CHICAGO (CBS) — Police on Sunday warned CTA train system users about pickpockets who have been active both day and night right in the Loop.
The incidents have been happening over the past few weeks, police said. The pickpockets have been working in tandem on Chicago Transit Authority trains and platforms – taking wallets from riders’ pockets and book bags, police said.
One of the men crease a diversion or blocks the victim’s movement, while the other takes the victim’s wallet, police said.
The suspects then go to ATMs and withdraw cash from the victim’s credit and debit accounts before bank card security has time to deactivate the cards, police said.
The incidents happened at the following times and locations:
• At 2:47 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in the 300 block of South Dearborn Street;
• At 3:37 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, in the 0-99 block of North Dearborn Street;
• At 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, in the 0-99 block of West Jackson Boulevard;
• At 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, in the 200 block of South State Street;
• At 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, in the 1100 block of South State Street;
• At 3:20 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, in the 200 block of South Wabash Avenue;
• At 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, in the 200 block of South Wabash Avenue;
• At 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the 200 block of South State Street;
• At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the 0-99 block of North Dearborn Street.
Police did not specify any train stops or lines on which the pickpocketing incidents happened. However, the Blue Line subway runs under Dearborn Street and the Red Line subway under State Street, while the Loop ‘L’ – which carries the Brown, Orange, Green, Pink, and Purple lines through downtown – runs in part over Wabash Avenue.
The pickpocketing suspects are both described as black males between the ages of 45 and 60. One weights 180 to 210 pounds, the other 200 to 250 pounds, and both have been seeing wearing various baseball hats, police said.
Transit riders are advised always to be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious activity immediately. Anyone who is confronted by an assailant is advised to remain calm and always to remember any unique physical characteristics. Police also advise calling them, rather than ever chasing a suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to call Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8384.