PORTLAND, Ore. — Editor's note: A previous version of this story indicated that Portland police recovered Michelle Hudson's car. It was someone else who located the car and contacted Hudson.
A North Portland woman was reunited with her 10-month-old puppy who was stolen along with her car Friday afternoon.
This is one of the more than 12,000 car theft reports Portland police have received since September 2021. That’s according to the Portland Police Bureau’s Stolen Vehicles Statistics.
It happened around 2:30 Friday afternoon when Michelle Chavez Hudson was unloading groceries from her car, which was parked outside her North Portland apartment building.
She left the keys in the front seat and her dog in the back when someone hopped in, started the car and drove off, taking the dog along with them.
“I see it driving away and I’m screaming 'Just stop.' I’m in a panic, I don’t know what to do, I was dumbfounded,” said Hudson.
Portland police posted on Twitter asking for help in the search. Hudson passed out her number around a nearby homeless camp. On Saturday night, someone finally found the car and puppy, contacting Hudson with a tip. The puppy was thankfully unharmed.
“I thought she was probably gone by the second day, I thought, 'She’s probably not coming home,'” Hudson said.
When Hudson got her car back, she found it filled with trash, human and animal waste.
“They wrecked it, the inside is a trash can,” she said. “She was in it, that’s so sad to think that she was living like that,” she said of her dog who was trapped inside the car for roughly 48 hours.
“She’s probably my best friend, she’s all I pretty much have,” she said.
Of those more than 12,000 stolen vehicles in the past 13 months, data shows 858 of them were taken last month. Portland police have been able to find 81% of them within 30 days. In this case it took about 48 hours, but Portland police were not the ones who recovered it.