Whoops! Wicker Park burglar left his phone in victim’s apartment, prosecutors say

Joshua Harris | CPD

Burglary is a pretty straight-forward concept. Go somewhere you don’t belong and take something valuable. As a rule, burglary should not involve leaving something valuable behind— like a phone that has a picture of your face as the lock screen image.

But prosecutors say that’s exactly what three-time convicted burglar Joshua Harris did in Wicker Park on Saturday.

It all started around 2 o’clock when the front door intercom rang in a resident’s apartment on the 1600 block of North Paulina. A male voice said they were looking for “Ray,” the resident recalled. Then, they heard the door buzz and the call dropped off.

Minutes later, two other building residents were in their bedroom when they heard footsteps. One of them looked out and allegedly saw Harris rifling through a purse on their couch.

Startled to see someone in the apartment, Harris bolted out the door and the victim ran after him, prosecutors said. Outside, the resident flagged down a passing car and climbed in. According to prosecutors, the driver picked continued the pursuit until Harris, age 27, ran into a nearby hotel.

Police detained Harris on the hotel’s seventh floor a few minutes later.

That’s when the second roommate showed up carrying a phone that, against all odds, had a picture of Harris as its lock screen image, according to prosecutors. The burglar had dropped the darn thing in their apartment, the woman told police.

She also told officers that $50 was missing from the purse that was on her couch, but the money was never found.

Prosecutors said Harris was convicted of burglary and two counts of residential burglary in 2017. He received concurrent sentences for the three convictions. He has three more convictions for felony theft and ten misdemeanor convictions, according to the state’s allegations.

On Sunday, Harris was again charged with residential burglary. Judge Charles Beach set bail at $15,000 and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post a $1,500 deposit bond to get out of jail.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com