Columbia’s ‘Ma Boyle’ Fools Thief

Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

At age 13, Gert Boyle and her family fled Nazi Germany and moved to Portland, Ore. This week, the 86-year-old Chairman of the Board at Columbia Sportswear faced off with a thug in her Oregon home. As reported today in the Oregonian and several media sources, police say a gunman tied up Ms. Boyle on Wednesday and “roughed her up.” She was held hostage while the robber, who was later caught, pilfered jewels and looked for valuables in the home.

But Boyle, who has run Columbia for decades after the death of her husband and once authored a book called “One Tough Mother,” had the chutzpah to rally against her captor. She fooled the robber by tripping a silent alarm at her home, summoning the police.

Gert Boyle and her book, ‘One Tough Mother’

A few hours after the incident, Portland-area police caught a man limping outside a McDonald’s thought to be the miscreant. The man was booked on charges of burglary, robbery and kidnapping.

Talk about a creep! Ms. Boyle is 86 years old. Reports say she was targeted specifically by the robber.

Despite bumps and bruises, media sources report, Boyle’s business instincts came to the fore when the police chief visited to brief her on the investigation. “He mistakenly wore a North Face jacket, and he asked her how she was doing,” the chief said. “She said she was doing fine until that jacket walked through the door.”

—Stephen Regenold



Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive GearJunkie content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive GearJunkie content direct to your inbox.