Pamplin Media Group – Food trucks recovering after sophisticated break-in

Power lines and cameras were cut to disguise the crimes at Bite of Newberg food pod Dec. 28

PMG FILE PHOTO - HunnyBeez food truck owner Andrew Wegman (left) said criminals used sophisticated methods to hide themselves from cameras when they broke into his and other food trucks at the Bite of Newberg.

Under the cover of darkness in the wee hours of the morning of Dec. 28, criminals broke into food trucks at the Bite of Newberg pod on First Street in downtown Newberg.

They stole a handful of items and some cash, but primarily destroyed cash registers, food, supplies and other miscellaneous items in their rampage. Neither a motive nor suspects have been identified by Newberg-Dundee Police or the truck owners.

“The actual trucks are required to carry insurance because we’re a vehicle,” said Andrew Wegman, oHunnyBeez food truck owner, on Jan. 4. “The trailers have different rules. My insurance really stepped up and helped us out with part of the cost.”

Others weren’t so fortunate in terms of insurance coverage. G&W Caribbean Smoked BBQ, across the lot from HunnyBeez, received no help from its insurance company and had to raise money online. The owners — Haitian immigrants whose business already was struggling, much like the other trucks in the area — were able to raise more than $10,000 through GoFundMe. The other trucks have a GoFundMe started to raise money for repairs and additional security systems in the lot.

“The police left the investigating side of things up to us, and they said if we have any video to turn over the video to them, but we don’t have any video as of now,” Wegman said. “(The intruders) were smart enough to know where all my cameras were, went in the blind spot between my cameras and cut the wires. From there, they unplugged all of the trucks except for the barbeque one, which they had to do from the inside, and then did all of the damage that they did to our trucks.”

Police say nothing of evidentiary value was recovered at the scene, and they encouraged the community to reach out if they have any tips. For now, the focus of the truck owners is recovery from the crime and trying to find out more. GoFundMe information is available on the Facebook page for the HunnyBeez truck or its owner, Wegman.

NDPD public information officer Brian Hagen released the following statement: “I went to the food pod myself the day after it occurred to follow up to see if anyone had captured any security footage. I was told that no one had captured any footage of the crime. The owner of the Caribbean BBQ truck told me directly that they did not capture any footage. In lieu of eyewitnesses, security cameras are the best bet to gather leads for these crimes. I would encourage anyone to invest in security cameras at their home or business if they can.

“I’ll add that these property crimes are almost completely fueled by drugs and drug addiction. Oregon just decriminalized certain drug offenses without providing anywhere new for these drug users to go. There is little doubt that property crimes will only increase with so many users who still need to fund their habit but are no longer being arrested for drug offenses.”

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