17-year-old charged with robbing 4 people on the Blue Line, including Whitney Young students

A 17-year-old boy was charged this week with participating in two armed robberies on the CTA Blue Line in April, Chicago police said.

The first robbery occurred at the Racine Blue Line station on the evening of April 29. Three 17-year-old boys were robbed at gunpoint as they walked down a ramp to the station platform after leaving an event at Whitney Young Magnet School, according to police and a parent of one victim.

Police said two robbers, one armed with a gun, demanded property from all three boys and fled from the platform. Both robbers were seen at the Pulaski Blue Line station that night, according to a community alert from CPD’s Mass Transit Unit.

The victims went to a friend’s nearby house and called 911. The parent said two of them attend Whitney Young, and the third attends a North Side high school.

“I am disgusted that our kids can’t even take public transportation at 9 p.m.,” the parent told us this spring. “We have told him 100 times to take an Uber after dark. But you know, 17-year-old boys are invincible.”

CTA surveillance photos of two suspects wanted for an armed robbery at the Jackson Blue Line are accompanied by (inset) CTA surveillance images of suspects from an armed robbery at the Racine Blue Line station on April 29. | Chicago Police Department

CPD released surveillance images of the suspects within days.

On April 30, according to police, the teen helped rob a 21-year-old man at gunpoint at the Jackson Blue Line station in the Loop. The victim was sitting on a bench when the three walked up, displayed a gun, and demanded his property, according to police.

CPD released surveillance images from the Loop robbery, too, and a CWBChicago reader quickly noticed that they looked just like the Racine robbers.

Robbery reports are up 25% citywide this year, according to CPD’s latest statistical report. Robberies on CTA trains, buses, and property are down, though, from 439 at this point last year to 361.

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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