Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Minneapolis Gas Stations Under Criminal Siege

The Minneapolis Downtown Journal reports that two gas stations trying to serve the public in Mayor Rybak's Minneapolis are overwhelmed by criminals. Business costs are rising due to the need for beefed up security, including off-duty officers (consider that, you business owners who are considering doing business in the city).

"Downtown gas stations beef up security measures"

Two late-night gas stations Downtown are taking steps to provide extra security in the face of criminal activity.

Loring Park’s SuperAmerica, 101 W. Grant St., may soon hire an off-duty police officer to supplement a surveillance system purchased this year.

“There is a bunch of theft going on, and the employees can’t do much about it,” said Store Manager Ahmed Kamala. “It’s always going to be crazy out here. Guys are dealing drugs in the parking lots. ... We are trying to deter some of these things from going on.”
Think about this next time you want to stop in for a snack:

Less than a month ago, the business permanently closed the public restroom after finding syringes.
Well, no one ever claimed that Minneapolis doesn't welcome a diversity of people.

SuperAmerica is not alone in it's struggle against crime.

Bobby and Steve's Auto World, cnveniently located at Washington Ave. and 35W seems to attract much more than it's fair share of thugs:

Bobby & Steve’s Auto World, 1221 Washington Ave. S., located in the vicinity of a recent shooting, has employed a minimum of two security guards on-site from midnight-4 a.m. for several years now. Late-night food orders are offered only to-go. In addition, the station closes during the after-bar rush on Friday and Saturday nights from 2:30-3:15 a.m.
These store are trying hard to do business in a city that has a festering culture of criminal behavior. And make no mistake, the extra security costs are not absorbed by the businesses; they are passed on to you and me.

And how does this kind of neglect affect the local business climate? Just ask the chairman and Chief Executive of Macy's North, Frank Guzzetta:

No one knew quite what Guzzetta, 61, a relative newcomer to the Twin Cities, had in mind. The guests, who included Mayor R.T. Rybak and Target Corp. marketing executive Michael Francis, were slightly anxious as they moved along a lush buffet table filled with Indian cuisine and five varieties of wine.

Then, as if on cue, Guzzetta strode to the front of the room and delivered a speech essentially criticizing those present for not doing enough to stanch the exodus of downtown retailers to the suburbs. "Without a group of people to take this to the next level, the downtown will go backwards," he told the group.
What say you, Mr. Mayor?