By Michelle Manchir
3:48 PM CDT, July 6, 2012
A man posing as a CTA bus operator took a bus out of a lot near a South Side CTA garage earlier this week and drove about 12 miles before pulling into another garage, according to the transit agency.
The man never stopped at bus stops or picked up passengers during his drive, the CTA said.
Cori S. Martin, 33, of the 4800 block of West Rice Street, was dressed in slacks, a work shirt and a vest similar to the uniform worn by CTA drivers, said CTA spokesman Brian Steele. He was carrying what appeared to be a stolen CTA radio and a counterfeit CTA ID card, Steele said.
He allegedly took the bus out of a maintenance garage parking lot in the 300 block of West 79th Street at about 11 p.m. Tuesday and drove to a garage on Kedzie Boulevard, according to the transit agency.
There is no record of Martin having been employed by CTA, Steele said, but authorities are investigating how he became familiar with CTA operations. Unlike a regular automobile, turning on a CTA bus requires a series of procedures and protocols, Steele said.
“You don’t just put in a key and turn it on and go,” Steele said.
Martin has been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a fictitious driver’s license and criminal trespassing to state land, police said. He remains in the Cook County Jail in lieu of $450,000 bond, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Steele said the CTA has increased security presence at bus garages.
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