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Sports bar in Northeast Portland robbed at gunpoint twice in one month

Businesses owners who've been victimized are calling on city leaders to take action after a string of armed robberies.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A sports bar in Northeast Portland was robbed at gunpoint twice in the past month, as the city grapples with an unprecedented rise in gun-related crimes. 

The employees at Katie O’Brien’s at Northeast 28th and Sandy are at their wit’s end.

"We’re hanging tough as we can be," said manager Landis Jurd. "In the last month, we’ve had two gunpoint robberies where our late night bartenders were held up at gunpoint,"

After overcoming COVID-19 related closures and mandates, Jurd said this latest blow has left a mark. 

The most recent armed robbery was caught on camera. The suspect can be seen pointing a gun at the bartender, who then opens the cash register. 

"What really struck me about the second one was how nonchalant he was coming in the door like nothing was gonna happen. Just easy breezy," he said.

The business lost about $1,000 in cash that night but no one was hurt.

Unfortunately, armed robberies have become far too common in the city. 

Kenton Club, a bar in North Portland, has had three of them in the last two months. Their most recent armed robbery was on Monday. They lost about $2,000.

RELATED: Business owners, neighbors in Portland's Kenton neighborhood write city leaders to address rising crime

"It’s tough. It’s tough especially for small businesses that are already struggling through COVID and now they’re being targeted repeatedly by theft and crime,” said Isabelle Waitt, a manager at Kenton Club.

Both businesses are now calling on city leaders to step up and do something about the crime. 

But as employees at Katie O'Brien's try to move on from the incident, they don't have much faith that things will change anytime soon. 

"If it is easier to commit crime than it is to earn an honest living, keep a roof over your head, food on the table, there’s gonna be more crime," said Jurd.

The bar has now changed its hours of operation as a result of the robberies. They will be closing an hour and a half earlier to keep their employees safe. 

The Portland Police Bureau is investigating the robberies.

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