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CTA filing lawsuits against 'taggers' to fight vandalism

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is employing a new strategy to crack down on vandalism: filing lawsuits against the parents of minor children and others arrested for "tagging" or other acts of destruction on trains, buses and other CTA properties.

The anti-graffiti lawsuits are the first of their kind filed by the CTA. The agency has been working with the Chicago Police Department to identify individuals who committed the vandalism by using images collected from security cameras recently installed at stations and other facilities, and on rail cars.

So far in 2014, police have made 60 arrests for graffiti-related crimes on CTA properties — the equivalent of all CTA vandalism arrests made in 2013, according to a press release.

"Working closely with the Chicago Police Department and with the strong support of Mayor Emanuel, the CTA continues to make significant progress in combatting vandalism across our system, which cost our agency $1 million last year in cleaning and repairs," said CTA President Forrest Claypool. "As the CTA continues to expand our surveillance camera network across our system, we are improving the capability of CTA and Chicago Police staff to catch criminals in the act of vandalism and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law."

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More News from 4/24/2014