Eliot’s reputation as a high crime area, along with NE Portland generally, is undeserved. Crime statistics are skewed by criminal activity directed at visitors from out of the area to the Rose Quarter and Lloyd Center, primarily car prowls and thefts, but thefts from stores and offices as well. As the bank robber Willy Horton said, “You go where the money is.”
A recent incident on Thompson east of MLK offers a reminder that criminals are about. The first Sunday in the month an overnight visitor had her car broken into and trashed. While apparently pointless, the same night a car was stolen a block away on Tillamook, so apparently the vandals were actually frustrated car thieves.
The following Friday, a house on the other end of the block (close to 7th) was broken into at 10 AM. A window was broken to gain entry off the front porch and jewelry and other personal items were taken. Daylight burglaries are brazen acts. These incidents appear to be correlated with observations of more “strangers” walking neighborhood streets.
Harsh weather does seem to increase the tendency of some people to choose to drive to their destination in someone else’s car rather than walk in the wind and rain and to supplement their finances with other’s possessions to pay for increased comfort. If you don’t want to contribute to them involuntarily, you should be extra vigilant this time of year (as well as during the summer when open windows can prove tempting).