Iconic record shop in Portland shuts down amid skyrocketing crime

"It was finally after the third break-in, I had just said, ‘If this happens again, I can't do it anymore.’"

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On Thursday, Exiled Records closed its location at Southeast Hawthorne and 47th Ave in Portland, OR after 15 years in business due to multiple break-ins and a decline in foot traffic at the location. 

In a post on Instagram, the store wrote, "To say we are sad to leave the Hawthorne community is an understatement." The post continued, "We are hopeful that those who visited will come dig at EXILED WEST, where we will continue to have an incredible selection of new and used vinyl as well as CD’s and tapes!"

According to KATU, the move comes after the location experienced three break-ins and vandalism in the last year and a half. The most recent incident occurred less than two weeks ago when a man experiencing a mental health crisis smashed store windows with a skateboard. 

Store owner Brian Snawder claims that Portland police didn't respond to calls from their alarm company. He said, "It was finally after the third break-in, I had just said, ‘If this happens again, I can't do it anymore.’"

"I can't go to bed at night wondering what time the alarm company is going to call and what point Portland Police won't respond to the alarm calls because they are busy dealing with other things in the city," Snawder concluded. 

Exiled Records is just the latest in a long line of businesses closing stores in Portland due to criminal activity. Walmart and Cracker Barrel closed all Portland locations in March. Outdoor retailer REI closed its Pearl District location in April, citing rampant theft. 

Local Coffee shop Coava Coffee Roasters closed their SW Jefferson Street location on April 13. They said in an Instagram post, "The team members at this cafe have been on the front line enduring extreme violence and criminal activity on an almost daily basis for the last few years– crime and violence that is only increasing in frequency and severity."

In a recent survey of Portland restaurant owners, 97% of respondents said they don't think the city is headed in the right direction. 92% responded that their business had been vandalized, and 73% said they don't feel the city's police bureau is supporting them. 

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