Do you get it? New CTA pick-pocketing campaign is "edgier"

The CTA recently unveiled a new ad campaign warning riders to beware of pick-pockets on trains and buses.

cta pick-pockets

As the Tribune reported, you may be a bit safer from thieves on trains than buses, but we still all need to be watchful:

“Reports of pickpocketing on CTA buses increased 6.5 percent in the
first 11 months of this year compared to the same period in 2008,
according to the mass-transit unit of the Chicago Police Department.

“Pickpocketing on trains decreased 12.5 percent and it was down 14.5
percent on rail platforms over the same period, officials said.
Two-thirds of the 1.6 million rides that the CTA provides each day are
on buses.”

That’s what Jon Hilkevitch reported in his Getting Around column Saturday. But he also wondered: “What does the photo on the left of a new CTA card, showing a couple,
have to do with protecting yourself from becoming a crime victim (as
shown in the photo on the right)?”

Well, give the CTA credit for using a little alliteration and an alluring photos of two nice butts to draw your attention. I like it. And I get it.

Update: A CTA spokesperson wrote me today with this further statistical note: “Out of approximately 294 million bus rides taken this year between January and November, there were 180 reports of pickpockets. So while [the incidence of pick-pocketing] did go up 6.5%, the overall likelihood of being a victim is very small.”


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  • I'm assuming the way pickpocketing still works is the way I've seen it/had it attempted on me. Train pulls in the station, one guy gets in front of you, one guy behind. The front guy stops suddenly right before boarding, you run into him, behind guy goes for your wallet.

    I had a friend (oddly enough, his name is Kevin) have a comb stolen that way once. I slapped the behind guy when it happened to me and he got nothing.

  • Snuggling or snatching? I don't get the ad. If the people you're snuggling with are also pickpocketing you, you've got bigger problems than a public transportation ad campaign can solve.

  • In reply to jimmyfromchicago:

    Jim: My read on this is if you spend too much time snuggling you're not paying attention to the environment around you and may not see criminals setting you up to be pickpocketed.

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