When Chicago police arrested Edmond Harris after he allegedly crashed a hijacked SUV in Lawndale on February 12, they appeared to have a slam-dunk felony case against him.
But Harris was not charged with any crime related to the carjacking or driving the hijacked SUV. Instead, prosecutors only charged him with failure to register as a sex offender in an unrelated matter.
He went home a few days later after posting a $1,000 deposit on the felony registration charge.
As it turns out, Harris was a member of a prolific and extremely violent armed robbery and carjacking team that had been creating havoc throughout the city and suburbs for weeks, prosecutors now say.
And five weeks after he posted that $1,000 bail bond, he killed an Uber driver in yet another carjacking, according to federal prosecutors.
Harris is the 50th person accused of killing, trying to kill, or shooting someone in Chicago this year while awaiting trial for a felony.
Crime after crime
An armed robbery crew that pulled up next to a Lyft driver who was waiting for a passenger outside the Sears Tower on January 20 already had over a dozen other robberies and carjackings under their belts, officials now believe.
After they carjacked the 31-year-old Lyft driver at gunpoint, the offenders drove a couple of blocks and robbed another man who was walking on the sidewalk. Then, they drove away again.
The next day, Chicago police issued a community alert that linked the Sears Tower carjackers to shootings, street robberies, hijackings, and restaurant hold-ups through the city and suburbs. CPD even released a video showing two armed men climbing through a Dunkin’ drive-thru with guns to rob the place — a favorite technique of the crew.
A possible break
Late on February 12, Chicago cops were on patrol in Lawndale when they saw a 2013 Ford Escape that was featured in a flyer that detectives distributed to officers across the city, according to a CPD report. The flyer said the SUV had been carjacked in Forest Park and used in violent crimes across Chicago.
As officers followed the SUV, the driver, later identified as Edmond Harris, lost control and crashed into a pole, then got out and ran. Cops arrested him. He was the only person in the car, they said.
Investigators recovered rubber surgical gloves and a balaclava-style ski mask from the wrecked car and took Harris in for possession of a stolen motor vehicle, according to CPD records.
But he was never charged with that crime or anything related to the stolen SUV or the car crash.
Prosecutors did, however, charge him with failing to register as a sex offender, something he is required to do since he received probation for a child pornography case in juvenile court. He was released a few days later after posting bond.
It’s bad enough that a man who was apparently part of a violent criminal crew that cops across the metropolitan area were trying to arrest was let go without being charged.
What’s worse is that the man allegedly continued to commit violent crimes and even killed someone after they set him free.
Uber driver murdered
Around 3:40 a.m. on March 23, 46-year-old Uber driver Javier Ramos was shot in the head and killed by a passenger he dropped off in the 3700 block of West Douglas Boulevard, police said. The hijacker then drove away with Ramos’ Lexus GS.
Ramos was murdered about three blocks from where Harris was arrested five weeks earlier after crashing a hijacked SUV with surgical gloves and a ski mask inside. The murder scene was also less than 500 feet from the front door of Harris’ home.
Editor’s note: This report continues our coverage of individuals who have been charged with murder, attempted murder, or trying to kill a person while on bond for a pending felony case. CWBChicago began our series of reports in November 2019 after Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative.
The actual number of murders and shootings committed by people on felony bail is undoubtedly much higher than the numbers seen here. Since 2017, CPD has made arrests in just 4% of shootings and 31% of murders, according to the city’s data. You can support CWBChicago’s work by becoming a subscriber today.
