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Food Cart Crooks Strike Fourth Pod in a Week

Pastrami Zombie, Mr. Benny, and Sherpa Nirvana were affected

Pastrami Zombie owner Melissa McMillan
Facebook/Pastrami Zombie

NE 42nd Ave. Carts is the latest food cart pod to be robbed and vandalized, in what is becoming a spate of break-ins. According to KGW, the vandals broke into NE 42nd Ave. Carts on Halloween night, and it appears at least three food carts were affected: Pastrami Zombie, Mr. Benny Smokehouse Brunch, and Sherpa Nirvana Momo. On Facebook, the still-closed Pastrami Zombie wrote:

Hey Portland - We are closed today for an unseen, unfortunate robbery. Sorry for any inconvenience. We ❤️ you all. A special shout out to Nate @pipsoriginal for already offering to help.

Last week, three other pods were ripped off, with numerous food carts involved. The first was Portland Mercado, the complex of Latino businesses that includes nine food carts on SE Foster Road, and it reported an estimated $25,000 in damages (the city of Portland has since given Portland Mercado a grant for $20,000). Two days later, the crooks broke into Carts on Foster, located about a mile from the Portland Mercado. And on October 28, Cartlandia said it too was vandalized.

Winter is the slow season for food carts, making the crimes all the worse for owners. The food cart crooks have so far caused large amounts of damage to the small businesses without stealing much of value. Speaking with KGW, the owner of Mr. Benny Smokehouse Brunch, James Carter, said only $15 was stolen — a fraction of what repairs will cost.