A Nesquehoning man has been arrested and charged with committing armed robberies at businesses in Lansford and Franklin Township.
Timothy Eugene Keiper, Broad Street, was charged by Lansford police with robbing the Friendly Food Mart on West Patterson Street, Lansford on April 28.
He was also charged by Franklin Township police with a robbery that happened on May 7 in the township. No police report was filed with the TIMES NEWS indicating where this robbery occurred.
Summit Hill police have filed theft by unlawful taking-movable property charges against him from an incident in that borough on May 12.
Police are also looking into whether robberies in the Palmerton area might be linked to him.
Keiper is presently in the Carbon County Correctional Facility.
On the Lansford charges, he was arraigned before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek who set bail in excess of $100,000 straight.
On the Franklin charges, the defendant was arraigned before District Judge William J. Kissner who listed bail at $75,000 straight.
Detective Jack Soberick of the Lansford Police Department is the arresting officer in the incident in that borough. Keiper allegedly pointed the gun at the store clerk during the robbery.
Charges filed by Soberick are a felony charge of robbery-threat of immediate serious injury and misdemeanor charges of simple assault, theft by unlawful taking-movable property, recklessly endangering another person, and receiving stolen property.
The affidavit filed by Soberick says that the robbery at the Friendly Food Mart happened at 8:43 p.m. on April 28.
The male clerk told Soberick that "a subject wearing a dark-colored, hooded sweat shirt, and a blue bandanna covering his face, had come into the store, brandishing what appeared to be some type of handgun/firearm. This subject pointed the weapon at (the clerk) and demanded money from the register."
The affidavit states that a video "shows the subject 'racking' or operating the slide of what appears to be a handgun. This weapon is then pointed at the clerk while the money is handed over."
A sweat shirt believed worn during the robbery was recovered by Franklin Township police from a residence that had been frequented by Keiper, the affidavit says.
Soberick says in the court document that Keiper was cooperative when questioned and "indicated that he had been suffering from severe addiction to controlled substances and as a result committed the robbery in order to sustain his addiction."
Keiper reportedly admitted to Soberick that the weapon he used was a "repli-gun," which is a BB gun modeled to resemble a firearm, including having a slide that could be operated in order to appear as though a round was being chambered.
The suspect told Keiper he tossed the weapon into the Lehigh River.
Franklin Township Police Officer Franklin A. Lorah has charged Keiper with three felony counts and four misdemeanors. The felony charges are robbery with threat of immediate serious injury, robbery - take property by force, and terroristic threats causing serious public inconvenience. Misdemeanor charges are reckless endangering another person, simple assault, theft by unlawful taking-movable property, and receiving stolen property.
Hearings are scheduled on June 13 at the offices of Kissner and Kosciolek for Keiper.