PORTLAND, Ore. — A new car was stolen from a woman’s driveway in southeast Portland on Tuesday and later spotted at a nearby homeless camp. This happened in the Hazelwood neighborhood, where Beverly Cipolla had just moved from California to be closer to her family.
She bought a brand new black Honda and drove to Oregon. After she moved, she ended up with a spare mattress, which she offered to people living at a nearby homeless camp.
“We were doing courtesy of feeling sorry for the people out there,” said Cipolla.
She let them into her garage to pick it up. She said her car keys were hanging on a knob in the garage. The next morning her car, which she parked in the driveway, was gone.
“It’s like something’s missing,” she said through tears. “When it first happened to me, my brother came into the room and said, ‘Sis your car’s gone!'"
Inside her car was her walker, wheelchair and portable breathing machine.
“It hurts me. It really hurts,” she said.
It also hurt her daughter, Elizabeth who has special needs.
“I like going out with my mom and I can’t go out anymore,” said Elizabeth.
The last time they saw the car was on Friday. It was parked at the homeless camp down the street. It’s the same homeless camp they gave the mattress to.
“I called the police and told them that the car has been in the neighborhood and that’s all I told them,” said Cipolla.
According to Portland police data, since December 2021 more than 11,000 vehicles have been stolen. More than 600 of them from the neighborhood Cipolla now lives in. Portland Police have recovered 92% of all the stolen cars.
“I feel like they’re not doing their job getting out there and looking for cars,” Cipolla said.
Portland police warn people like Cipolla not to retrieve their cars from homeless camps for safety reasons and to call them instead. Cipolla said she did call police, but police told KGW they did not have information from that call recorded in their system. Cipolla and her family are still waiting for help from police and are now relying on neighbors like Bob Holly for safety.
“We all live on the same street and I'm just trying to keep an eye on things…People need to start putting their differences aside and start looking out for one another start being neighborhoods again,” said Holly.