CHICAGO (CBS) — The CTA was crediting increased use of security cameras for a significant increase in arrests of graffiti artists who have vandalized buses, trains, and other property.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports the agency said its hundreds of security cameras have led to 60 vandalism arrests during the first three months this year – as many graffiti arrests as all of last year.
CTA President Forrest Claypool said, without those cameras, it’s unlikely arrests would have been made, and the vandals might still be tagging CTA buses, trains, and other property.
To add more bite to those arrests, the CTA has started filing lawsuits against alleged vandals – or their parents in cases involving juvenile suspects.
The CTA has filed four lawsuits this week alone against the parents of teenagers charged with spraying graffiti on CTA property. The lawsuits seek a total of $13,000 in damages from those parents.
“Someone has to be held responsible,” one CTA passenger said of the agency’s tactics. “I mean, it’s how you raise your child, and I guess somebody has to pay for it.”
A fifth lawsuit has been filed against an adult who allegedly vandalized CTA property.
Graffiti cleanup costs the CTA about $1 million a year.