Despite low ridership due to COVID, violent crime is continuing to be a problem on the CTA train system, according to police records. But Chicago cops are making quite a few arrests, too. In fact, three more people have been arrested and charged with committing robberies on the L system downtown and in Old Town this week.
Most recently, prosecutors charged 25-year-old Alita Smith with robbing a woman at the Sedgwick Brown line station on Friday afternoon. Assistant State’s Attorney Calvin Astrella said Smith asked the woman at the station for money, and the victim agreed to give her $15 or $20.
The two women walked to a nearby ATM, where the alleged victim began to withdraw cash. Smith pushed her out of the way and boxed her out while typing in a transaction for $200, Astrella said. Smith allegedly grabbed the money from the machine, told the victim she had friends who would kill her, and fled into a nearby building.
Police found Smith inside the building and took her into custody. Astrella said she returned some of the money to the victim, who had scratch marks on her neck from the altercation.
Judge John Lyke set Smith’s bail at $5,000.
On Thursday, prosecutors charged 38-year-old Kevin Britton with body-slamming a 60-year-old robbery victim on the Chicago-State Red Line platform.
Britton borrowed the victim’s phone as they rode a Red Line train around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and then refused to give it back as the victim prepared to exit at Chicago-State, prosecutors and police said.
Instead, Britton allegedly put the man’s phone into his pocket and walked off the train. The man chased after Britton and grabbed his jacket, but Britton body-slammed the man, choked him, punched him in the face, and kneed him in the head, prosecutors said. CTA surveillance cameras allegedly recorded the attack.
Police arrested Britton in the entryway of a nearby building. The victim identified him as the robber, prosecutors said. Britton, who is on parole for residential burglary and conditional discharge for misdemeanor battery, was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail by judge David Navarro.
Prosecutors this week also charged 32-year-old Nickolas Colon with robbing a passenger on the Blue Line at LaSalle. Colon allegedly grabbed the woman from behind, took her phone, then ran from the train around 3:15 p.m. Saturday, April 10.
The alleged victim’s brother tracked her stolen phone and helped police locate Colon at the Sedgwick Brown Line station a short time later, according to a CPD report and prosecutors. Colon was holding the pinging phone in his hand when police arrested him, a prosecutor said.
Judge Charles Beach set bail for Colon at $10,000 and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring if he’s released.
On April 12, prosecutors charged a five-time convicted robber with violently attacking two women in separate robberies on the Blue Line over the weekend. He was arrested after his second alleged attack at the LaSalle station downtown.
The next day, a 29-year-old man was charged with robbing two women as they sat on a bench at the Roosevelt Red Line station Sunday afternoon. Prosecutors say Darrell Wyatt pointed a gun at one victim’s chest while three juveniles, including a 13-year-old boy, helped him rob the women.