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CTA Touts Success Of Surveillance Cameras In Fighting Crime

A surveillance camera at a CTA station. (CBS)

A surveillance camera at a CTA station. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — CTA officials say their system of more than 17,000 cameras is dramatically reducing crime on the system.

To drive home their point, they released video today of a pickpocket caught in the act.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody Reports

It’s a crime that starts with an act, as a criminal pretends to get his foot stuck between the platform and the train. He then falls down. That’s when the victim then bends down to help the man up. But that’s when another man rushes up behind the victim and snatches his wallet out of his front pocket.

The thief caught in the CTA surveillance video was busted and is currently serving time in prison. And he’s not alone.

“Since Jan. 1, images pulled from CTA surveillance cameras have assisted in the arrest of 135 individuals,” CTA President Forrest Claypool said at a Friday news conference.

He says that’s in large part due to the cameras, which have helped bring down the overall crime rate by 23 percent.

And although some people have privacy concerns, others say the more cameras, the better.

“It feels good. You know somebody is always watching you,” said Shaival Jason Chettipally as he walked off the Green Line.

More cameras are coming. Each of the CTA’s new rail cars is equipped with seven cameras. The old rail cars will be retrofitted with cameras.