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Police: Woman caught sleeping in Portland child’s bed arrested again after similar crime

Stephanie Sabin says she had just gotten home from work, noticing some items in her apartment were in disarray, the heat was on, and the deadbolt was flipped. (KPTV photo via CNN)

PORTLAND Oregon (KPTV) — A woman who was caught on camera walking into a Portland home and falling asleep on a child’s bed has been arrested again, allegedly for the same thing.

Portland police arrested 54-year-old Terri Zinzer last Friday afternoon. This comes after she previously walked into another home last month and fell asleep on a child’s bed. The incident was caught on camera. The homeowner was looking to press charges, but when she called the Multnomah County DA’s Office, she was told the charges had been dropped and Zinzer was released. The DA’s Office now says they are reviewing the case. On September 27, Zinzer was arrested on several charges, but the DA dropped those charges and she was released.

She is now being held in the Multnomah County Detention Center on several charges, including burglary and harassment. The charges stem from an incident last Friday. Stephanie Sabin says she had just gotten home from work, noticing some items in her apartment were in disarray, the heat was on, and the deadbolt was flipped.

“We don’t normally flip the deadbolt,” said Sabin. “I thought that was kind of strange. There had been some reports of break-in’s earlier in the day so I thought when my son left he was being super cautious.”

She says she then walked into her bedroom and saw someone sleeping in her bed. She at first thought it was her daughter, but quickly realized it was a stranger.

“I was mad at first, I was really mad,” said Sabin. “I yelled to get out of my apartment super loud and over and over before I realized that was stupid and I should probably leave my apartment. So I did. I went outside and called 911. A neighbor and I walked back in and we found her not in my bed, but in my closet wearing my clothes and sleeping on the floor. We couldn’t wake her up or she refused to move, so we left again and during that time we were waiting for the police, she shut the door and deadbolted it again. She then locked herself in the bathroom and barricaded herself in. We waited for police and they came in. They came in kind and gentle and tried to get her out, but she refused to leave. So they ended up busting down the door, sending a K9 in, and removing her. They ended up arresting her. She left wearing my clothes. It was just a traumatic situation, I’m sure for her as well as us.”

Sabin says the DA’s Office has been keeping in contact with her regarding this case.

“They’ve been super helpful, but I’m not super hopeful that anything is going to change,” said Sabin. “Clearly this has been an ongoing issue. I’m hopeful that perhaps this can be the one situation that they find some sort of help for her. I’m worried she’s going to get hurt or someone else is. When situations like this happen and continue to happen, it’s not just her that’s being harmed. The people that it is happening to are being harmed too. My son is having trouble sleeping, everyone is on edge. It’s an off-putting situation. It makes you afraid to be in your own home and no one wants to feel like that. It’s violating. It’s violating to have someone in your space. It’s violating having someone put your clothes on. The dress was my sisters who passed away. It was important to me and it was destroyed. It sucks to keep being victimized over and over again when someone should have been off the street a long time ago getting the help they need.”

According to court records, authorities were unable to get Zinzer to come out of her cell for her arraignment on Monday. It has now been postponed to Tuesday morning. Court documents from Sep. 30 also show she was deemed “ineligible to come out for a recog interview at this time” and that “the defendant (Zinzer) has been in an isolation cell since arrival to MCDC. Her erratic, uncooperative behavior has made her difficult to process and a threat to staff safety to deal with”.

Sabin says this shows more needs to be done to help those with mental health problems in the city.

“I love my city,” Sabin said, showing her Trail Blazers tattoo on her arm. “I love Portland, clearly I love Portland. But so much has happened. We have had our car stolen twice. There was a murder up the street. It’s just on and on and on. I was angry. I was so angry that someone broke into my home. I was just frustrated and I was sad. Especially when I found out she had multiple charges against her. It’s sad. Clearly a woman who needs help and she just cycles and cycles and cycles through the system. Obviously, the system isn’t working. So what are we going to do about it?”