01/24/2012 06:11 pm ET

CTA Bus Disabled, Robbed By Four Teenagers

Robberies on Chicago's public transit system aren't particularly unusual--especially those perpetrated by teenagers. But four South Side teens who made off with an iPhone, a watch and $7 in cash on a CTA bus Saturday night took a unique approach to their hold-up that has alarmed some Chicago Transit Authority officials.

Police say four boys, a pair of 17-year-olds and two 13-year olds, disabled the engine on a CTA bus by flipping a switch on the side of the vehicle, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The switch halted the bus and killed the lights, allowing the teens to easily board.

The incident could force the CTA to reexamine their policies surrounding the shut-off switch, which is protected from tampering by a small door. A spokesperson for the agency told the Chicago Tribune that the lock on the bus in question was mistakenly disengaged. But bus drivers told the newspaper they are regularly instructed to keep the switch unlocked for easy access by first response personnel in the event of an emergency.

"Bus operators have been complaining for years about kids turning off the battery power on buses as a prank, especially on school runs," Carlos Acevedo, an 18-year CTA mechanic told the Tribune.

Nearby police apprehended two of the offenders at the scene, and the other two boys involved were caught a short time later, NBC Chicago reports. Darius Love, 17, was charged with misdemeanor battery and felony robbery, Anthony Williams, 17, was charged with attempted robbery, and the two 13-year-olds were charged as juveniles with misdemeanor battery.