Portland cat rapper's car stolen - Rose City car thefts on the rise, police say

I Am Moshow GoFundMe page

You may have heard his cat-tastic infectious raps or seen his ad for "Parking Kitty," but now, Portland cat rapper I Am Moshow needs your help.

His car, a black 2014 Honda Civic, was stolen overnight Tuesday in Southeast Portland near the QFC at 52nd Avenue and East Burnside Street.

"I saved up all of my money from performances, cat rapping, doing shows here in Portland, traveling the world, and I was finally able to save enough money to buy my car," Moshow told KATU's Chris Liedle. "It just hurts when you work really hard for something, and you put all of your hard earned money, it's just snatched right underneath, right away from me."

Unfortunately, Moshow's car wasn't insured yet. He says his bank seized his accounts after a person in another state made fraudulent purchases, delaying his ability to insure his new Honda.

"I went to look outside to read off the license plate number," Moshow said after the insurance agent asked him for the information, "and my car was stolen."

Moshow adopted five special needs cats. Some of them need to regularly visit the vet.

"Inconvenient," Moshow said. "It's just heartbreaking."

A GoFundMe has been set up to help him buy a new car.

Portland Police confirmed car thefts are on the rise.

According to police records, since Jan. 1 of this year, 5,317 cars were reported stolen. And since September 2016, 7,541 cars have been stolen.

East Portland's Hazelwood neighborhood tops the charts of most stolen vehicles, followed by Lents, Powellhurst-Gilbert, Centennial and Montavilla.

Records show Hondas are most commonly stolen, then Subarus, Toyotas, Nissans and Fords.

More than half of all car thefts occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

If there is a silver lining in the statistics, 92 percent of stolen cars are recovered to date, with 81 percent in the last 30 days.

"I'm from the projects, born and raised, where I spent 19 years of my life. I have never had my car stolen in Baltimore at all," Moshow said. "I'm 100 sure sure it happens all the time, but I've never experienced this in Baltimore. This is the first for me."

Portland Police Sgt. Chris Burley says there are many factors why cars are stolen, but he says often times, it's reflective of the drug epidemic in Portland. He also added the majority of cars are stolen by a small group of people.

The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office told KATU weak state laws are partly to blame. Even when there's overwhelming evidence against a car thief, unless they confess to the crime, it's very difficult to prosecute these individuals.

The judicial system is trying to strengthen the current law.

House Bill 2794 was introduced in the Oregon House of Representatives last February. It amends language and upon passing would be enacted immediately. Legislators are expected to renew discussion in the next legislative session, February.

Car theft prevention recommendations by the City of Portland's Office of Neighborhood Involvement:

  • Take simple steps to prevent car thefts.
  • Buy aftermarket security products. Experts say car alarms are no longer enough.
  • Report suspicious activity.
  • File a police report if your vehicle is stolen.
  • Report stolen vehicles if they are parked on your street.
  • Don't buy a stolen vehicle.
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