Police: Suspects surround, rob victims in CTA tunnels

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police have released surveillance photos of four of the five suspects accused of targeting CTA riders in the tunnels between the Red and Blue lines in the Loop.

"Five against one, most people are going to back down and give you what you want and that's going to be that," said CTA Rider Chedwick Cathey.

"It makes me feel uncomfortable because I never felt like I was in danger or anything like that but to hear that is kind of surprising," said CTA rider Luis Gonzalez.

Police say there have been three armed robberies within two weeks. Each incident happened in the tunnels on South State Street or South Dearborn Street.

The most recent one happened on Valentine's Day near Dearborn and Adams.

"I feel especially concerned for older people, for anyone who is by themselves who is not protected who is very vulnerable," said CTA rider John Le.

Chicago police said the suspects are described as black men between the ages of 18 and 25.

Investigators said in each of the incidents, five young men surround a passerby in the underground pedestrian tunnel between the Red and Blue lines. Then the suspects hold the victims at gunpoint and, in some cases, strike and kick them.

"I wouldn't try to fight back, I would just give it back, but yeah that's scary. I got to be careful," said Gonzalez.

"I think it's crazy. I think one problem is there's not enough security presence, there's not enough police presence," said Cathey.

CTA riders who spoke with ABC7 said an increased police presence may help to deter future attacks.

"I hope that law enforcement are doing as much as possible to make sure folks are safe," said CTA rider Maryann Gibney.

According to a community alert, the armed robberies took place during both morning and evening hours with the suspects stealing victims' wallets, cell phones and, in one case, a designer belt.

Police are asking CTA riders to be on alert and to contact police if they have any information.
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