More robberies reported on CTA trains as police prepare new strategies

Police officers patrol the Belmont Red Line station in Feb. 2020 | File

Two daytime robberies have been reported aboard CTA trains on the Near North Side this week as the city’s transit agency continues to struggle with rising violent crime on the L system.

  • A 30-year-old woman told police that a man grabbed her phone from her hands and ran from a northbound Red Line train just before the doors closed at Chicago Avenue on Tuesday afternoon. Police officers crossed paths with the woman during a patrol of the station at 1:34 p.m., according to a police spokesperson. The woman, who was visibly upset, could not provide any description of the offender. She declined medical attention.
  • A 40-year-old man told police that two offenders punched him in the face and demanded his property at the Sedgwick Brown Line station around 12:20 p.m. on Monday, police said. The man said the robbers ran southbound on Sedgwick after getting about $90 from him.

    Police drove the victim around the area and arrested 23-year-old Brandon Frazier Jr. of Garfield Park nearby after the victim identified him as one of the assailants, according to a CPD spokesperson.

    Prosecutors charged Frazier with one count of misdemeanor battery and he was released on his own recognizance, according to court records.

    The case remains open because the victim reported there were two offenders involved, police said.

CWBChicago reported exclusively last week that police and CTA leaders are developing significant changes to the way the agencies approach criminal activity on the transit agency’s train lines. An announcement regarding the city’s new strategy is expected next week.

In the near term, CPD will reassign two or three officers from each of the city’s 22 police districts to form a mobile train patrol unit during evening hours. The temporary unit will launch on Mar. 5 and remain active through Memorial Day, according to the department.

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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. Our editorial email address is