CHICAGO – Chicago police have released the photographs of two men who allegedly boarded a train coming from Midway International Airport, pulled out guns and robbed passengers of their wallets, phones and jewelry as it rolled into downtown Wednesday afternoon.
The photographs show the men leaving the Roosevelt station near the time of a robbery that occurred on the Orange Line between the Halsted and Roosevelt stations.
Police said one woman suffered minor injuries when one of the men struck her in the head with a gun after she refused to hand over her purse.
Lt. Ozzie Valdez said Thursday that some video and interviews with witnesses have led authorities to believe the two men boarded the train just southwest of downtown Chicago, brandished their weapons and loudly announced that they were robbing the people on the train, before going from person to person.
Valdez, who called the robbery an “isolated incident,” said he is confident that the release of the photographs will help police quickly arrest the suspects, though none have been identified yet. He also said detectives were still reviewing surveillance video from the train and the platforms.
Miguel Fuentes, the national director of the volunteer-based community patrol group, Guardian Angels, said he also believes arrests will be made because somebody will recognize the suspects. And, he said, that will put commuters, nervous about the brazenness of the robbery, at ease.
“It’s completely scary that for two people at 4 o’clock, on a train heading into the city pulling out guns and rob them like they’re Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or something.”
He also suggested the robbers would strike again if they were not captured.
“People don’t commit crimes like this just one time and stop,” he said.
Robberies on the CTA have dropped significantly in the last year, the agency said. In the first three months of 2014, nearly 100 people were arrested as a result of images pulled from the CTA cameras, it said.