Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $800,000)
The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has seen a significant increase in stolen vehicles over the past six years. In 2022, PPB received 11,097 stolen vehicle reports, an increase of 112% over the 5,244 reports received in 2016. While the number of stolen vehicle reports continues to rise, the approach to and methodology of understanding how to identify a stolen vehicle has remained the same. Stolen vehicles are categorized as a property crime as they involve the theft of a personally owned item of property. However, the use of the stolen vehicle in the perpetuation of other violent person crimes has become evidenced through officers’ knowledge, the media, and community angst towards the rise in shootings and their subsequent investigations. The East Precinct of the Portland Police Bureau believes it can harness the validated medical methodology of evidence-based practice to better understand the key identifying features of a stolen vehicle. Through this process, data-collection and analysis would occur and enrichment factors associated to stolen vehicles would be found and disseminated to officers who actively look for stolen vehicles in the community. This project will include the development of a digital database to conduct analysis of a multitude of variables. Furthermore, it is believed that addressing vehicle thefts will have a colinear effect on other violent crimes with connected to the utilization of stolen vehicles.