Prosecutors: Lincoln Park burglar caught red-handed with stolen jewelry, rifle

David Walthall | CPD

Police caught a Lincoln Park burglar red-handed as he crawled down a high-rise residential building’s fire escape with stolen property — including a rifle, prosecutors said this weekend.

Cops responded to the building at 399 West Fullerton after a resident reported that their neighbor’s unit was being burglarized around 9 p.m. Thursday. Police found broken glass on a rear patio area and even saw the man crawl out of a broken apartment window with a bag of booty, according to prosecutors.

The man allegedly dropped the bag as he came down the rear fire escape. Police arrested David Walthall, age 41, when he got to the bottom, prosecutors said during his bond court hearing Saturday.

Police allegedly found jewelry, ID cards belonging to the occupant of the burgled residence, and a 22-caliber rifle inside the discarded bag. The total value of the goods was estimated to be $2,000.

Walthall was taken to AMITA St. Joseph Hospital to treat cuts to his hand that prosecutors said he received while breaking through the apartment’s glass window.

Cops who entered the burglarized unit found it completely ransacked. The victims reportedly told police they have never seen Walthall before.

According to prosecutors, Walthall admitted that he entered the apartment through the broken window and collected the items police found in the bag.

His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood, said Walthall has a master’s degree and works as a nurse.

He is charged with residential burglary and possession of a stolen firearm. Judge Susana Ortiz released him on his own recognizance and ordered him to stay in his home 24-hours a day except to work.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is