CHICAGO — Taggers caught vandalizing CTA property should be prepared to sign a hefty check — or at least their parents should be.
This week, the CTA filed four lawsuits against the parents of eight minors charged with criminal defacement to property for tagging on CTA property, seeking a little over $13,000. The CTA hopes the lawsuits will decrease graffiti on its property.
“We hope these lawsuits will serve as a deterrent to all those who might be tempted to vandalize a train car, station or other CTA property,” said Forrest Claypool, CTA President adding vandals can blame the crackdown on the CTA's increased security camera network. “Our cameras will capture the crime, and police will use those images to find and arrest you.”
Thousands of cameras have been added to trains, buses and stations since May 2011. Recently, the agency added security cameras to 830 CTA rail cars that previously had no cameras and added about 430 new cars with cameras already installed.
Police have been able to use the images captured from the additional security cameras to arrest vandals leaving their mark on CTA property. So far in 2014, police have made 60 graffiti-related arrests, equaling their total in 2013.
Claypool said graffiti cost the agency $1 million last year in cleaning and repairs.
“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," Claypool said.