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CTA: Crime on transit system down 25 percent in 2015

Overall crime across the CTA dropped by 25 percent in 2015, officials announced Wednesday.

In 2014, the Chicago Transit Authority reported 4,691 criminal incidents on buses, trains, rail stations, parking garages and rail platforms. In 2015, that number dropped to 3,512.

Crime on the transit system has dropped nearly 50 percent over the last four years, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a press conference during the Wednesday morning commute at the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station.

He credited the CTA’s system of more than 23,000 security cameras on every bus, train and at every rail station as one of the major reasons for the decline.

“It’s because of the fact that, starting back in 2011, we put cameras throughout the system, multiple cameras,” Emanuel said, adding that “it is that coverage, plus the work of the officers dedicated to the CTA, that the ridership of the CTA can have a safe, secure and reliable ride, from home to work and from work to home.”

Thefts and robberies, two of the more commonly reported crimes on the CTA, both dropped substantially, CTA President Dorval Carter said during the press conference. Thefts were down 19 percent in 2015 and robberies fell by 22 percent.

The statistics are “proof that many criminals have gotten the message, that if you commit a crime on CTA property, you will be caught,” Carter said.

On both CTA trains and buses, total crime dropped 32 percent on each system in 2015. The transit system also saw a 72 precent drop in “fraud or fare evasion” in 2015, Carter said.

In 2015, security cameras captured images of 256 people who were subsequently arrested for committing crimes on or near CTA property, leading to an 8-percent increase over 2014, he said.

Carter cited the November arrest of a “serial pickpocketer” suspected in at least 21 incidents between May and November. He also mentioned a man charged with armed robbery and criminal sexual assault who is believed to have committed those crimes “just moments” after riding a CTA train.

“We are happy with the progress that we’ve made so far, but we certainly recognize there is more work to be done,” Carter said. “We look forward to continuing the great partnership we have with the police to bring these numbers down further.”

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel looks on, Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval Carter discusses CTA crime statistics at the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station, Wednesday morning, Jan. 27, 2016. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval Carter, joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, discusses CTA crime statistics at the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station on Wednesday morning. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel greets CTA employees at the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station, Wednesday morning, Jan. 27, 2016. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel greets CTA employees at the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station Wednesday morning. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times