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Sedgwick passengers stay plugged in

At the same L stop in Chicago where bystanders tackled a thief who stole a woman’s iPhone on Wednesday, passengers continued the following day to use their devices and said they were not afraid.

Cindy Gudyka, 21, said she does not take many precautions when taking public transportation. Gudyka said she uses her phone, but “I am not aware of my surroundings.”

Last week Gudyka saw someone get robbed at the Sedgwick Brown Line stop, the place where passengers tackled a thief on Wednesday after he pushed a woman down and tried to run off with her phone, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Gudyka said she saw a man take a woman’s purse and was reaching for her necklace but took her phone instead. “A couple guys ran after him but didn’t catch him,” she said.

With the boom in technology in recent years, people have become reliant on their cell phones, iPods and other such technology. The increase in expensive electronics constantly on hand has added to an increase in thefts and crimes on public transportation.

“I have my headphones in all the time and I always text on the train but I look up frequently when I text,” said Joel Kathan, a 21-year-old Chicago resident. Kathan takes extra precautions to be safe on public transportation, “I do not take the train at night.”

Many people have their own methods of keeping their belongings safe.

Leisure listening or dangerous activity? Photo by Chelsea Tomala

“I usually stay away from doors on trains so no one grabs my iPod and runs,” said Michael Echeverri, 17. Echeverri is not frightened of being robbed and he usually has his headphones in, listening to music, he said.

Anne Rufa, 24, said she saw someone steal a man’s phone on the Brown Line.

“I’ve been worried before but I can’t just be scared all the time,” she said, adding that the man went after the guy who stole his phone and fought him until he got his phone back.

On its website the CTA advises riders to be aware of their surroundings and watch of for other passengers. I

t has a publicity campaign with the slogan: “If you see something, say something. As a customer, the CTA asks you to be a vigilant rider.”

The CTA has launched a “Pickpocketing Campaign” keeping riders aware of the dangers that can come along with not being attentive on public transportation. Some tips they offer for passengers are “Keep wallets and valuables in zippered from pockets,” and “Never pat your pockets to see if your wallet is there; this lets criminals know the exact location of your valuables.”


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