Imposter takes CTA bus on joyride

Photo of the suspect police are looking for.

September 17, 2010 4:33:37 AM PDT
A man posing as a driver and even picking up passengers allegedly took a Chicago Transit Authority bus for four hours. On the night of September 9, a stolen CTA bus cruised the city streets. Police say the driver at the wheel was a thief who stole the bus and actually picked up passengers who likely had no idea the man driving was a fake.

CTA bus drivers are supposed to display their license and picture at the front of the bus at all times.

"This person was in uniform. The person looked like a legitimate CTA employee. Every indication [to] anyone off the street would have been that this was an employee," said Richard Rodriguez, CTA president.

Because the imposter was in uniform, he was able to walk into the 103rd Street garage and drive the bus out. He was only discovered because while he was parking the bus after his joyride, he scraped another vehicle. When another employee confronted him about it and called a supervisor, the suspect ran away. Police believe they know who he is and they've released a photograph of the man.

"We have a person of interest we're looking for. We have several locations, and we have identified this individual, however, it is an ongoing investigation," said Cmdr. John Graeber, Chicago Police Department.

Investigators believe the suspect is an acquaintance of a CTA employee. That employee reported his uniform stolen several weeks ago. While they are relieved the imposter apparently caused no major disturbances, the CTA is concerned about the security breach and still trying to figure out why the suspect did it.

CTA officials are reviewing the security procedures at all facilities. Some facilities, including the 103rd Street garage, are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with busses coming and going all of the time.


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