Power outage leads to Subway looting

Odessa Leeper/The Et cetera
Cyndi Pitman, who has owned Subway with her husband, Tim, since 2008, poses in front of the sandwich shop in February 2013. Et Cetera File Photo.
Odessa Leeper/The Et cetera
Cyndi Pitman and her husband Tim have owned Subway for three years.
By Anjulie Van Sickle

When the campus lost power on the morning of Jan. 30, a few students saw it as an opportunity to run into Subway and steal several bags of chips. However, their plans were thwarted when campus police officer Miqueas Figueroa arrived on the scene.

Police Chief Michael Horak said Figueroa was sent into Subway to clear the area and prevent anything from happening in the dark. When Figueroa walked in, he saw four students standing in a dark corner stuffing bags of chips into their backpacks. He then told them to put the chips back on the shelves and leave.

Although Subway management did not press charges, the incident surprised and disappointed President Jean Conway.

“I think we all believe this institution is about making people’s lives better,” she said. “[Stealing] is not an indication of somebody who is trying to make his or her life better.”

The campus Subway is a local franchise owned by Cyndi Pitman and her husband, Tim. Cyndi admits she was not entirely surprised by the situation.

“This is not the first incident we’ve had with people stealing,” she said. “It doesn’t happen very often, but we’ve had things happen in the past. I consider it major because it’s illegal.”

Pitman said that in the past people have walked out with chips as well as refills without paying.

Several employees were on duty when the blackout happened. They continued to serve sandwiches to customers who had cash, unaware of what was happening behind the line.

“You don’t expect something like this to happen in college,” said Astrid Nunez, who has worked at Subway for three years.

Pitman said if students steal from the restaurant, there will be ramifications, including police action and increased costs.

“Overall, we try to keep things within reason,” Pitman said. “The way to do that is by watching our costs. If you have people taking things, it’s going to affect the bottom line.”

Pitman said Subway management works proactively, attempting to prevent theft.

“If I know something has been ongoing, I will personally find out who it is, [who’s stealing],” Pitman said. “I’ll follow them out and we’ll have a good face-to-face talk. Normally, that’s all it takes.”

Pitman said she is always very surprised when others are dishonest, because honesty is important to her.

“I think there are a lot of honest people in this world, but there are some who are going to be dishonest,” she said. “It didn’t matter whether it was here or somewhere else, because it would have happened no matter where [the student] was.”

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