Sub delivery man gets his bike stolen

The University of Minnesota area had seven bike thefts last week.

Branden Largent

 

Phillip Cross, a Jimmy John’s employee, had his bike stolen during a delivery.

The theft was one of seven reported bike thefts on the University of Minnesota campus and surrounding neighborhoods last week.

Cross, who has worked at the Riverside Avenue Jimmy John’s for six months, left his bike unlocked outside of the Carlson School of Management last Tuesday night and asked the security monitor of the building to keep an eye on it while he made a delivery.

“Less than 45 seconds later, it was gone,” said Cross, who didn’t bring his bike lock to deliveries thinking he didn’t need it since his bike wouldn’t be left for long.

Jay Burian, the area manager for the three Jimmy John’s locations surrounding the University, estimated more than 20 of his employees have had their bikes stolen in the past two years.

Cross said many of his co-workers have seen their bikes stolen right in front of them.

Burian said he and the store managers tell employees to “lock up your damn bike” while making deliveries, but most employees still don’t.

Jimmy John’s doesn’t reimburse employees for their stolen bikes, Burian said.

“We are all about being as fast as we can on delivery, but would you rather take the 20 to 30 seconds to lock up your bike, or would you rather have to walk home after your bike’s been stolen because you didn’t want to take the time?” he said. “And then you can’t deliver.”

University police Chief Greg Hestness said students and other bikers on campus should buy an inexpensive bike and a good lock.

Hestness said bike thieves often check the bike racks for expensive-looking bikes to pawn or sell online.

“Go for a functional bike that can get you around campus,” he said.

He said buying a U-lock is also important because bolt-cutters can go through cable locks “like butter.”

Students should also keep records of their bikes’ serial numbers so a recovered bike can be returned to its rightful owner, said Nick Juarez, Minneapolis police crime prevention specialist.

As the weather gets warmer, University police are increasing Security Monitor bike patrolling to give the police “an extra set of eyes and ears” in areas with lots of bike thefts, Hestness said.

“It’s harder for [officers] to get into all the nooks and crannies where all of our bike parking spots are,” he said.

University police are also continuing their bait bike program, planting bikes in areas with emerging theft patterns, Hestness said.

When dispatchers are alerted that bait bikes are being tampered with, they can view camera footage in the area to see if it’s being stolen.