Handcuffs

Tribune illustration of handcuffs (Tribune photo illustration)

A South Barrington police officer has been charged with forging prescriptions to obtain large amounts of a powerful painkiller at suburban drug stores, sometimes while he was still on duty and in uniform.

Keith Baker, 30, a patrol officer in South Barrington since 2010, was charged with forgery, official misconduct and possession of a controlled substance. Judge Laura Sullivan set his bail at $10,000, records show.

Prosecutors said Baker took blank pages from a prescription pad belonging to a friend who is a physician and forged orders for Norco, a narcotic used to treat moderate to severe pain. The physician told police he did not authorize Baker to take any of the pages and that the signature used on them was not his.

Baker took the phony prescriptions to stores in Hoffman Estates and South Barrington on five separate occasions beginning in May and received nearly 1,000 pills over the next three weeks, prosecutors said.

He was charged Tuesday after turning himself in at the Leighton Criminal Court Building. If convicted, Baker faces from probation to 5 years in prison, prosecutors said.

jmeisner@tribune.com