Whoops! CTA Pickpocket Exits Bus Into Mob Of Cops At “Antifa” Protest

Steele (inset) exited a CTA bus into the middle of dozens of cops. | Protest image: DNAInfo Chicago

A career pickpocket was caught red-handed this week when he stole a woman’s wallet on a CTA bus, then stepped off the bus into the middle of dozens of cops who were handling an anti-facist protest, prosecutors said.

55-year-old Lawrence Steele stole the woman’s purse as they rode westbound on a #77 Belmont bus around 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, according to court records. He jumped off at Western Avenue and quickly transferred to a southbound Western bus.

Unfortunately for Steele, nearly 40 cops were stationed on the street at Belmont and Western because “antifa” protesters had injured an officer during a dust-up moments earlier.

The victim was able to quickly notify one of the officers who radioed out a description of Steele. He was arrested minutes later when 14th District officers boarded his Western Avenue bus near the Kennedy Expressway.

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Officers found the victim’s wallet and bank card onboard.

Charged with felony theft from person, Steel’s bond is set at $100,000.

In November 2014, Steel was sentenced to 2 years prison for (this may sound familiar) reaching into a woman’s purse and stealing her wallet while riding a #22 Clark bus in Lakeview.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets.