Portland PD warn of man getting into occupied cars

Portland PD warn of man getting into occupied cars

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Over the past eight months, several Portland drivers have had a man get into their unlocked vehicle while they are stopped at a red light on Forest Avenue and Riverside Street in Portland. 

Police have are aware of the issue and said the man does not seem to be a threat. According to Lt.  James Sweatt, police are familiar with the individual who they say suffers from a mental disability. 

"We want to make sure the general public is aware of it and can take actions to protect themselves," said Lt. Sweatt with Portland Police said, 

Portland Police have been receiving calls and tips about a person randomly getting into cars when the driver is stopped at the light. Sometimes the man only attempts to open the car's door, while other times he actually gets into the seat. 

"In all the situations we have seen there have not been any violent actions...Usually when confronted sternly the individual exits the car," said Lt. Sweat. 

Michelle Perrin of Gorham experienced the person a few weeks ago.

 "He started approaching my car and I pointed my finger like no, no, no, don't approach my car because I knew my doors weren't all the way locked. I didn't know what he wanted then he just went back to the curb and I went through the light," said Perrin. 

Perrin did not report the incident to police and said the individual is known by others at her work.

Portland Police have received two calls about the individual between Saturday and Monday night. At this point, he is not facing any criminal charges and officers are working with his family to help him. If you do encounter the individual, you are asked to call 911 immediately and file a report with police.

"We can track that behavior and work with our mental health partners to get support to that individual...The court can take action whether to mandate or request mental health assistance be provided to the individual," explained Lt. Sweatt.

Given the situation and with no criminal charges pending, Portland Police will not be releasing the individual's name.


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