How to spot a phone theft in the works on the CTA

By now it seems to be a familiar story, yet one that bears repeating.

We’re on Red Line south from Argyle at 10 p.m. on a busy for Monday night. Many of the seats are already taken.

stolen iphone.jpg

Two kids about 15- to 16-years-old keep crossing between cars, raising our suspicions.

They stopped by the regular exit doors, looking at each other, looking at us and scanning the rest of car. Just acting funny. We just know something is going to happen.

A guy boards at Addison in one of the seats facing each other by the doors. He pulled out his iPhone and begins surfing. The doors open at Belmont, one of the kids grabs the phone and sprints down the stairs.

It happened in a heartbeat to guy totally unaware of his environment and fully immersed in his handheld toy.

Meanwhile about dozen other teens came rushing out of various doors at Belmont, laughing and screaming.

Lessons learned:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Look up from your phone or mp3 player occasionally and see what’s happening.
  3. Watch who’s coming between cars.
  4. Tell the motorman about anything suspicious like that.

(Photo from

Leave a comment