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Arrests in regional smash-and-grab robberies might possibly stop the local similar local burglaries

RITA A. LEONARD - Barista Tasha Addington-Ferris displays the rock that a burglar threw through Rose City Coffees Westmoreland front door, and a jar of the collected broken glass it scattered on the floor. Shes hopeful the June 22 arrests in North Portland will put an end to such burglaries in Southeast.In the early morning hours of Thursday June 22, 2017, North and East Precinct officers responded to numerous reports of smash-and-grab commercial burglaries to businesses. As officers were investigating numerous break-ins along North Mississippi Avenue, officers responded to a burglary alarm at Binks at approximately 4:30 a.m. Binks, a neighborhood pub, is located at 2715 Northeast Alberta Street.

Officers spotted two people in the area of Binks that ran from police and hid in the neighborhood. A third person in a dark-colored smaller SUV drove out of the area and has not been identified or located. A neighborhood perimeter was established, and the two suspects were located and taken into custody without incident near Northeast 26th Avenue and Alberta Street.

19-year-old Alec Ryan Cameron Johnson and 16-year-old Julian Miguel Gallardo were charged with multiple counts of Burglary, Theft, and Criminal Mischief, in connection with numerous commercial burglaries reported in Northeast Portland.

Detectives are now investigating some 35 other similar smash-and-grab business burglary reports in various parts of the city – including Inner Southeast – during the previous month, seeking any link to the two people in custody.

Officers from Central, East, and North Precincts, as well as the K-9 and Air Support Units, assisted with the investigation and the capture of the two suspects.

Johnson was booked into the Multnomah County Jail and Gallardo was lodged at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Home (JDH).

Detectives are continuing to investigate many other burglary reports, and the suspects may face additional charges at a later time.

The relevance to Inner Southeast would be that in the last month or so there have been a number of smash-and-grab overnight burglaries here too. As reported in last month's BEE, Opa Pizzaria in Sellwood and Buttercraft in Westmoreland were recent victims.

And, around 4 a.m. on Friday, June 16, someone hurled a rock through the front door of Rose City Coffee Co. at 7325 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue. Barista Tasha Addington-Ferris later told THE BEE, "The alarm company notified owner Christie Gryphon at home, and she came right down to check the damage and start clean-up. The thief knocked over some of our counter supplies, and stole our whole cash register."

Although 9-1-1 call levels to the Bureau of Emergency Services show that Inner Southeast is generally one of the lower crime areas in the City of Portland, on this same morning, June 16, police were also investigating a burglary at about the same time in the vicinity of S.E. Holgate and 28th.

As to the impact of such crimes on local merchants – smash-and-grab burglaries and subsequent repairs are expensive; but Gryphon, who is assuming ownership of a second coffee shop in the Brooklyn neighborhood, is philosophical. "With the help of our amazing team and our local community, we were open for business again at about 7:30 a.m.," she said. "We are so thankful that nobody was hurt, and we appreciate the outpouring of heartfelt community support."

As a sign of further commitment to Inner Southeast, the Westmoreland site recently expanded business hours, and is now open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the Brooklyn site, the former "True Brew Coffee House" at 3370 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, advertises hours of 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and weekends from 8 a.m. till 2 p.m.

True Brew also carried books. "We're having a book sale of the thousands of books left here, at 75 cents each," Gryphon remarked. "We'll continue to support the community. Our plan is to host local artists, and hang their work on our walls for display and purchase. We can seat about eighty at our Brooklyn location, and there is also a kids' toy area here."

Only time will tell if the June 22 arrests in North Portland will signal an end such burglaries in Southeast as well. Local merchants are hopeful that they will.

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