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New CTA Ad Campaign Targets Pickpocketers

By Anna Deem in News on Dec 19, 2009 7:30PM

The new CTA pickpocketing ad campaign.
The Chicago Transit Authority introduced a new edgier ad campaign this month, out of concern for the fact that many riders ignore their public-service placards on buses and trains. The new campaign targets pickpocketing and shows a picture of a couple with their arms around each other juxtaposed with a wallet being taken from someone's back pocket, and the phrase "Snuggling or snatching?" written across it. "It's taking a different approach than we have used in the past to get people's attention and raise public awareness so they read the rest of the message," said CTA spokeswoman Sheila Gregory to the Chicago Tribune.

Based on crime statistics, CTA officials know that a lot of riders are unaware of the fact that they're easy targets to become pickpocket victims. To inform riders, 3,500 "Snuggling or Snatching?" cards have been placed inside buses and train cars. The ad campaign couldn't have come at a better time, as reports of pickpocketing on CTA buses increased 6.5 percent in the first 11 months of this year, compared to the same period in 2008, according to the mass-transit unit of the Chicago Police Department. However, pickpocketing on trains decreased 12.5 percent and was down 14.5 percent on train platforms in the same period.