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Did you hear?…Do NOT mess with Gert Boyle

Gert Boyle, chair of Columbia Sportswear, not only foiled a robbery attempt at her Portland, Ore., home, but, ultimately, fended off three men who were intent on kidnapping her for ransom.


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On Nov. 17, an AP story updated a story first published on Nov. 11, detailing how Gert Boyle, chair of Columbia Sportswear, foiled a robbery attempt at her Portland, Ore., home. Turns out, 86-year-old Boyle not only thwarted a robbery, she fended off three men who were intent on kidnapping her for ransom.

According to the AP report, the Clackamas County grand jury returned indictments for kidnapping, burglary, robbery and conspiracy against Honduran immigrants Nestor Gabriel Cabellero, 39; Ramon Alberto Midence, 41; and Jose Luis Arevalo, 47.

Arevalo, who was arrested Nov. 15, told officers he planned to kidnap Boyle in exchange for $20,000, according to booking papers filed with the Clackamas County Jail.

Boyle apparently tricked her captors by telling them she needed to turn off the alarm in her home. Instead, she tripped a silent alarm that sent police to the home. While the assailants escaped, Cabellero was arrested hours later.

Although Boyle did reportedly take a day off from work the day following the kidnapping attempt (she suffered minor cuts and bruises), her tough mother demeanor never took time off. According to the AP report, when the police chief of West Linn — the suburb of Portland that Boyle calls home — came to visit and to ask how she was doing, she reportedly told the chief, “I was doing fine until that jacket walked through the door.”

No word on whether the chief subsequently removed The North Face jacket he was wearing, but, no doubt, he’ll not wear it again when checking on Boyle.

–Michael Hodgson