December 14, 2018
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Man wants Valentine’s Day bandits charged with crimes

File | BDN
File | BDN
Paper hearts go up on Valentine's Eve in Monument Square in this 2017 BDN file photo. A man says the so-called Valentine's Day bandits shouldn't be allowed to touch people's personal property, which they sometimes do by putting paper hearts on parked cars.

If you’ve visited downtown Portland this week, you probably noticed lots of paper hearts.

Under the cover of darkness on Valentine’s Day eve, the so-called Valentine’s Day Bandit left a mark from Ft. Gorges to the fire department and fronts of stores.

It’s a popular Valentine’s Day tradition in the city for more than 40 years, but Brian LaVoie isn’t feeling the love. He wants the bandit or bandits charged with a crime for taping hearts on cars.

“I understand they’re trying to spread love and joy, especially during Valentine’s Day, and I have no problem with that. It’s touching people’s personal property and vandalizing,” he said.

LaVoie said he caught the bandits on camera.

“Two people — a male and female — walked up to my vehicle and at the time I had no idea what they were doing. I thought they were breaking into it. I ran out to confront them, and they were gone and they left one of those fliers with hearts on it,” he said.

Surveillance video appears to show two people putting it on his driver’s side window.

“The tape wouldn’t come off because it was cold enough at night. It was just staying there,” Brian LaVoie said.

A spokesperson for the city of Portland says under city ordinance, the act is not legal.

The ordinance says you can’t place or attach a handbill, circular, card, booklet, or placard on someone else’s car without permission.

“I shouldn’t have to clean my vehicle because someone chose to touch it,” LaVoie said.

The Portland Police Department says if anyone has damage because of this Valentine’s Day act, they can contact them.

The city says maybe the bandit will see this and not touch cars next year.

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