Murder puts CTA iPhone thefts on Page 1

Unfortunately, it took the tragic murder of an innocent 68-year-old woman for the city's major media outlets to focus any attention on the big smartphone theft problem on the CTA.

I've been writing about the big jump in thefts on the CTA for a year.

I've been telling folks for a year about what they can do to NOT become a victim.

But that's fine. I welcome all the clamor the media can muster to shine a brighter light on this crime epidemic -- especially because I think it's pretty much preventable with a little vigilance on our part.

I'm going to repeat my tips on from a previous post:

  1. Don't stand in the doorway or seat near the door with you iPhone or iPod handy for a snatcher.
  2. Know your surroundings at all times. Look around you. 
  3. Don't keep your face glued to your smartphone screen. That's the corollary to rule No. 2.
  4. If you do become a victim, work with the police. Give a description of the offender.

The police were able to get a decent description of the thug who murdered the woman by pushing her down the steps at Fullerton station after snatching a cellphone on the platform. Here's the police sketch of him.

murder suspect.jpg

Now, as John Walsh says on America's Most Wanted, "Let's get this bastard."

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  • (Psst - check the numbering on tip #3.)

    I've always thought that if I owned a laptop computer, I'd be reluctant to even carry it on public transportation. It's expensive and a real target for thieves.

    Ditto for a smartphone. As you say, people who do use them simply must take a few common-sense precautions.

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