Canned food is raining down from a Portland 23-story highrise...and nobody knows who is behind it

For nearly six weeks tin cans have been thrown from a high rise, but pinning down the culprit is proving to be a very hard task

Amelia Neath
Friday 17 May 2024 17:08 BST
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Tins of food are being hurled off a highrise in Downtown Portland
Tins of food are being hurled off a highrise in Downtown Portland (KOIN 6)

Canned food has been raining down from a highrise tower in Portland, and nobody knows who the culprit is for the particularly dangerous shower of tin cans.

Cans have been smashing down onto the streets below the 23-story Ladd Tower in Portland, Oregon, for weeks now, and local residents have become increasingly concerned over the potentially deadly consequences.

Workers at the neighboring Higgins Restaurant in downtown Portland say they have been recently noticing cans being thrown out of a building and crashing down beside them, sometimes barely missing them.

The cans have already damaged the car of one employee at the restaurant, Lauren Ellis, who told KOIN that the roof of her vehicle was dented after she found cans, including an obliterated tin of ravioli, lying around her car after her shift.

“I kind of looked at my car at first to see there wasn’t any initial damage and didn’t think to look at the top of my car,” Ms Ellis said. “I’m lucky it didn’t hit the windshield or I wasn’t in the vehicle when the can hit my car.”

Dylan Shmitt, a general manager at Higgins, told the outlet that there have been some “close calls” with some of their employees and other pedestrians wandering down the street.

The cans are allegeldy being thrown from an upper-floor unit of Ladd Tower, Portland
The cans are allegeldy being thrown from an upper-floor unit of Ladd Tower, Portland (Google Maps)

“It’s been happening in the afternoons when people are arriving for our evening shifts, and so it’s a danger to actual commuters and civilians out here,” Mr Shmitt said. “The end of last week when our most recent encounter was one of our chefs almost got hit by it and exploded right next to him.”

The Portland Police Bureau are aware of the shower of cans coming from the building, after receiving their first report of the peculiar incident nearly six weeks ago, the police told The Independent, adding the situation is “extremely troubling.”

The police say the person is most likely occupying an upper-level apartment in the 23-story Ladd Tower, but it is very hard to pin down exactly what unit that would be from, so are asking for the public’s help and ask anyone who may know the identity of the person to contact them.

Even if they were to go door-to-door conducting interviews throughout the building, which they say remains an option, most people do, in fact, own at least one or two canned goods, making investigating this bizarre situation increasingly difficult.

Tins of food are being hurled off a highrise in Downtown Portland
Tins of food are being hurled off a highrise in Downtown Portland (KOIN 6)

“Short of someone confessing, PPB personnel can’t search an apartment without probable cause and/or a warrant,” a police spokesperson said.

“Most people have canned goods in their homes, so even if they are in possession of them, it doesn’t make them a suspect.”

At first, Atlas Pacific, the security team at Ladd Tower, did not see the tin cans lying on the street as anything out of the ordinary as there’s a church food bank nearby and the streets surrounding the building can occasionally be littered with food.

However, when they received a report from Ms Ellis, they realized how “mysterious” the can throwing is, they told The Oregonian. Nobody has been hurt in the incidents.

The cans have had a few ‘near misses’ with passersby
The cans have had a few ‘near misses’ with passersby (KOIN 6)

Holland Partner Group, which manages the Ladd Tower, also said they are willing to cooperate with police and Dan Tremaine-McCarthy, the communications manager for the group, told the outlet they have sent a letter out to the tenants notifying residents of the situation.

The letter reportedly asks residents to report anything they see and, if “done safely,” record video or take images of the tin can hurling taking place.

Meanwhile, residents are sitting tight waiting to hear if the culprit gets caught.

“It’s still happening,” Ms Ellis told the outlet. “I think we’re all interested in trying to figure out who this is so they don’t continue.

“A can from 18 stories, could obviously kill somebody if not hurt them pretty badly.”

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