Prosecutors: ‘Serial Stowaway’ Got Past TSA, Spent Night at O’Hare Before Flight to London, Prosecutors Say

CHICAGO (Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

A woman notorious for stowing away on commercial airplanes made it past two TSA agents at O’Hare International Airport by hiding her face with her hair, and then stayed overnight at the airport before sneaking onto a plane and flying to London, prosecutors said Saturday.

Marilyn Hartman, 66, faces a felony theft charge in connection with flying to the United Kingdom on a British Airways jet without a $2,400 ticket and a misdemeanor trespass charge in connection with getting into the airport illegally. At a hearing Saturday afternoon, a judge ordered her released on her own recognizance, but ordered her to undergo psychological treatment and stay away from O’Hare and any British Airways planes.

Hartman used her hair to hide her face and walk past two federal Transportation Security Administration agents who were checking documents at O’Hare last Sunday, prosecutors said Saturday. She then went to a terminal and tried to board a plane to Connecticut, but was stopped by a flight agent and told to sit down.

Hartman got on a shuttle bus to the international terminal and slept there overnight, prosecutors said.

The next day, Hartman managed to get past British Airways ticket agents and onto a plane, prosecutors said. She sat in an empty seat and flew to Heathrow Airport in London, but when she showed her documents to a customs agent, she was identified as someone who was not supposed to be there, prosecutors said.

Hartman, of Grayslake, Ill., was flown back to O’Hare and Chicago police and other officials were waiting for her when she arrived, prosecutors said.

This was Hartman’s first arrest in Chicago since 2016, but she has a long history of trying to sneak onto airplanes.

Hartman was put on probation when she was sentenced after pleading guilty in a February 2016 trespassing charge. She was sentenced to 364 days in jail a few weeks later, according to court records. She was credited for 23 days already served and could have spent less than six months in jail if given credit for good behavior, according to court records.

At the time she was sentenced to jail, Hartman had been living at a mental health facility on the Near North Side of Chicago before violating the terms of her probation by leaving the facility and going to O’Hare.

Hartman has been detained several times across the country for trying to bypass airport security. In a court filing after her arrest in July 2015 at O’Hare on trespass charges, Cook County prosecutors described Hartman as a “serial stowaway.”