The lesson learned, you ask? Keep your valuables hidden whilst riding public transportation.
Saturday afternoon, I was riding back to my apartment on the EL - still on a high from a great day of volunteering at Children's Memorial Hospital. I was in my own little world while waiting at the Fullerton Red Line stop.
I noticed a guy mostly keeping to himself. His eyes were focused on the girl in front of him who was fiddling around with her iPhone 4. Not feeling great about it, I decided to stand by the door instead of taking a seat and enjoying the ride.
As the train pulled into the Clark & Division stop, I heard some cursing and saw the guy dart out with the iPhone 4 girl in fast pursuit. He had grabbed her phone right from her hand and sprinted out the door. It happened just like that.
In less than a second.
With more than 15 witnesses.
One of those "did I really just see that?"
If she didn't catch him, the CTA security guards did. However, let this be a lesson. While it is just a phone and can be replaced, keep an eye on your belongings and trust your gut when you spy someone who looks even a bit off. Pretty scary!