Monday, April 23, 2018

Accused Burglar Escapes Electronic Monitoring, Robs Loop Restaurant, Prosecutors Say

Harper (inset) escaped from electronic monitoring for over a month--until he allegedly robbed this Loop eatery.
A Humboldt Park man accused of burglarizing a Loop jewelry store was released on a recognizance bond, escaped from electronic monitoring, and then remained at large for nearly a month until he got arrested again for allegedly robbing a downtown restaurant.

Back in January, detectives received word that a DNA database had generated a hit on a blood sample taken from the scene of a December 2015 jewelry store burglary in the first block of North Michigan Avenue. The blood found on glass shards in the broken front display allegedly belonged to Alex Harper.

Investigators arrested Harper at his home on January 31. He was charged with burglary for allegedly taking nearly $4,000 worth of bracelets from the store.

The next day, “affordable bail” champion Judge Stephanie Miller released Harper on a recognizance bond with electronic monitoring. Harris went AWOL almost immediately. Then he skipped court on March 19 and remained in the wind for nearly a month.

Finally, around 4 p.m. on April 15, Harper walked into Spanglish Mexican Kitchen at 555 South State with his hand holding a pointed object inside a paper bag, cops say. He pushed a female restaurant worker, told her “don’t move or I’m going to shoot you,” and took money from the register, according to prosecutors.

Another restaurant worker chased Harper and confronted him nearby. Harper grabbed the man and said he had a gun, causing the man to back away, according to police.

A few minutes later, a witness to the robbery flagged down cops after spotting Harper on the street near State and Congress. Cops say they recovered a paper bag and the restaurant’s cash from Harper’s pockets.

He was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery, battery, and escape. Judge Mary Marubio ordered him held without bail.

Also AWOL

Two more people whose alleged crimes were recently profiled on CWBChicago went AWOL last week:

• Juancho Padolina, accused of threatening two people with a handgun in March, skipped court last Monday. Charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon without a Firearms Owner ID (FOID) card, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a mounted laser sight, he went free by posting just $1,000 bail courtesy of Judge Michael Clancy.

• Hamid Popal, accused of being one of several men who attacked two people in a racial slur-filled attack after last month’s St. Patrick’s parade, failed to appear in court last Thursday.  He was freed on his own recognizance.

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