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CTA robberies may be down but robbers seem more vicious

CTA’s Fullerton Train Station has been the scene of several robberies Photo credit: by davidwilson1949 via Creative Commons

Would you be shocked to learn that crimes on the Chicago Transit Authority’s trains and buses escalated sharply between 2009 and 2011? If you are a regular reader of this column it should come as no surprise to you. We have been reporting on the increase in CTA crime for the last two years.

On Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reported that robberies of CTA passengers soared by 69 percent from 2009 through 2011, from almost 500 reported in 2009 to more than 800 last year. Robberies, which involve force or intimidation, are the second-most-common crime on the CTA rail system and rank third on buses, behind batteries.

The extensive use of smart phones, iPods, iPads and other electronic devices by CTA passengers and the ability of thieves and robbers to turn these expensive items into easy cash caused the increase in CTA related crimes.

In response to the rash of robberies the city began installing security cameras on a number of buses, trains and train stations early last summer. They also beefed up police presence on trains and buses.

Police and CTA officials point out that CTA-related robberies were down 31 percent, batteries declined by 22 percent and thefts declined 14 percent, compared with the same period in 2011.

Most passengers continue to be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. That type of behavior will not only increase their chances of being robbed, but could end up endangering their physical well-being and possibly the life of an innocent bystander.

How might your lack of attention get someone else injured or killed? Read more.

Ed Kress
For over 40 years Ed Kress has been an instructor and student at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts, named "Best Overall Martial Arts School” worldwide by Black Belt Magazine. Master Fred Degerberg awarded Ed his 7th degree Black Belt in 2015. Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, Ed learned early in life to pay attention to his surroundings in order to avoid potentially dangerous people and situations. With the help of local law enforcement officers and directors of campus security, Ed developed a program focused on personal safety on the streets, and as it relates to the high school and college experience. Ed has trained thousands of adult men and women as well as high school and college students to improve their personal and situational awareness and, when necessary, how to physically defend themselves using their brains and a wide variety of martial arts techniques.

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