BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Robbed on the El ...

Well, technically, I was pickpocketed on the El this afternoon ... down in the Clark/Division station. I was waiting to get on with my daughters (10 and 6) on our way up to their Karate class. A tall middle-aged black guy in "business attire" acts like he's getting off the train, then acts like "oops, not my stop", pushes right in front of me, and then pretends to get his foot caught between the car and platform, "falling" back into me ... I reach up to catch him, and he does this weird "bobbing" motion ... my daughter says he was acting like he was trying to get his foot loose ... after nearly falling a couple of times he finally finds his feet, and turns back out the door. About a stop later I reach into my pocket and find it empty.

I am real lucky that I had my "wallet pocket" buttoned, because I guess his first "bobbing" was reaching back there, and then going for my front pocket. He was obviously well practiced, as I never suspected a thing while it was happening. He got six bucks, my Chicago (transit) Card, my daughter's discount transit card, some lottery tickets, and a bunch of assorted business cards and Walgreens (etc.) receipts (that I keep for jotting ephemeral notes on), and a couple of McDonalds napkins (I'm sure he was pissed that the "big wad" he grabbed was almost zero cash). Again, I was real lucky that he didn't get my wallet!

Fortunately, the "most valuable" thing he got was my Chicago Card (I'd just added $20 to it on Wednesday night), and I was able to get on the phone (once we got out of the subway tunnel), call the CTA's customer service line, and had the original card canceled and a new one (with the full balance I had) being sent out to me before we got to our destination (well, a lot of that was while we were waiting to transfer lines, but still). It took 10-15 minutes to get a live body, but once I had somebody on the line they were very responsive and helpful ... which is nice to find out about something like that!

I ended up getting my daughters to their class and then went back over to the CTA station to file a police report ... again, especially with getting a replacement card, I was only out like $10 and some replaceable contact info (the business cards for the temp agency, etc.), so it was hardly a "high priority" crime, and I was able to take care of all that on the phone. I'm hoping the guy ended up trying to use the card later that evening (when it would have shown up as "stolen") at a station which had cops handy.

All I know is the next time I see somebody acting like they're going to fall down in front of me, I'm stepping out of the way and laughing at them instead of trying to catch them and help them up! Unless, of course, it's this same motherfucker, in which case he's going to wish his foot was caught next to the train!

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