MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s a crime that’s hard to believe: A blind man had his iPad mini stolen while riding a city bus. Now, Metro Transit and the victim are hopeful that surveillance footage will solve the case.

The theft happened two weeks ago as Jordan Richardson rode home from work.

“All of a sudden, he just got up and snatched it out of my hands,” Richardson said. “iPad mini, smart cover, ear buds and all.”

They are gadgets that help Richardson see in a way his eyes won’t allow. But after boarding the city bus on Nov. 22, leaving his job tutoring preschoolers in Brooklyn Center, that technology had no way to warn Richardson of the young man that took it.

It happened at 42nd Avenue North and Freemont Avenue North and the man got off right away.

We’re not able to see the video since it’s still an open case, but the whole thing was captured on a bus camera.

“Commit crimes in the transit system and you’re most likely going to be identified,” Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland said.

More than 5,500 cameras with audio are always rolling across Metro Transit’s bus. Rail system and dispatchers are able to get a live look and listen at most stops and stations.

“That video really provides excellent evidence,” Siqveland said.

Last year, it rolled on a professional wrestler springing into action when a man became unruly on a light rail train. A few years ago, a blind woman had her laptop stolen and a picture of the guy that took it helped her get it back.

Metro Transit says so far this year, they’ve had at least one piece of electronic equipment stolen every day but a third of them have already been solved thanks, in most cases, to surveillance video.

In Richardson’s case, video helped police figure out who the kid is who took his iPad.

“I think it’s gutsy and sort of ignorant,” Richardson said.

But so far, they haven’t been able to get it back.

“Not expecting, but always remain hopeful. Always holding out,” Richardson said.

Overall, Metro Transit says buses and trains are safe. For every 100,000 rides there are about seven crimes reported in the transit system and the vast majority is for minor things like loitering and smoking on transit property.


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