In Portland, food cart pods are a thing—a big thing. For those unfamiliar with the "pod" concept, it's basically a cluster of food carts designed to offer the people of Portland as many hangover cure options as possible.
With more than 500 food carts in the city, it makes a lot of sense to concentrate all of the less mobile cousins of the food truck into key locations. But it also makes them sitting ducks for thieves and ruffians who are not down with hipsters buying rickety on Craigslist and churning out reasonably priced food.
In less than two weeks, five separate Portland food cart pods have been hit by vandals who clearly are not as enthusiastic about the concept as most Portlandians. The most recent attack came on Wednesday night, according to local news outlet KATU2, with "at least" four carts being ransacked and robbed of items that can be easily resold on the street.
5th food cart pod hit by vandals. This on SE 28th and Division pic.twitter.com/Xx6bQPUeKA
— Andrew Dymburt (@DymburtNews) November 4, 2016
It's the same MO as four previous break-ins, which began at the Portland Mercado, where eight of ten carts were severely damaged. During a Halloween night attack, very Portland-sounding carts Pastrami Zombie, Mr. Benny Smokehouse Brunch, and Sherpa Nirvana Momo were knocked out and robbed.
4th Portland food cart pod gets robbed in a week! NE42nd Ave Food Carts hit Halloween night stealing cash, food prep & electronics pic.twitter.com/7tDJkay2IA
— Nina Mehlhaf (@NinaMehlhaf) November 1, 2016
Mr. Benny's will have to replace a broken door and cash register from which thieves stole $15. It's not exactly the Lufthansa heist, but the food cart burglars have succeeded in evading police, despite using such brazen tactics. According to KGW, Police have dusted for fingerprints on food cart doors, but no information has been found to link the five separate attacks or identify any suspects.
That's not exactly reassuring for Portland food cart owners, who are already getting ready for the slow season of winter.
"Everyone is kind of scared and freaked out but also, like, sticking together," a victim of the most recent attack told KATU2, in classic Portland fashion.