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Pickpockets on the El


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A Reader Writes:

Sunday afternoon on the Red Line I witnessed two pickpocket attempts, about 40 minutes apart. As my uncle was getting on the el at Jackson, a man in front of him pretended that his foot was caught between the platform and the train. He fell backward into my uncle, grabbed him, and another man took the wallet from my uncle's pocket. When my uncle started struggling, the wallet fell to the platform. The man in front ran up the escalator, but the guy who'd taken the wallet got on the train with us. My uncle confronted him. "You tried to rob me!" he said, and the man denied it. We pressed the emergency button to reach the train operator, and when the train stopped at Monroe the operator came back to our car and told the man to stay put. A CTA security guard immediately showed up and the police came in a couple of minutes and took the guy away. We got off to talk to the cops, then took another train about 15 minutes later.

After my uncle got off at Belmont I was riding alone. At Granville, two different men did the same thing to a girl with a huge backpack who was getting off. She had no idea what was happening, and the only reason I did was because I had just seen it. I grabbed her by her backpack and pulled her away from the man in front of her whose foot was "caught" and the other man blocking her in. She quickly disappeared, but the other two men stayed on the train. I got off and reported them at Loyola.

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