Chicago man accused of CTA pickpocketing spree
Booking photo of Christopher Brown (Chicago police / July 4, 2012)
Police are crediting the Tribune and CTA security cameras for the arrest of Christopher Brown, 50, on Monday.
It was the same day the Tribune's Getting Around column chronicled the June 22 pickpocketing of an Atlanta man at the Jackson stop that police said was typical of recent attacks on CTA riders at that high-crime rail station.
A Tribune reader who saw the story called the newspaper on Monday to report that on Sunday he was also victimized by a pickpocket team when he boarded a train at the Jackson subway station.
The Tribune immediately reported the crime to Cmdr. John Graeber, who heads the public transportation section of the Chicago Police Department.
"We have the entire incident to include how the offenders set up, stall and bump to commit the offense on video surveillance," Graeber said.
"I needed Jon Hilkevitch to know he was instrumental in bringing this offender to our attention just by connecting me to our victim," Graeber added.
Brown, who was already being sought on a warrant for theft, was charged with felony theft in connection with the Sunday attack, and also charged with resisting arrest and possession of "lost or mislaid property," police said.
During a search, police found on Brown identification cards belonging to other individuals, Graeber said.
In addition, three other pickpocket suspects were identified as part of the Sunday incident and are being sought, he said.
Brown has been arrested 117 times by Chicago police, Graeber said.
He has been identified by authorities as among more than 160 pickpockets who are actively preying on people on the CTA, at the city's two airports and downtown restaurants, Graeber said.