Lakeview Residents Voice Concerns About Crime On CTA, Say There's Not Enough Patrols

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Crime on the CTA drew a standing-room-only crowd Wednesday night at a community policing meeting in the Wrigleyville neighborhood.

“I’ll tell you something – I’m mad as hell,” one man said, followed by applause by the crowd.

Many shared that man's sentiments during a Town Hall meeting at the 19th District police station. 

“A week ago last Friday, I was a victim at the Belmont stop,” Lakeview resident Kathryn Masterson said at the meeting. “My husband and I came back from a place, and a man just attacked me.”

CBS 2 reports between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, 458 crimes were reported on the CTA and there were a total of 145 arrests – compared with 102 in 2018.

Nonetheless, some of the meeting wondered where are the police?

“I never see cops – on the platforms, in the cars,” one man said. “You go to New York City, they’re everywhere.”

While police said crimes on the CTA are down, people at the meeting said they want to see more than the roughly 70 officers per shift patrolling the system. 

“I want to be able to ride the CTA and I don’t feel comfortable doing it right now, because it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of police around,” Masterson said.

Greg Ignatius, 65, was one of the recent victims of crime on the CTA. He spoke to CBS 2 last weekend, and attended Wednesday evening's Town Hall meeting to voice his concerns.

He said he was mugged by a group of young people in broad daylight at the Belmont Red-Brown-Purple Line station, and punched repeatedly in the face. 

"I can barely see anything," he said.

Though Ignatius said despite what happened to him, he will still ride the CTA and refuses to give into fear.

“No, I’m not going to,” he said.

But others said they fear they’re increasingly becoming victims of crime on the CTA.

On the same night, police issued a new community alert about thefts on CTA trains in Lincoln Park and on the Near North Side.

In each incident, someone either snatched the victim’s property or used force to take it from them, Chicago police said.

The robberies happened at all hours of the day between Dec. 18 and Jan. 4, police said. Three of them happened on the Red Line, near the North/Clybourn, Grand and Chicago stations.

The other robbery happened on a Brown or Purple Line train near the Chicago station in the 700 block of North Franklin Street, police said.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call Area Central detectives at 312-747-8380.