iPhone Tracking Catches 2 Robbery Suspects on CTA

Guardian Angels tracked woman's stolen iPhone on their own smartphone

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Guardian Angels tracked the phone west on Chicago Avenue toward the CTA Brown Line, where police later arrested the alleged robbers. Phil Rogers explains. (Published Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012)

    Two teens were arrested early Tuesday for taking a woman's iPhone 5 on the CTA after a group of Guardian Angels tracked down the stolen device with their own iPhone. 

    The woman was robbed around 12:35 a.m. on the CTA Red Line, the Guardian Angels said. The group said they heard about the violent robbery while patrolling at the Grand station and located the woman. They called police and used her email account to track the phone. 

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    "The four teens who attacked her from behind while taking her phone were the same teens we [saw] earlier prowling the CTA for victims," said Miguel Fuentes, national director of the Guardian Angels, in a statement.

    The group tracked the phone west on Chicago Avenue toward the CTA Brown Line, and though the suspects boarded the train before police arrived, officers followed the train and arrested them at LaSalle and Van Buren.

    The woman got her phone back, and the Guardian Angels handed out safety tips along the Red Line Tuesday.

    After the release of the new iPhone, police have been on high alert for "apple picking" on public transportation and city streets.

    "It happens so fast, most people are stunned," Commander John Graeber said last month.

    Smartphone thefts are up 30-40 percent nationwide, authorities said.

    Last year, a church deacon died after she was pushed down the stairs by a robber trying to get away after stealing another commuter's iPhone.