Man charged with burglarizing Wrigleyville apartment while on parole for a 2020 burglary he committed while on parole for a 2017 burglary he committed while on parole for a 2016 burglary

James Walker (Illinois Department of Corrections)

CHICAGO — A serial burglar who has “starred” in two previous CWBChicago reports is behind bars again. Chicago cops arrested him minutes after he burglarized a Wrigleyville apartment this month, prosecutors said.

We first wrote about James Walker in 2016 after undercover cops working to crack a persistent burglary problem in Lincoln Park arrested him as he left the scene of a residential burglary in the 2600 block of North Wayne. Walker, who was carrying a laptop, a cellphone, wireless speakers, an iPod, and credit cards in another man’s name, would later plead guilty to theft.

He was on parole for that case when Chicago cops arrested him for burglary again in August 2017. Witnesses reported seeing him force open a window to enter an apartment in the 5000 block of North Glenwood. CPD arrived just as Walker was leaving and arrested him after a brief foot chase.

After the cops discovered two MacBooks inside his backpack, Walker allegedly admitted that he stole them so he could sell them, asking, “How else would I eat?” 

He received four years for that break-in.

His next burglary arrest came in early 2020 in Lincoln Park. Prosecutors said video showed him rummaging through a man’s apartment in the 2100 block of North Dayton, eventually leaving with the victim’s credit card.

According to a Chicago police report, Walker took the man’s credit card to a Metro PCS location and used it to pay his own phone bill. Fortunately, Walker was still on parole, so police had no trouble finding him when he showed up for an appointment with his parole officer.

He received a four-year sentence for the burglary plus three years for aggravated battery of a peace officer. Illinois Department of Corrections records show he was paroled on January 8. It appears Walker, now 30 years old, quickly returned to his burglary career.

On March 12, CPD officers responded to a residential burglary in the 1100 block of West Patterson, just across the street from Wrigley Field. After reviewing video of the intruder, they searched the area and found Walker on the Addison Red Line platform with a roller bag and backpack that resembled property taken from the victims, according to his latest arrest report.

He bolted from the station when the cops tried to talk with him, the police said, but they caught him about a block away. Police said they recovered the victims’ luggage, backpack, headphones, painting brushes, external hard drive, laptop, wallet, tax returns, and two iPads.

Prosecutors charged him with two counts of residential burglary and two misdemeanor counts of resisting.

Incredibly, when police notified IDOC about Walker’s latest burglary arrest, they were told that the agency would not pursue a parole violation, according to the arrest report.

However, IDOC changed its mind when the police called again to report that Walker had removed their electronic monitoring bracelet after being arrested. He returned to the Stateville Correctional Center yesterday.

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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