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FBI offers $50,000 reward Metra incident

(The following report appeared on the Daily Southtown website on October 2.)

CHICAGO — Metra and the FBI today announced a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of whomever attempted to disable the Metra tracks on the South Side last week.

The reward is being made jointly by the FBI and Metra, with each agency contributing up to $25,000.

Last week, a Metra inspector discovered numerous spikes, which hold rails to the ties, had been removed from the tracks that serve both Metra and South Shore commuter trains at 100th Street and South Dauphin Avenue, near the Bishop Ford Expressway.

The spikes, which were removed using a spike puller, according to the FBI, were found lying on the track bed about 9:45 a.m. Sept. 24. An adjacent section of track was inspected the previous day, the FBI said, and found to be in good order. No additional damage to railroad equipment resulted from removal of the spikes.

In announcing the reward, Robert Grant, special agent-in-charge of the Chicago FBI office, said, "While no injuries or loss of life resulted from this incident, the removal of these spikes was certainly an intentional act and will be aggressively investigated by the FBI."

Forensic examination of material recovered from the scene is being conducted by the Illinois State Police Forensic Laboratory in Chicago.

The incident is being investigated under the Federal Mass Transportation Protection statute, which provides for a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, the FBI said.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Chicago FBI office, (312) 421-6700.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

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