PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Thousands of stolen respirator masks are on their way to Portland-area hospital supplies after a multi-agency theft investigation that led to the arrest of a Beaverton man, the Portland Police Bureau reported Sunday.
On Friday, March 6, a North Precinct officer responded to The Rebuilding Center at 3625 North Mississippi Avenue on a theft report involving 20-25 cases of N95 respirator masks. Each case had 400 masks in it, and the total loss was close to $2,500. At the time, there was no suspect information.
The next day, the victim found someone selling what she believed to be the stolen masks on online classified listings platform Craigslist. She set up a meeting in Beaverton and contacted the Beaverton Police Department, who arrived and arrested the suspect, Vladislav V. Drozdek, 42, of Beaverton.
He was booked into the Washington County Jail on a charge of first-degree theft by receiving. About six cases of the masks were recovered, but the rest were still outstanding.
Some follow-up investigation was done by both agencies and, on Saturday, Portland police were able to locate at least seven more boxes stored inside a house in the 13900 block of Northeast Sacramento Street.
The officer recovered the boxes and returned them to the victim, who immediately donated them to area hospitals to help them while they're dealing with the coronavirus.
Further arrests and charges are possible, officers said.
"This was a good example of interagency teamwork and cooperation, along with some helpful detective work by the victim," said Assistant Chief of Operations Mike Frome. "This is even more significant during a time when these medical supplies are in such short supply."