The Chicago Police and the CTA are seeking an individual who is suspected of driving a CTA bus without authorization. On Thursday, September 9, an individual wearing what appeared to be a CTA uniform drove a bus out of the 103rd street garage. When the bus was returned later on Thursday night an employee observed the bus come in contact with another bus. When the employee went to alert the supervisor, the suspect fled the garage.
Video from the bus’ security cameras shows that the person operating the bus, while not an expert, was familiar enough with CTA procedures to be able to log in and start the bus. Video also showed the person driving though a door not visible from the street and leaving on foot through the same area.
He is believed to be an acquaintance of a CTA bus operator and suspected of a theft last month of a uniform shirt from that employee.
“The CTA and the Chicago Police Department are working closely together to identify and quickly apprehend this individual,” said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. “The safeguards in place to keep our garages secure clearly were circumvented and that is not acceptable. Because this person was in a uniform and familiar with the CTA, we are tightening our check-in procedures.”
At every garage, CTA bus operators are required to show their driver’s license to the garage’s clerk when reporting for their work assignment. Employees are required to visibly display their CTA identification at all times and will be disciplined if they do not comply. In addition, all garage doors will be closed and locked overnight with the exception of the doors necessary to allow buses to exit and enter the garage.
CTA also is evaluating long term solutions, including how the perimeters around the garages can be better secured. CTA is in the early stages of implementing a biometric time and attendance system that will require employees to swipe in and out as they enter and exit garages.
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President Rodriguez will be available at 5:45 p.m. this evening at CTA Headquarters, 567 W. Lake Street, if any media want to get further comment.