PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland business owner whose hot dog cart was stolen, got his property back and uncovered other stolen valuables in the process.
Melvyn Baker runs Shorty’s Hot Dogs. Late last month he reported his cart and trailer were stolen from in front of his Southeast Portland home.
“It was eating away at me for the last eight days,” Baker said. “I was just trying to keep my faith."
On Wednesday, Baker’s faith and vigilance paid off. An anonymous tip through Facebook led Baker to the Mt. Scott neighborhood and a house on Southeast Lexington Street in Portland. Baker found his property and other stolen items locked behind a fence.
“It was real shady,” Baker said. “I kind of felt like Magnum, P.I. for a minute, just doing all the investigating and follow-up on tips.”
Baker called the Portland Police Bureau. Officers helped Baker recover his trailer, then called several others whose property they found. That included a John Deere Gator utility vehicle reported stolen by Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping.
“It's not in the shape we’d left it in, but it's nice to get it back,” said Travis McClain with Dennis’ 7 Dees. He said someone stole the Gator from a construction site at Willamette National Cemetery.
“I don't know how long [the crook] has been snatching stuff up but there's quite the variety here,” McClain said. “There was quite a line of people taking stuff home when we got here.”
Police told KGW they're investigating the case but haven't arrested anyone yet. Baker said he’s just glad so many others got their valuables back, too.
“If you're a thief, it doesn't pay to do people wrong,” Baker said. “Karma will catch up with you every time.”
Baker is grateful for everyone who helped him look for his stolen hot dog stand and donated to his cause. He said after he repairs damage done his cart he hopes to thank everyone.
“I'm going to do a big Shorty's Hot Dogs event,” Baker said. “Serve the community.”