It was a rough Monday morning for a cab driver in Minneapolis. Tod O'Reilly picked up what he thought was a customer, and he was robbed and then stuffed in his trunk.
The incident occurred around 5:00 Monday morning at the Metro Transit bus hub, a very busy area along Hennepin Avenue. He was flagged down by a man, told he needed to go to Cub Foods, but needed to talk to his sister. However, the entire story was a ploy to get the cab driver into a vulnerable area.
O'Reilly says the man he picked up this morning had him drive just a few blocks to the mall in Uptown, told him to pull over and turn off the cab. He demanded all his money, wallet, cell phone and implied that he had a gun.
O'Reilly was put in the trunk and waited for about four minutes before pulling the latch. The suspect hasn't been seen since. Police say this is a perfect example why they want cameras required in all cabs. The Rainbow cab O'Reilly was driving does not have one. Investigators say they're at a disadvantage without surveillance because there are about 20 to 25 cab robberies in Minneapolis each year. This one is number six.
The owner of Rainbow Taxi says his only hesitation has been waiting for the city to specify what kind of cameras they will require.
"They're figuring out what's going to be required and what's not going to be required and that put me on hold because how was I supposed to spend thousands of dollars on a camera system and have them tell me you need to do this different? So we've been kind of waiting on that," he said.
O'Reilly says he won't let one bad encounter in his three years of driving stop him.
Minneapolis police are working closely with Metro Transit to see if any of their cameras here at the bus hub may have captured this suspect getting into the cab, but it will be difficult identifying him, and they believe based on the story that he might have done something like in the past.