Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Some iPhones were stolen, but Karl Dorling apparently didn't want other valuables at Shields Painting Corp.

A Milwaukie business said they were robbed overnight — not just because some of their things were stolen, but because the burglar left behind a thank-you note, and even signed his name.

"I was shocked," said Erin Foster, an employee at Shields Painting Corp. "It still doesn't seem like it actually really happened — because who leaves a note?"

Karl DoringThe unwelcome visitor rummaged through business papers and took six business credit cards, documents and two iPhones.

"I found a note on my desk with a pen that said, 'Got the cards,' and something was illegible about it, and then something said, 'Thank you, Karl, just got back into town, anything that will help,'" Foster said. "And at that point I said, 'This is very, very odd.'"

She didn't know what to think when she called police on the morning of Oct. 4 to report that Karl had gotten away with the cards but was surprised he didn't take more, as there were computers and other valuables inside the store.

"He used our restroom, possibly took our water, took time to write and leave the note," Foster said. "He turned on the heater in the bathroom."

Milwaukie police identified Karl Dorling as the suspect. They found him on the waterfront four hours later, just a couple of blocks away. Police said Dorling admitted to the crime.

"Somebody made a call that he was screaming and they went over to check it out to see what was going on, and the officer said, 'I saw some of the things that you had described on him,'" said Foster.

She said she is still shocked over the break-in — and how quickly officers found her suspected new pen pal.

"It was a feeling of relief to know that he was caught, and you can move on now a little bit," said Foster.

The business is now looking into make some security changes. They are still not sure how the burglar got inside, since the door wasn't damaged. All of the stolen items were returned with the exception of one iPhone, according to Sheilds Painting Corp.

Dorling now faces burglary charges. Milwaukie police believe mental health issues may have also played a role.

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