Three simple tips to avoid having stuff stolen on the CTA

Three simple tips to avoid having stuff stolen on the CTA
( Zbigniew Bzdak, Chicago Tribune / May 30, 2012 ) Kayla St. George, 25, of Rhode Island, waits for a CTA Red Line train during afternoon rush hour last month at the Roosevelt Street station. “I’m very aware to make sure I stand or sit near other people on the CTA because I’ve heard a lot of bad things in general about Chicago crime,’’ St. George said. Crimes targeting CTA riders are concentrated along the Red Line, among other areas, a Tribune geographic analysis of city data found.

The Chicago Tribune continued its series on CTA crime today, revealing the locations of the highest-crime areas after unveiling on Saturday that CTA thefts, robberies have been on the rise since 2009.

I might not be a security expert, but I'm pretty sure I know three sure-fire ways to help you avoid having your stuff stolen on the CTA:

1. Put your smartphone away: That text, Facebook status or Words With Friends game will wait. I promise you. It will. As soon as you get off the train or bus, it still will be there. CTA vehicles do not – yet – have the ability to wipe the memory from your smartphone. And as Alec Baldwin learned, the world will not end if you don't use those two double words blocks within the next 10 minutes. (Though that might be the plot of the next "Speed" movie if another is made.)

2. The seat next to you is not a locked storage container: Do not place your purse, wallet, smartphone, etc. on the seat next to you and then forget about it. You might as well place a "Please steal me" sign on the seat, as well, so any potential thief can be sure that it's OK.

3. Try paying attention to the world around you: As much as you want to just plug in your headphone and jam away while waiting to get to your destination, perhaps it might be a better idea to not completely zone out. I'm not saying don't listen to your headphones, but maybe you might want to turn the volume down a bit and not get totally lost in the world of Pearl Jam or Carly Rae Jepsen or whoever you listen to. This also goes for walking on the street.

• Joe Grace is a writer and journalist who lives in Chicago with his wife. Did you like this column? If so, then join your neighbors in liking Going for Gusto on Facebook or following me on Twitter.

Filed under: Lists

Leave a comment