NBC 5 Investigates

NBC 5 Investigates: CTA Crime Has Doubled in 6 Years

An NBC 5 Investigation shows a dramatic increase in both violent crimes and petty thefts – while arrests are on the decline

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NBC 5 found that violent crime in Chicago Transit Authority rapid transit stations, platforms and trains has doubled over the past six years, while thefts have increased by nearly two-thirds over that same period. 

At the same time, the rate of arrests in these crimes has dropped.

In 2019, police made an arrest in only a quarter of the violent incidents on CTA trains and platforms – a steady yearly decrease from a 32% arrest rate in 2014. 

For thefts, the arrest rate in 2019 was a scant four percent, meaning that 96% of CTA thieves and pickpockets are not caught.

Because of the recent spate of violent crime reported on CTA rapid-transit and a resulting pledge by the Chicago Police Department to beef up patrols, NBC 5 Investigates analyzed Chicago police incident data reported on all CTA trains, platforms and stations.  Crime on CTA busses was not counted in this analysis.

We’ve created an interactive map showing the number of crimes at each of the CTA’s 123 rapid-transit stations that are located within Chicago’s city limits.  The map also shows each station’s ranking for violent crimes, as well as for thefts.

Here are the 15 CTA rapid-transit stations that saw the most violent crime in the past six years:

1.            Jackson / Red Line (253 violent incidents)

2.            Roosevelt / Green/Red/Orange Lines (246 violent incidents)

3.            95th/Dan Ryan / Red Line (197 violent incidents)

4.            79th / Red Line (180 violent incidents)

5.            69th/ Red Line (172 violent incidents)

6.            Howard / Purple/Red/Yellow Lines (162 violent incidents)

7.            Garfield / Green Line (154 violent incidents)

8.            63rd/ Red Line (149 violent incidents)

9.            Clark/Lake / Blue/Brown/Green/Orange/Pink/Purple Lines (140 violent incidents)

10.          Belmont / Brown/Purple/Red Lines (139 violent incidents)

11.          Chicago / Red Line (134 violent incidents)

12.          Sox-35th / Red Line (123 violent incidents)

13.          Kedzie-Homan / Blue Line (120 violent incidents)

14.          Pulaski / Blue Line (119 violent incidents)

15.          Clark/Division / Red Line (102 violent incidents)

Here are the 15 CTA rapid-transit stations that saw the most thefts in the past six years:

1.            Clark/Lake / Blue/Brown/Green/Orange/Pink/Purple Lines (639 reported thefts)

2.            Washington / Blue Line (374 reported thefts)

3.            Jackson / Red Line (317 reported thefts)

4.            Roosevelt / Green/Red/Orange Lines (276 reported thefts)

5.            Grand / Red Line (270 reported thefts)

6.            Lake / Red Line (260 reported thefts)

7.            Chicago / Red Line (229 reported thefts)

8.            Howard / Purple/Red/Yellow Lines (226 reported thefts)

9.            Harold Washington Library-State/Van Buren / Brown/Orange/Pink/Purple Lines (223 reported thefts)

10.          95th/Dan Ryan / Red Line (211 reported thefts)

11.          Clark/Division / Red Line (169 reported thefts)

12.          Monroe / Red Line (164 reported thefts)

13.          State/Lake / Brown/Green/Orange/Pink/Purple Lines (159 reported thefts)

14.          Fullerton / Brown/Purple/Red Lines (152 reported thefts)

15.          Belmont / Brown/Purple/Red Lines (144 reported thefts)

CTA and CPD officials both declined to speak on-camera to NBC 5 Investigates about the updated crime numbers.

In a statement, a CPD spokesman reiterated that safety on the CTA is one of the police department’s highest priorities.

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