Suspect removed monitoring device 2 months before DuPage home invasions, authorities say
It was DuPage County officials who said that Malik Pitts had cut off an electronic monitor.
Two months before a pair of violent home invasions happened in Wheaton and Lombard, one of the suspects removed an electronic monitoring device and eluded capture by authorities in Cook County, authorities said.
Three people have been charged in connection with the two break-ins that occurred early Aug. 23 and left two men with gunshot wounds, including one of the suspects. A 74-year-old grandmother also was injured.
Malik Pitts, 22, of Broadview, Isaiah Johnson, 21, of Blue Island and Keytori Jackson, 22, of Broadview have been charged with attempted murder, home invasion and aggravated battery with a firearm. Pitts and Johnson are held in the DuPage County jail without bail. Jackson is held on $500,000 bail.
This week, DuPage County officials said Pitts was awaiting trial for a charge of unlawful possession of a vehicle in Cook County when he cut off his electronic monitoring device back in June.
On May 22, a judge released Pitts on a personal recognizance bond with electronic monitoring, according to Tandra Simonton, speaking for the Cook County state's attorney's office.
Pitts was outfitted with an ankle bracelet that uses radio frequency to monitor him during home confinement.
But according to the Cook County sheriff's office, which operates the county's pretrial monitoring program, Pitts' device sent an alert June 21.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Kathleen Carmody said Pitts "was on unauthorized leave" and the office attempted to locate him for two shifts.
Investigators went to his address in Broadview in the morning and again in the evening. They also checked hospitals in the area, including Loyola University Medical Center and Rush University Medical Center, and the Cook County medical examiner's office.
In addition, they searched by computer to see if he was in the custody of other police departments.
When authorities couldn't find Pitts, they declared him absent without leave June 22.
According to DuPage County authorities, Cook County prosecutors filed a charge of escape June 26, and an arrest warrant was issued. Pitts failed to appear for a July 30 court date, according to Simonton.
Simonton said further details about the case, including orders about the monitoring or any arrest warrants, would have to come from the records kept by the circuit court clerk.
As a general practice, defendants on monitoring may be allowed to leave their homes to see their lawyers, go to medical appointments, attend religious services and more. But they have to get permission from the sheriff's office.
According to the sheriff's office daily log, there were 3,259 people in Cook County on electronic monitoring - radio frequency or GPS monitors - on Tuesday.
This fall, the sheriff's office plans to have everyone converted to GPS monitors.
Authorities say that shortly after 5 a.m. Aug. 23, Johnson and Pitts entered a home in Wheaton and attacked the residents, including a grandmother who was injured when she was struck in the face while trying to protect her granddaughter.
About 20 minutes later, authorities say, Johnson and Pitts attacked a family in Lombard. During that encounter, Johnson shot a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun twice at the homeowner, with one shot hitting the ground and the other going through the man and striking Pitts.
Pitts fell into a bush, leaving blood on the leaves, reports said. The DuPage County crime laboratory tested the blood's DNA and found a match in the Combined DNA Index System, which contains DNA collected from criminal offenders, authorities said.
Meanwhile, Jackson faces charges because she drove Johnson and Pitts to and from the houses, authorities said.
Officials said Johnson is on probation for a possession of stolen motor vehicle case out of Cook County. DuPage County prosecutors said Johnson told police he was wearing a monitor as part of that probation and had a curfew.
Probation in Cook County is overseen by the circuit court's adult probation department. Officials with that department didn't responded to a request for interview.