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Police Supt. David Brown says crime is down on CTA, but that's only part of story

CPD says crime is down on CTA, but there's more to the story
CPD says crime is down on CTA, but there's more to the story 02:43

CHICAGO (CBS) -- In announcing Monday that the CTA is increasing patrols on trains, police Supt. David Brown also said crime is down on Chicago Transit Authority property.

CBS 2's Tara Molina has spent months going through crime data, and found the statement is only party of the story.

Brown's exact words Monday were, "Even though there are single incidents happening, we're significantly below 2019 pre-pandemic."

Are we though?

Supt. Brown addressed safety concerns across the city in a news conference Monday. Pushed specifically on CTA crime - with a homicide over the weekend on a Red Line train on the South Side, and also after another robbery on the Red Line, Supt. Brown said, repeatedly, CTA crime is down.

"Overall, CTA crime, compared to 2019 before the pandemic started, is down 43 percent," Brown said.

Indeed, some crime is down. Police sent us some figures on Tuesday.

With 1,115 CTA crimes reported in total so far this year on CTA property, there is indeed a drop of more than 40 percent from last year and pre-pandemic 2019. Included in those numbers are crimes such as cellphone, purse thefts, and pickpocketing – and total theft numbers are way down.

But violent crime is up - since this time last year and also compared with before the pandemic began.

The stats show aggravated assaults and aggravated batteries – which include shootings and stabbings – are both up. There have been 70 aggravated assaults this year compared with 62 for the same period in 2021, 57 in 2020, and 53 in 2019. There have been 117 aggravated batteries so far this year, compared with 65 for the same period in 2021, 74 in 2020, and 84 in 2019.


Criminal sexual assaults and homicides are also up. There have been a total of three homicides on CTA property this year.

Altogether, nonviolent crimes are down 58 percent on the CTA compared with the same time last year, and 62 percent compared with the same time in 2019.


But violent crimes on the CTA are up 28 percent compared with the same time last year, and up 9 percent compared with the same time in 2019.


Total crimes on the CTA are down 43 percent compared with this time in 2019, but up 43 percent compared with the same time last year.


Chicago Police said Tuesday that they have no updates on multiple recent crimes on the CTA system.

A 29-year-old man was shot and killed on a CTA Red Line train car early Saturday morning near the 79th Street Red Line stop along the Dan Ryan Expressway. Chicago Police on released surveillance footage and images of the two suspects in the shooting.

The crystal-clear video shows the two men, one in a red hoodie and another in a black jacket and white T-shirt sitting on the Red Line train.

Meanwhile on Monday afternoon, there was another shooting right outside the same Red Line stop. At 4:26 p.m., two males were on 79th Street – and near the entrance to the Red Line station along the Dan Ryan Expressway – when they each took out guns and shot at each other.

One of the combatants, a 17-year-old boy, was shot in the upper body and was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition.

The other combatant ran off. 

Those incidents were not all for recent days. On Friday morning, a man was shoved onto the Blue Line tracks at the Illinois Medical District stop along the Eisenhower Expressway.

A suspect has been arrested in the robbery of a man on a Red Line train near the North/Clybourn station early Tuesday morning.

Police said a man around 40 years old was riding the train around 3:30 a.m., when he was approached by a man who reached for and took his bag.

The victim tried to get his bag back from the robber, but failed to do so. However, police did track down and arrest the suspected robber.

Police also released surveillance images Tuesday of a man wanted in the robbery of a woman at the Addison Street Red Line stop near Wrigley Field just before 6 p.m. Saturday, July 30. The suspect approached the victim while they were exiting the Red Line train and removed her wallet and phone from her pocket. The suspect took $100 from the victim.

No suspect has been apprehended in that case.

Supt. Brown says crime is down on CTA, but is it? 02:06

Molina reached out to the Chicago Transit Authority both Monday and Tuesday about all these issues. Their media team hasn't responded to any of our questions or requests.  

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