Thieves break into the roof of a food cart in Southeast Portland

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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – The owner of a local food cart in Southeast Portland is seeking help with repairs after the cart was broken into Monday morning.

Tim Turcotte, owner of Esan Thai Eastport, found a broken roof window and the wrecked cart. Turcotte, who lives down the street, said he received a phone call around 5:30 a.m. saying there were people pushing things through the fence. Turcotte ran outside in a bathrobe and saw two people steal carts, hoses and cables from at least four other food carts. It was then that he took action.

“A guy started coming at me so I literally ran up to him and tackled him because I didn’t know what he was going to do.” said Turcotte. “I kind of let him stand.”

The suspect left and Turcotte brought everyone’s things. Turcotte’s cart was broken into five weeks ago, prompting him to add more locks, but the suspects entered anyway.

“Pretty much cut all the metal they could, broke anything that was jamming them. I still don’t know how they got through that little hole, but now everything is broken, the whole structure is gone,” says Turcotte. “There was only soda spilled everywhere here, the fridge was open, we looked at it, no cans of water, no cans of soda, it was completely, they just emptied it in the fridge. ‘sink.”

Food worth $1,000 had to be thrown away and repairs can cost him between $6,500 and $7,500.

Turcotte says that three times the police gave him a shocking answer.

“In the last break-in, they literally told us there weren’t enough police, there weren’t enough descriptions of the people, it was going to go on a piece of paper in a file and that no one would watch it again,” says Turcotte. “They said we had to act on our own.”

Esan is open for business, but Turcotte calls it daunting. He says he hopes to get back on track so he can continue to help his community.

“We have raised funds for different businesses that have been robbed over the past year. We have always held fundraisers and given all the money to everyone, even when it happened to us.”

Turcotte says he has no plans to move, but plans to add even more security to his cart. He told FOX 12 he checks his cart every two hours in the middle of the night and wonders when he’ll be able to sleep again.

Turcotte describes the suspect as a white male in his thirties, with his face tattooed over his eyebrow, a baseball cap, torn clothes and shoes without laces.

There is a GoFundMe page set up for owners if you would like to donate.

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