Related 2021 stories
- #1: 16-year-old charged with shooting man during robbery while awaiting trial for felony (January 12, 2021)
- #2: Man fatally shot girlfriend while on electronic monitoring for November gun case, prosecutors say (January 20, 2021)
- #3: On bail for 3 separate felony cases, “fanged” man now charged with killing 12-year-old in DUI crash (January 23, 2021)
- #4: Man on affordable bail for his 3rd felony gun case is charged with weekend murder (January 28, 2021)
- #5: Man charged with murder while on bail for 3rd gun case and escape (February 5, 2021)
- #6: Man, on bail for attempted murder and robbery, charged with killing woman while speeding away from police traffic stop (February 25, 2021)
- #7: Teen accused of shooting driver during Wednesday carjacking is awaiting trial for 3 felonies, prosecutors say (February 25, 2021)
- #8: “Highly active” gang member charged with killing rival over haircut — while on affordable bail (March 4, 2021)
- #9: On bail for five burglaries, man set fire to home, killing girlfriend and 10-year-old girl, prosecutors say (March 12, 2021)
- #10: Man, on bail for gun case, is charged with attempted murder for shooting at carjacking victims (March 17, 2021)
- #11: Man who shot cop and passerby hoped to be killed by CPD, prosecutors say (March 20, 2021)
- #12: Man charged with shooting co-worker while on affordable bail for Lincoln Park carjacking (April 2, 2021)
- #13 and #14: Two more men charged with shooting people in Chicago while on bail for felony cases (April 4, 2021)
- #15: Man murdered childhood friend while awaiting trial on federal gun charges, prosecutors say (April 13, 2021)
- #16: Man chased down and killed victim while on electronic monitoring for gun case, prosecutors say (April 18, 2021)
- #17: 16-year-old charged with murder, robbery in alleged pot dealer rip-off (April 19, 2021)
- #18: Man charged murder of 7-year-old at McDonald’s drive-thru has 2 pending felony cases, prosecutors say (April 25, 2021)
- #19: Second man charged with killing 7-year-old at McDonald’s was on 4 felony bonds, including robbery and gun cases (May 1, 2021)
- #20: Gunman in Diversey River Bowl shoot-out was on bail for another gun case, prosecutors say (June 2, 2021)
- #21: Man’s accused of shooting up another car in traffic — while on bond for gun case (June 10, 2021)
- #22: Man charged with attempted murder of CTA bus driver was AWOL in felony DUI case, prosecutors say (June 10, 2021)
- #23 and #24: Two more men accused of shooting people while on bail for felonies (June 13, 2021)
- #25: Man on bail for 2 felonies had pistol at hospital where his girlfriend was being treated for gunshot wound, prosecutors say (June 25, 2021)
- Man charged with shooting tourist, killing passerby while AWOL on gun case, prosecutors say (June 26, 2021)
- #26: Shooter in murder-suicide was on bail for two pending gun felonies, police say (July 6, 2021)
- #27: Teen charged with killing 73-year-old carjacking victim was AWOL in felony stolen car case, prosecutors say (July 17, 2021)
- #28: Man on felony bail killed another driver during highway robbery attempt, prosecutors say (July 17, 2021)
- #29: On electronic monitoring for gun case, man escapes and shoots victim in the face, prosecutors say (July 23, 2021)
- #30: Man, on bond for gun case, shot woman 10 times in her back, prosecutors say (July 23, 2021)
- #31: Man shot 2 victims in separate robberies while on bail for felony gun case, prosecutors say (July 25, 2021)
- #32: Teen with pending felony gun case shot man dead over shoulder bump, prosecutors say (July 28, 2021)
- #33: Gunman in mass shooting was on $200 bond for pending firearms case, prosecutors say (August 12, 2021)
- #34: Man tried to kill stranger during 8-minute random attack inside Lincoln Park store, prosecutors say (August 12, 2021)
- #35: Man murdered another in cold blood while on bond for gun case, prosecutors say (August 12, 2021)
- #36: Uber Eats driver was gunned down in random attack by man who’s on bond for gun case, prosecutors say (August 14, 2021)
- #37: Man’s charged with trying to kill 2 cops while on a recognizance bond for injuring 2 cops who tried to arrest him in March (August 19, 2021)
- #38: Man killed one, shot another while on bond for being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors say (August 25, 2021)
- #39 – Man’s charged with two separate shootings while AWOL on burglary charge (September 8, 2021)
- #40: Chef is accused of slashing friend’s throat while on bond for allegedly stabbing his own brother to death (September 9, 2021)
- #41: Man charged with firing 14 shots during carjacking — while on recognizance bond for stolen car case (February 10, 2021)
- #42: Man killed 1, injured 3 in expressway shooting while on bond for attempted murder, prosecutor say (September 11, 2021)
- #43: Man shot victim 11 times while awaiting new trial in gun case, prosecutors say (September 22, 2021)
- #44: Man charged with trying to kill his girlfriend while on felony bond (September 22, 2021)
- #45: Man beat, shot at his pregnant girlfriend while free on felony case, prosecutors say (September 26, 2021)
- #46: Man shot woman during argument over phone messages while on bail for felony gun case, prosecutors say (October 10, 2021)
- #47: Twice-convicted gun offender shot man while on bail for another gun case and escape, prosecutors say (October 12, 2021)
- #48: Five-time felon killed his own cousin while on electronic monitoring for pending narcotics case, prosecutors say (November 3, 2021)
- #49: Gunman shot a passing car while firing across Chicago Avenue — and while on felony bond (November 6, 2021)