Ravenswood woman comes home to find 4-time burglar in her bedroom closet, prosecutors say

A four-time convicted burglar is facing his fifth residential burglary case after a Ravenswood woman came home to discover him inside her bedroom closet, according to prosecutors.

The woman, who left her back door unlocked when she went for a walk on the evening of June 24, returned to find a strange man walking out of her bedroom closet on the 4800 block of North Paulina, a CPD report said. She told the man to give back the bag of property he had gathered, but he ran out the back door with it.

Detectives found surveillance video of a prowler in the home’s gangway and distributed a screenshot to North Side police districts to see if any cops recognized the man. They did, and they told the investigators to be on the lookout for 54-year-old Joseph Shipp. According to prosecutors, the woman identified him in a photo line-up, and detectives also learned that Shipp sold one of the victim’s rings at a pawn shop.

Joseph Shipp and the approximate location of the alleged burglary. | CPD; Google

Police spotted Shipp at the Howard Red Line station last week and took him into custody.

“Fortunately, no one was hurt,” Judge David Navarro said after recounting that the alleged victim encountered a stranger inside her home. “Fortunately, the defendant wasn’t armed.”

Navarro set Shipp’s bail at $100,000, which requires a $10,000 deposit to get out of jail.

Prosecutors said Shipp was convicted of burglary in 1998 and three times between 2003 and 2009. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been keeping himself busy.

Court records show he was charged with criminal trespass on September 21 after a Rogers Park resident heard a noise outside his home and saw a man standing on a chair and trying to open his neighbor’s first-floor window. As the witness called 911, the man moved his chair to a different window and tried to open it, too, a CPD report said.

Police, who allegedly found Shipp hiding in some nearby bushes, said they found a bag containing pliers and a “makeshift ladder and chair” outside the home. Those charges were dropped in October for an unspecified reason, according to court records.

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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