Coaldale police, assisted by Lansford and Nesquehoning police departments, swooped down on a house at 139 Second St. at about 5 p.m. Saturday and arrested a North Carolina man accused of burglarizing homes in the borough and in Lansford.
Christopher Roger Link, 22, whose home address is 2254 RL Routh Dr., Franklinville, NC., faces seven charges: burglary, criminal conspiracy, criminal trespass, receiving stolen property, theft by unlawful taking or disposition; violations of persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms; violations of the Controlled Substance Act: drugs, poisons, and dangerous substances; possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief, and unlawful possession of cocaine, ecstasy, vicodin.
Link was arraigned before District Judge Bernadette Nahas of Frackville, and jailed in Schuylkill County prison under $50,000 straight cash bail.
Link is suspected of burglarizing a home at 163 Second St., Coaldale, breaking in through a basement window during the day last Wednesday and stealing $2,750 in cash bills, jewelry and collector coins. Police described the burglary as "professional." The homeowners discovered the burglary when they returned home after work, police said. The victims provided police with a list of the stolen items.
An investigation by Officer Scott D. Cramer and Criminal Investigator Todd Weiss led them to Link, who was staying at 139 Second St. According to Schuylkill County property records, the house is owned by Thomas and Rosemary Peto, who bought it in 2008.
A confidential informant alerted Lansford police, who had a warrant out for Link's arrest, of his whereabouts. The informant told Lansford Sgt. Jack Soberick that Link and his girlfriend, Nicole Raposo, had bragged about the burglary at 163 Second St. and at homes in Lansford.
The informant also told Soberick that Link had in his possession drugs, jewelry, coins, cash, televisions and multiple firearms, including a Taurus 9 mm handgun, all stolen from the homes.
Police from both boroughs located Link at the 139 Second St. house, and, with the tenant's permission, entered the home and arrested Link. At one point, Coaldale Police Chief Tim Delaney said Monday, officers had to shock Link with a Taser when he refused to remove his hands from his pockets and they feared he may be armed.
Police searched the house and recovered many of the stolen items. The handgun's serial numbers matched one reported to Lansford police as having been stolen.
Police took Link and Raposo to the police station and read them their Miranda rights. Both said they understood the rights, and said they would talk with police without having a lawyer present.
Police recorded Link's confession of the burglary at 163 Second St., along with his stated knowledge of other burglaries in Lansford.
Link told police he was helped by another person, whose identity police have not disclosed.
Delaney on Monday said Link allegedly sold several of the items to a pawnshop in Lehighton. Delaney said another handgun, a .357 Magnum, remains unaccounted for.