Car prowlers search for unlocked cars in Portland

A suspected car prowler checks to see if Ray Hamness's Jeep is unlocked just after midnight Thursday. It was and the suspect left. (Still image from a surveillance camera)

In the middle of the night, car prowlers from Southeast to Southwest Portland having been looking for unlocked cars.

The latest incident happened just after midnight Thursday, but Ray and Delisa Hamness caught the suspects on camera in front of their Southeast Portland home.

In the surveillance video, individuals can be seen walking around Ray’s Jeep, checking to see if it’s unlocked. But they were unsuccessful, and they moved on.

When Ray shared his story online with neighbors, he learned he wasn’t alone.

“There were several cars down our whole street that were broken into last night,” he said.

“Occasionally, you’d see a break-in, but not the rash that we’re seeing,” said Delisa. “You feel uneasy, and you don’t feel secure in your own home, in your own neighborhood.”

Just a few days earlier in Southwest Portland, Ken Paulson’s car was broken into.

He said: “My wife went to get in her car and saw all this junk on the floor, and that’s when we thought, let’s check our video to see what it shows. And sure enough.”

In their video, two suspects are seen getting inside Paulson’s car.

“It’s pretty clear that their intentions were to take something,” he said.

They didn’t take any valuables. But Paulson worries about the next time.

“Almost daily there’s a report of someone’s car being broken into, so it’s very methodical, and it may be the same people again and again, because it’s so orchestrated,” he said.

Ray Hamness wants the bad guys to know he’s watching.

“You may think you can get away with it, but eventually you’re going to get caught,” he said.

The residents KATU spoke with have filed police reports.

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