Repeat offender

‘Serial stowaway’ Marilyn Hartman arrested after sneaking onto flight

Marilyn Hartman. (YouTube / CBS News)

A 66-year-old woman known as the “serial stowaway” has been arrested — once again — for sneaking onto a flight.

Last week, Marilyn Hartman surreptitiously boarded a British Airways flight from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to London, according to NBC 5 Chicago. The plane’s crew eventually realized that Hartman did not have a passport; she was detained at London’s Heathrow airport, sent back to Chicago, and arrested at O’Hare.

It is believed that Hartman spent 24 hours inside O’Hare’s Terminal 5, and tried unsuccessfully to board a different flight. A source told NBC that Hartman appears to have made it onto the British Airways flight by blending in with a large group. She did not have a ticket, and just how she managed to make it through federal security remains unclear.

“This matter is subject to an ongoing investigation,” the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said in a statement. “TSA is working closely with our law enforcement and airline partners in that effort.”

In another statement, the Chicago Department of Aviation said that Hartman was screened at a security checkpoint before boarding the plane. “Upon learning of the incident TSA, and its aviation partners took immediate action to review security practices throughout the airport,” the statement said.

This isn’t the first time the Hartman has tried to surreptitiously slip onto a flight. A few times, she even succeeded in making it to her desired destination. She flew from San Jose to Los Angeles in 2014. That same year, she was arrested for trying to get on a flight from San Francisco to Hawaii. In 2015, she was arrested three times within two weeks while trying to board flights at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports. She also managed to get from Minnesota to Florida, without a boarding pass or ticket.

“Ms. Hartman, what am I supposed to do?” a judge asked in 2015.  “You continue to perform the same activities over and over again, and it’s getting to the point I’m concerned!”

Prior to her most recent arrest, Hartman was living at a Chicago residence for low-income seniors, according to The Washington Post. She has struggled with homelessness in the past, and has received treatment for psychiatric issues. For more on the story, watch the video below.

Read the full story at NBC 5 Chicago.


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