Portland, OR

Portland Daily Round Up: Attempted kidnapping suspect linked to 2nd incident, Portland ranks 7th-worst for package theft

Emily Scarvie

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By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Thursday, Dec. 16 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Attempted kidnapping suspect linked to 'second concerning incident'

After an unidentified man attempted to kidnap a 6-year-old child in Portland’s Pearl District while he was walking with his dad near The Fields Park on Tuesday, police say the suspect has been linked to a “second concerning incident.” According to officers, the man began following a woman pushing a baby in a stroller on Northwest Northrup Street around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, not even an hour before he was seen on video grabbing the other child.

The woman in the earlier incident told police she crossed the street twice before confronting the man and taking his photo as he walked away. Police are asking anyone with security cameras in the area to review their footage from 2-3:20 p.m. on Tuesday. Another incident involving a stranger approaching a child is currently under investigation.

The suspect is described as being 20 to 30 years old, about 5-foot-1 to 5-foot-3 and heavyset, with dark hair. He was wearing a black hoodie, whitewashed jeans, a gray beanie and black and white shoes. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Michael Schmerber at Michael.Schmerber@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0991.

2. Safewise.com ranks Portland 7th-worst metro city for package theft

For the second year in a row, Safewise.com has ranked Portland 7th among metro cities in the U.S. for package theft. Researchers compile theft rates and online searches from people wondering what to do when a package gets stolen. According to the data, Portland trails Denver, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Seattle, San Antonio and Austin as the worst metro areas for package theft.

According to Rebecca Edwards, the lead safety tech reporter for Safewise.com, package theft is a crime of opportunity, so if porch pirates can see the packages, they’re more likely to steal them. This is why package lockers have become increasingly popular.

Researchers also discovered that if a home is within 25 feet of a street, which many Portland homes are, it’s more likely to get hit by porch pirates. Anyone receiving packages is encouraged to make sure they’re delivered to a secure spot and minimize the amount of time they sit on the porch.

3. McMenamins targeted by ransomware attack that may have compromised employee information

McMenamins, Portland’s hotel and brewpub chain, said Wednesday that it was hit with a ransomware attack that may have compromised employee information, but no customer payment information appears to have been impacted. When a ransomware attack occurs, a cybercriminal has typically deployed software that blocks access to a company’s computer system and refuses to give them access until a fee is paid.

In a statement, the company said that employee names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, direct deposit bank account information and benefits records may have been compromised. The company is offering employees identity and credit protection services.

“What makes this breach especially disheartening is that it further adds to the strain and hardship our employees have been through in the past two years,” Co-owner Brian McMenamin told KGW. “We ask that our customers give our employees extra grace as we make temporary adjustments in the way we process transactions and reservations, given the impacts to our system by this breach.”

4. Local family reunited with lost cat after 4 years

After Ella Bella, a local family’s cat, ran off four years ago while they were packing to move, they’ve all been reunited in what the Holland family is calling a “Christmas miracle.” Ella Bella ran off in 2017 and the family was forced to leave without her, but came back to search for her for six months before eventually giving up.

“It was hard to give up the search, but at some point we just hoped someone had taken her in,” Nicole Holland told KATU.

A volunteer with an Aurora-based rescue group found Ella Bella earlier this month and scanned her microchip. The information was outdated, so the group contacted the Cat Adoption Team, where the chip was implanted. They were then able to track down the Holland family and reunite them with their pet.

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