Fourth man charged in big Near North Side gun case. Officials say he was on electronic monitoring for a machine gun case at the time and ran away to Texas.

Chicago — Authorities have now charged a fourth man with bailing out of a stolen car with a cache of firearms on the Near North Side in January. At the time of the incident, he was on electronic monitoring for allegedly possessing firearms during a remarkably similar incident last year. Officials found him in Texas—without his electronic monitoring bracelet.

Around 3:43 p.m. on January 10, state troopers tried to pull over a stolen Infiniti on the South Side. The car sped away from cops, but an Illinois State Police plane tracked the vehicle up the Dan Ryan Expressway, onto Lake Shore Drive, and onto the 1100 block of North Wells, where four men wearing ski masks bailed out and ran into an apartment complex.

Israel Baker and the two AK47-style weapons police found in the car. | Cook County sheriff’s office; Chicago Police Department

Surveillance video showed the men running through the lobby wearing ski masks and going to the 12th floor, where apartments are rented out short-term, similar to hotel rooms. Police found two AK-47s on the driver’s side of the rear seat, where Garland exited, Sammarco said.

Shortly after entering the 12th-floor apartment, two men stepped back out of the room and were captured on video as they dumped four guns down a trash chute, according to prosecutors. Cops allegedly recovered the weapons from a bin at the bottom of the chute, along with a bag of ammunition and the stolen car’s key fob.

Two men arrested that night are facing felony gun charges. A third man was charged in February after Chicago police used facial recognition technology to identify him in the other two men’s social media posts.

Now, officials say they’ve arrested the fourth man: 21-year-old Israel Baker.

Prosecutors on Saturday said Baker bailed out of the rear passenger seat of the stolen car, where he had been seated next to a pair of AK47-style weapons. Police identified Baker as the fourth person through a “social media investigation” and in “coordination with the Cook County electronic monitoring program,” according to court records.

Baker may be experiencing a bit of déjà vu because the details of his October arrest are strikingly similar to what happened in January.

On October 18, a federal law enforcement helicopter spotted a stolen car in traffic, and they tracked it to the 2700 block of West 64th Street, where its occupants bailed out and ran into a vacant home, according to court records.

Cops allegedly found Baker inside the home with several loaded ammunition magazines in his clothing and two firearms nearby. One of the guns was stolen, and one was capable of automatic fire, like a machine gun.

He was also carrying four baggies of crack, and key fobs for a BMW, two Jeeps, a Kia, a Nissan, and an Infiniti, police said.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered Baker to pay a $1,000 bail deposit to go home on electronic monitoring the next day.

When Baker failed to appear for a court date two days after the Near North Side incident, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Last month, he was arrested in Grand Prairie, Texas, just west of Dallas.

Baker was returned to Chicago Friday to face new charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and escape. Judge William Fahy held him without bail for violating bond in the October case. Separately, Fahy ordered him to pay a $20,000 bail deposit to be released on the new gun and escape charges.

Baker has no adult convictions, but he was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile for robbery in 2019, burglary in 2018, and carjacking in 2017, prosecutors said.

His public defender said he is the father of two, with one on the way. He had been living with his mother “before living in Texas,” according to his lawyer.

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