shop in Portland,” said Westfall.
Westfall believes the stolen gear and equipment is sold across state lines. It is demoralizing, but not dream-shattering.
“If I was going to let this stop me I would have quit a long time ago,” said Westfall.
KGW spoke with a third musician who lost about $5,000 in gear in a vehicle break-in back in December. It, too, happened near The White Eagle.
Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the Portland Police Bureau.