PORTLAND, Oregon — A Portland nonprofit was broken into not once but twice over the weekend, with the burglar getting away with thousands of dollars in property. It happened at Compassion Connect at 12135 SE Lincoln Street in Portland. Security cameras captured the burglar the first time early Saturday morning.
“We could see him using our hand truck and carrying our stuff up the ramp,” said Rachel Murfitt with Compassion Connect.
Cameras showed the crook returning Sunday morning, accompanied by another man with a car.
“And so they loaded up a bunch more stuff,” said Murfitt. “It’s pretty discouraging.”
The stolen items included a large TV, computers, printers and even medical equipment including a new defibrillator. Murfitt estimated damages exceeded $10,000, and it appeared the burglar wanted more.
“We had all the locks changed late [Sunday] night and thankfully we did because he came back again on Monday morning!" said Murfitt. "He tried the keys that he had taken from our office.”
Compassion Connect helps churches serve their neighborhoods, operates an anti-trafficking ministry and coordinates medical care. The medical equipment that was stolen was going to be used for the nonprofit's community-run health and dental clinics.
The next free clinic is planned for Saturday, Feb. 26 at Portland Central Nazarene Church at 9715 SE Powell Blvd. from noon to 4 p.m. Murfitt said the fact that they're just trying to help people makes what happened even more painful.
“If he had just come to us and asked for help, we would have done what we could to help him,” said Murfitt. “It's really sad that instead, he would choose to come and try to hurt us and damage us.”
Portland police are investigating the break-ins and assigned them case 22-48254. Murfitt hopes the security video and tips from the public will help identify the crook.
She's also grateful for those stepping up with donations, as they have no plans to stop serving others.
“I couldn't have a more rewarding job,” said Murfitt.