Police warn Green Line riders of armed robberies

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By Devin Rose

Staff Reporter

Chicago police are warning CTA riders about a pattern of armed robberies at or near Green Line stops in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Victims are usually approached while they are riding, exiting or walking home from the train, or waiting at a bus stop. Police didn't say how many robberies they've tied to the pattern.

Up to four men have approached victims and either beat them with their fists or displayed handguns and demand victims' purses, wallets, money, jewelry, computers or cellphones, the Tribune reported.

The alert asks riders to report any suspicious activity near the Green Line or bus stops.

Anyone with information can call Grand Central Area detectives at 312-746-8253 or 312-746-8362.

Reader Comments

27 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

OP Dude  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 5:37 PM

Dude, it's not just "silence"... the city assigns a specific number of officers to each district. Not everyone is "silent" in Austin, yet the response time to a victim who had just been sexually abuse and robbed right out side her front door had to weight over 2 hours for police to arrive. Who are the Mayor or police chief to decide whether people in Austin deserve less cops for higher crime rate just because there are those who don't talk, when there are good people in Austin.

Dude also  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 3:46 PM

Protection goes where people care. People in Austin seem to think its ok for certain crime to be happening in their neighborhood. Unlike Lincoln Park where people do care greatly. Its about taking control of your neighborhood. Start Today Call police and turn people in. Stop the silence.

OP Dude  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 3:14 PM

Let's see if the recent murder of a CPD officer has much impact on cracking down on crime in Austin... sadly, I don't think it's going to make much difference to the way the area is policed. "The Wire" had a huge impact on changing the system in Baltimore as it shined a light on the broken system and corruption... Sad that it takes entertainment to change corruption when deaths can't, but maybe Chicago needs a show also.

OP Dude  

Posted: January 6th, 2012 3:07 PM

chicagocopsneedtostayinchicago, I agree that Austin is an under-served area. It's the largest and one of the most crime ridden hoods in Chicago, yet has less cops assigned to it than Lincoln Park, one of the safest hoods in Chicago. Cops show up immediately when something small happened on the north side... you'll be waiting a good while in Austin even if you have a violent confrontation. It's typical Chicago politics, as the Austin voters don't have much pull, so less service for them.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 6:34 PM

I agree with Meghan. I don't have a cell phone but even if you do, don't yak on it on the El or walking down the street in an isolated and/or high-crime area. I saw a man last week take out his laptop on the Blue Line one night! What is so pressing that someone would even risk having it snatched?! Another point I forgot to make is that if you look at the locations (published in the Sun-Times, I believe), they were NOT all on the train but near it! So what is up with maligning the El?

Meghan from Oak Park   

Posted: January 4th, 2012 1:52 PM

I ride the green line everyday to and from work and have never felt threatened. If you keep to your self and don't show off things that would incite someone to steal then you should be okay. Obviously the person sitting there showing expensive jewelry and playing on their iphone is much more attractive than the person with their phone in their pocket. Common sense goes a long way on the CTA.

Silly comment  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 1:48 PM

@chicagocopsneedtostayinchicago: Why don't you suggest to the board an ordinance prohibiting Oak Park restaurants from selling food to Chicago Police Officers? That makes as much sense as you suggesting they should be limited to where they get their lunch. You do know they get to eat lunch too right? They fell safer??? Do you even notice the amount of restaurants we have compared to the west side? Be serious.

Paddy Boy  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 12:49 PM

Paddy Boy is ashamed that this type of behavior is happening on the "GREEN" line!

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 12:00 PM

I took a look at the list of robbery locations and times. First of all, there have been around 24 since November and 6 of them, 25% (!), took place on Chicago Ave. How in bloody hell does one associate Chicago Avenue w/the Green Line?! And in the other cases, the police mentioned waiting for a BUS (not Green Line), addresses that are near but not actually on the train. Um...it's AUSTIN and yeah, crime takes place on the West Side quite a bit. How they link it with the Green Line is a mystery..

chicagocopsneedtostayinchicago  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 11:22 AM

Maybe if the Chicago Police spent their time doing police work in CHICAGO instead of spending all of their time eating and walking around Oak Park, perhaps there wouldn't be such an enormous crime problem on the west side. Every time I do anything in Oak Park (shopping, eating, getting hair cut, etc.)there has not been one time when I didn't see a Chicago cop in Oak Park. I know they probably feel safer here, but stay in your own city and do your job THERE! Plenty of dining places in Chicago.

hello  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 10:14 AM

From the locations given, at least some of the crimes should have been seen by the new security cameras. So much for cameras-as-deterrant. Since the crimes are ongoing, it seems the cameras aren't doing much good at catching the criminals after the fact, either.

