13-time felon pickpocketed CTA passengers while on bail for pickpocketing CTA passengers and robbery: prosecutors

Police arrested Albert Fields on Monday at the Clark-Lake Green Line platform. | File; CPD

Hey, Chicago! Let’s say “hello” to Albert Fields. Again.

You may remember him as the 13-time convicted felon (including a 1981 murder) who was charged with robbery, theft, and identity theft two years ago for crimes allegedly committed while working with a pickpocket team on the CTA train system downtown.

A judge released him on his own recognizance after those charges were filed in October 2020. Then, Fields went AWOL for a while, according to court records. The charges are still pending.

Fields was back in felony bond court yesterday. Prosecutors claim he was part of a pickpocket team on the CTA train system in downtown Chicago. Again.

Chicago police saw Fields, 66, sitting on a bench on the Clark-Lake Green Line platform Monday afternoon and recognized him as one of the pickpockets they’ve been looking for, according to a CPD arrest report.

Prosecutors said he stole a 44-year-old man’s wallet on a Blue Line train near Monroe on June 3 while an accomplice blocked the victim’s path. On July 11, he allegedly stole a wallet from a Missouri man while two accomplices blocked the victim’s path at the Clark-Lake Blue Line. Prosecutors said CTA’s surveillance system recorded both thefts.

Fields is charged with two counts of felony theft from a person for the latest allegations.

During Tuesday’s bail hearing, his defense attorney said he has “severe substance abuse issues.”

Judge Kelly McCarthy ordered him to pay a $10,000 deposit toward bail to get out of jail on the new charges. She also held him without bail for violating the terms of bond in the 2020 cases.

The allegations from 2020 are very similar to the new cases.

Around 4 p.m. on September 25, 2020, two pickpockets targeted a man on the Roosevelt Red Line platform. As the train doors opened, one man walked in front of the victim and rubbed a lit cigarette on the victim’s pants leg, prosecutors said. While the first offender helped the victim wipe ashes and soot off his pants, the second man—identified by prosecutors as Fields—walked up behind the victim and took his wallet from his pocket.

Fields and his accomplice went to the 47th Street Green Line station and used the victim’s credit card to purchase a bunch of Ventra passes for $220, according to the allegations. Detectives recognized Fields from previous CTA theft cases.

At the time of the 2020 incidents, Fields had a pending identity theft and theft case that “mirror the facts” of the Roosevelt CTA incident, prosecutors said at the time. They also said he had 13 felony convictions, most of which were for theft. And he received a 30-year sentence for murder in 1983.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com