Reporting Bernie Tafoya
CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police and the Chicago Transit Authority believe they have a plan to try to cut down on the number of serious crimes that are committed on buses and trains.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, police believe the key is to crack down on criminals who try to get away with smaller crimes, especially including not paying fares to get on ‘L’ trains.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
The Chicago Tribune reports so far this year, Chicago Police have made more than 800 arrests of people who did not pay their fares or committed some other minor offense.
Police say there is a connection between people who evade paying fares and those who rob or con people on ‘L’ trains, the Tribune reports.
Police have profiled some of the criminals. Pickpockets tend to be middle-aged men, while smart phone thieves are usually teenagers, the Tribune reports.
Police Public Transportation Section Cmdr. John Graeber tells the Tribune there are 162 pickpockets that work the CTA on a regular basis, and police know them all well.
There has been a move by police to place “geographical restrictions” on repeat offenders so as to ban them from CTA property, but courts have refused to allow such restrictions, the Tribune reported.
Earlier this week, a Tribune analysis broke down crime reports on the CTA, and found that the Red Line is targeted the most by criminals.
The Tribune data show crime was also pervasive on the Forest Park branch of the Blue Line – which runs through the city’s West Side in the middle of the Eisenhower Expressway – Police Piubcand the Green Line, which serves the South and West sides and Oak Park.
The Tribune analysis found there were 217 crimes at the Roosevelt station in the South Loop during time period covered. The station ranks at the top for rail crime, on both the Red Line at subway level, and the Green and Orange lines at elevated level.
The second worst station for crime was the 95th/Dan Ryan the Red Line terminal with 199 crimes, the 69th Street Red Line stop with 166, the 79th Street Red Line stop with 151, the Pulaski Green Line stop with 139, and the Chicago Avenue Red Line stop with 108.
On buses, problems were clustered in certain parts of the South and West sides, the Tribune reported.