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Police release new photos, details of Orange Line train robbery

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Updated: July 17, 2014 11:44PM

When two gunmen announced a robbery on the Orange Line on Wednesday, the train drowned out their voices as it rumbled away from the Halsted station toward the Loop. Not all passengers heard them, so they said it again — louder.

They were after electronic devices and money. Passengers handed over two iPhones, an iPad, two laptops, bank cards and about $400 worth of cash. The loot was placed in a backpack one of the men carried.

The details emerged Thursday after police reviewed extensive surveillance video that recorded the men from many angles, according to Chicago Police Lt. Ozzie Valdez.

One of the gunmen pistol-whipped a woman in her 40s who refused to hand over her purse, leaving a welt on her face, police said.

The two had been riding the Orange Line between the Loop and Midway airport for hours before robbing the single train car about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday

“There were four victims we were able to make contact with right away,” Valdez said. “A fifth has contacted us to say he was robbed, and we’re also told there were people who did not stick around.”

All of the victims police spoke with are from Chicago, he said.

The men robbed the train between the Halsted and Roosevelt stops. They exited at Roosevelt, where nearby surveillance cameras from private businesses captured the men walking south along State Street. Valdez would not say how many blocks the men could be tracked by using the footage.

Police released new surveillance photos of the suspects Thursday night.

“We have excellent, excellent video of the offenders,” Valdez said. “It’s very clear. We suspect with the media and the help we’re getting from citizens with tips, we’ll have them in custody very shortly.”

Valdez said that CTA trains are generally a safe form of transportation, especially because of the proliferation of security cameras in recent years.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “Something’s got to be wrong with you if you’re committing a crime on a train or a bus, there’s cameras all over.”

Valdez said detectives are still combing through footage.

“Thefts on trains are on the decline. This is an isolated incident.”


Twitter: @mitchdudek

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