Police warn of CTA Pink Line robberies - New York News

Police warn of CTA Pink Line robberies

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It was a close call for CTA passengers Alex Jones and Ivana Hester.

"Last night was one of the scariest nights that I had. I was on the train around 12:30, there was a guy spitting on the train and an 18 year old came and started talking straight in my face and was asking people to use their cell phones so it was kind of creepy," said Jones.

"I've had an experience where me and my friends were bombarded by a group of teenage guys and we were completely surrounded by them and we had to go down and walk further to get away from them and they followed us and it was just really scary so I never like to travel alone - I don't travel alone," said Hester.

And that's good advice after police say a 22-30 year old man, clear as day on surveillance images struck twice, robbing victims of their cell phones, at gunpoint. Detectives say the suspect approaches an unsuspecting Pink Line commuter and then flashes a gun before forcefully removing the victim's cell phone.

One incident happened about three weeks ago in broad daylight at the 2019 S. Kostner Pink Line station. A CTA worker who wants to remain anonymous describes the suspect's MO.

"When the train stops, what they'll do is grab whatever from whatever person, then they'll run out the other exit… Cause you can walk along here, yeah you can walk along and just get up on the platform, this is how they prey on their people," said the CTA worker.

A second incident happened a week ago at another Pink Line station on South Kostner. Detectives are hoping to get the word out about the suspect before he strikes again. Fox 32 News found police monitoring the Pink Line station on State and Lake Streets in Downtown Chicago.

Detectives warn commuters to be aware, suspicious and calm in dangerous situations.

"Always in the back of my mind, I always have that consciously, I need to protect my phone and wallet," said Jimmy Morrow, a CTA commuter.

This latest notice from police has Alex Jones and Ivana Hester on high alert. They say it could have been them and they hope to see more security at CTA stations in the near future.

"More police to just be on the platforms just watching," said Jones.

"Or walking on the train, actually being on the train with us because once we get inside of there, it's like free reign, there's no one really protecting you. Oh yeah, push the button but how long is it going to take someone to come," said Hester.

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