PORTLAND – Several of Portland’s beloved food carts are the latest victims of metal thieves.
Cart owners at the Green Castle Food Court at Northeast 20th Avenue and Everett said that twice in less than a month, thieves have cut their power cords and taken them away.
Although nobody has been caught for the crimes, it appears to be a blatant case of metal theft; the electric power cords contain copper that can be resold to metal recyclers.
Cart owners are especially frustrated, because they know the few dollars anyone will get for the amount of metal they’ve stolen is far less than the cost to fix the damage. Some of the cart owners have spent as much as $200 to repair and replace their power cords each time.
“It takes money, and more than anything it’s the time spent putting into it that you’re not making smoothies and selling them,” said Moberi smoothie cart owner Ryan Carpenter.
At Ole’Latte, Todd Edwards has had his electric cable cut and stolen twice. He said some cart owners were adding metal lock boxes. This would make it harder for the culprits to unplug power cords and cut them. And there is talk of more security lights going in as well.
But he hopes people in their Northeast Portland neighborhood will keep an eye out, for the metal thieves.
“We’re a foodie town and people love the great food carts we have here, and that’s what we’re all about, providing that to the community," Edwards said. "Nobody wants to tolerate this.”
Anyone who sees suspicious activity at this or any other food cart pod was urged to contact police right away, to help catch the criminals.