Janine DeCresenzo lost about $150,000 of her jewelry after someone stole it from a car trunk on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (Courtesy of Janine DeCresenzo)
Two out-of-town jewelry makers who were selling their work at the “Art in the Pearl” festival this weekend in Northwest Portland say someone stole $300,000 of their inventory from the trunk of their car.
Megan Clark said she and her friend, Janine DeCresenzo, had made a 10-minute stop at a store after the festival closed for the day Saturday. While the pair were in the store, someone opened up their trunk and made off with black jewelry bags containing years’ worth of handmade work, Clark said.
“It’s beyond devastating,” Clark said. “That supports me, my husband and my child.”
Clark said some of the stolen items took her weeks to craft — and that one of the missing necklaces took her more than 200 hours to make.
“We hand-fabricate our work,” Clark said. “We’re not able to replicate our work easily or quickly.”
Clark and DeCresenzo called police. Portland Police Sgt. Chris Burley said officers responded to investigate the car break-in, which is believed to have occurred at about 7 pm. Saturday.
Clark said the two had stopped at a marijuana dispensary, at Northeast Oregon Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, across the street from the Oregon Convention Center. Surveillance cameras didn’t capture the thief on video because the car was parked in a blind spot of the business, Clark said.
Clark said police couldn’t find any point of entry or damage to the car. Clark said she also found it strange that the thief didn’t take other bags in the trunk — including one that looked like a purse.
That’s left her wondering if someone might have followed her and DeCresenzo from the festival and seized on the moment of opportunity, knowing exactly what to grab.
Clark is from Durham, North Carolina. Janine DeCresenzo is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Art in the Pearl is now in its 21st year. The festival includes 130 vendors, who have been selected through a highly competitive process. The festival, in the North Park blocks, wraps up Monday.
Anyone with information about the stolen jewelry is asked to call Portland police at 503-823-3333 or the organizers of “Art in the Pearl” at 503-512-9071. Clark and DeCresenzo are offering a $5,000 reward, Clark said.