Serial stowaway arrested again at Chicago's O'Hare airport

The ''serial stowaway,'' Marilyn Hartman, was given mental health probation and six months at a treatment facility following her latest Chicago arrest at an airport bus stop. (WLS)

A woman with a history of sneaking aboard planes slipped past security at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport this week and was flying to London when the airline realized she didn't have a ticket.

Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says Marilyn Hartman was flown back to Chicago on Thursday night and taken into custody once she arrived. She's charged with felony theft and a misdemeanor count of criminal trespassing.


Guglielmi says Hartman this week got through a federal Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at a domestic terminal without a ticket before taking a shuttle to the international terminal. A day later she boarded a British Airways flight.
The 66-year-old Hartman has attempted several times to board planes without a ticket. In 2016, she was sentenced in Chicago to six months of house arrest and placed on two years of mental health probation.

She succeeded in getting on a Southwest Airlines flight from San Jose to Los Angeles in August of 2014. In that incident, she slipped past an agent who was checking a family's boarding passes at Mineta San Jose International Airport, went through electronic security screening and then somehow got past a gate agent. She was discovered only after landing at Los Angeles International Airport.

A judge gave her two years of probation, which she violated days later by reappearing at LAX. She was then sentenced to jail time but was released early because of overcrowding at the facility.

In February 2014 she made it into an airplane seat for a Hawaii-bound flight at San Francisco International Airport but was discovered when the actual ticket holder showed up and was removed before takeoff.

On other occasions, she was arrested after raising suspicions by loitering in terminals without a boarding pass.

After an August 2014 arrest in Phoenix, Hartman told reporters in a teary and rambling explanation of her behavior that she suffered from a mental illness and had been medically diagnosed with major depression. She also said she believed authorities were purposely allowing her to be a plane stowaway so they could arrest her.

Authorities placed Hartman in treatment for mental disorders in May 2014 but said she stopped attending after several months.

In the past, she has also said that homelessness drove her to take "desperate measures" and that she feels safer in airports than in the streets.

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