Drug-dealing complaints at 40th Street SA

Police officials hosted a meeting Aug. 17 with concerned residents about suspected drug dealing at the two SuperAmerica gas stations at West 40th Street & Lyndale Avenue South.

Crime-Prevention Specialist Tom Thompson said in an e-mail that more than 50 residents, as well as SuperAmerica representatives attended.

Thompson said the Police Department and 10th Ward City Councilmember Dan Niziolek had received complaints and reports from residents.

Thompson said before the meeting, however, that there were no police calls for service regarding drug activity at either of the two stations, and police surveillance had turned up nothing.

Nevertheless, a neighbor, who requested anonymity, said she watches the station on 40th & Lyndale's southeast corner and often sees people loitering, not buying anything and waiting to meet others. She said she's seen multiple people go into the single-stall bathroom and suspects drug transactions. Oftentimes, she said, it's the same vehicles involved.

The woman said she had called police before the community meeting, but her calls didn't register for the gas station because she gave her address, not the station's, to 911 operators. Thompson said the exact address of the problem property is needed for records purposes.

After the meeting, the woman said she was pleased with the meeting, and changes - including bathroom door locks, new cameras and a security assessment - were made. However, she said she was frustrated that station officials had to be asked to be "good neighbors" and that the stations' appearance had deteriorated.

In recent years, SA has sought to consolidate the dueling stations, but neighborhood resistance to an expansion of the 4001 Lyndale Ave. S. station has thwarted the plan.

SA officials also agreed to look at having a manager work past 5-6 p.m., according to a Thompson e-mail. SA Development District Manager Chris Renz, who was present at the meeting, declined to comment.

For more information, contact Thompson at 673-2823 or Thomas.thompson@ci.minneapolis.mn.us.