We had a fun 8thBridge outing this afternoon at Bryant Lake Bowl. After that a bunch of us went over to moto-i and had some dinner and then a final beer at Muddy Waters. Everyone else left by cab and I walked over to the bus stop to catch the 4K home. I was about 15 minutes early so I got my iPad out and started reading The Selfish Gene, my book club book.
After a few minutes a guy walked up next to me and asked me for the time. I didn’t hear him at first and then he asked again so I told him the time. I didn’t think anything of it, but it seems after the fact that I was the mark at that point. Two other people that were at the bus stop mentioned that he looked suspicious and after he talked to me he had gone back and talked to another guy.
The 4K was still a few minutes away when the 4F started to approach. That wasn’t my bus so I just kept reading, and right as the bus approached a different person approached quickly behind me from my right, snatched my iPad with both hands and forcefully pulled it from me. He then ran very fast northbound on Lyndale. It happened in about 1 second. I didn’t get any look at him, other than to know he was shorter than me, likely 5 foot 6 inches. He was a black male in his twenties.
Two people waiting at the stop highlighted at this time they thought something was up. I was completely clueless. The driver on the 4F was super nice and called the transit police for me. I immediately sent a remote wipe command via MobileMe. About 15 minutes later MetroTransit Police called me and took all the details including the serial number of the iPad.
I seriously doubt that the iPad will be recovered. I have no idea what they will even do with it since I have a passcode and the device will certainly be locked. It is a WiFi device so it won’t be online, and if and when it does it will be wiped. I’m bummed to have lost the device, bummed to have been robbed and also just annoyed by the whole situation. On the very good side I didn’t even get so much as pushed or shoved. The guy snatched it and ran. I thought about pursuing but he was clearly faster than I, and even if I did catch him what would I do then.
The MetroTransit police officer I talked to was nice. I asked him if they ever found these things and he said the fact the 4F was approaching was a good thing. The buses, he said, have cameras all over them and they are going to pull the relevant video and see if they can find anything.
First time I’ve ever been robbed. Happily my wallet was still in my pocket, I still had my iPhone in my pocket and nobody threatened me. Doesn’t make me feel different about taking the bus, but I probably need to be a bit more “street wise” at night on a local bus as opposed to an express bus with commuters.
Update Oct. 5
I got a call from the MetroTransit Police and they were able to pull the video from the 4F bus that was approaching when the iPad was taken from me. The investigator confirmed that they saw a person matching my description grab the device from me and run away. They were not able to see his face or any other clues to help with identifying the person so it is mostly a dead end.
She said they were going to call around to local pawn shops but beyond that there wasn’t too much to go on. I thanked her for following up, but I don’t hold much hope for recovery.