Bobby Murcer from the '77 Cubs  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 9:45 AM

I ride the Green Line at rush hour every weekday, and never had an issue. Anecdotal evidence and scare tactics dont mean much. On the other hand, Rahm could spend some $$ on cops on the trains, but he first has to get ready for NATO/G8.

Justine from oak park  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 9:44 AM

And we wonder why so many people move to Naperville and Barrington. Sad state of affairs.

east side OP'er from oak park  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 9:38 AM

'Idling gets you nowhere' (on the Eisenhower) but it's a heck of a lot safer than taking the green line!! If we want to reduce emissions and get ppl onto public transit, try making public transit SAFE TO TAKE FOR EVERYONE.

Anon from Oak Park from Oak Parker  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 9:25 AM

As a daily Green Line commuter, I'm very concerned. I've seen my friend screamed at, assaulted and then literally *punched* by a woman who police later told us was from the West Side - this b/c my friend was "in front of her" getting into the train car. !!! Nobody did a THING. I saw an older man robbed right in front of me as he and his wife entered the train - and again nobody did a THING. The last time I felt safe was 15 years ago when the conductors rode on nearly every train.

LS.  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 9:21 AM

I do believe that one of the key reasons Oak Park residents fall victim to robberies, burglaries and crime in general is the weapons restriction in place in Oak Park. The bad guys know this. Or imagine if, Illinois finally passed strict conceal carry laws that would allow law abiding properly trained citizens to arm and defend themselves. Imagine the deterring effect it would have on situations like this one. I would imagine the bad guys would would be very hesitant in there actions.

Mary Ellen Eads from Oak Park  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 9:00 AM

Safety (or the lack thereof) in Chicago's West side is closely linked to safety in Oak Park. I'm glad the WSJ is reporting on these incidents. Nevertheless, all of these incidents are disturbing and raise questions about what, exactly, Mayor Rahm and the CPD are doing to reduce West Side crime. Not much, it seems. How many of us would walk around east of Austin. Not many, I would guess. Nor the residents of Austin themselves. This is a huge problem yet it seems invisible to our politicians.

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 8:47 AM

Folks-- We don't have a police reporter covering the West Side. So when there is news off the West Side that has an Oak Park/River Forest dimension we choose to find ways to bring that to our readers. Sometimes that means properly attributing reporting to another news organization such as the Trib or Sun Times. That's the right thing to do. And, so, with respect, lay off our reporter. She's doing just fine.

Debbie Mercer from Oak Park  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 8:42 AM

Thanks for the feedback. It's definitely a conundrum: I really believe people should own up to their comments, but not at the risk of their safety. What a world we live in.

John Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 4th, 2012 1:50 AM

Debbie, I use my real name on posts but agree that some posters want or need the protection of a pseudonym. I will stick to using my name but would go to a pseudonym if I felt it needed it. I do occasional searches and find my name in strange places.

Journalistic Standards in the Village of Hemingway  

Posted: January 3rd, 2012 11:49 PM

Another in the long list of Devin Rose stories in which she digests a Chicago Tribune article for us rather than independently reporting. Must've graduated from the K-Mart School of Journalism. Not exactly keeping up the Hemingway tradition here, are we?

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: January 3rd, 2012 11:18 PM

I agree with *I'll never post...*. Although I'm still posting under my name, it's probably a little about inertia, a little about maintaining my belief that I should stand behind my word. However, I may go anonymous. I had the exact same experience as *I'll never post..* last year on this site.

OP Rez from Oakee Parkee  

Posted: January 3rd, 2012 10:47 PM

Just say NO!

Bingo  

Posted: January 3rd, 2012 10:23 PM

I don't even use my real name on Facebook. It's the same concept as anonymous whistle blowing. People will and do hold your opinions and comments against you. If you think people are above that feel free to tell the next cop that pulls you over, your boss, and your spouse how you REALLY feel. You'll wish they didn't have your real name when it's over. LOL.

I'll never post under my real name again  

Posted: January 3rd, 2012 10:07 PM

Ever have a cyberstalker, Debbie? I once picked one up here during a debate last year. They looked up my address, posted personal info about me and left me feeling threatened and a little violated. I've never used my real name since. Nothing happened, but it was a very scary situation that is not worth repeating. It's a stretch to assume that everyone posting on the web is sane and legitimate.

Debbie Mercer from Oak Park  

Posted: January 3rd, 2012 9:13 PM

I don't understand why people are afraid to use their names when they comment.

outraged at the lack of support for riders of public transportation  

Posted: January 3rd, 2012 9:11 PM

"Chicago police are warning CTA riders..." Why warn them? Why not protect them?! For the love of God, no rider of public transportation should be at risk of losing his/her life for traveling in a green and efficient manner beneficial to society. If you have to make public transportation a police state to keep riders safe, do it!! It is insane to have public transportation that is unsafe to use. Do what's right here and make riding the CTA safe, EVERYWHERE, no matter what you have to do to do it.

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