Marco Baker, 27, of 224 E. Snyder Ave., Lansford, faces charges from an incident which took place on June 9, 2012, on W. Bertsch St., Lansford. Charges of receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia were filed by Officer Christopher M. Ondrus.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, here's what happened:
At 9:06 p.m. June 9, Ondrus received a dispatch from Summit Hill officers Tom Midas and John Pruitt that they had a felony warrant for Baker. He was reported to be walking west on Kline Avenue, toward Tunnel Street, in Lansford. A short time later, Ondrus heard a radio transmission from Midas that they were running after Baker. Baker was arrested on the unit block of W. Bertsch Street, after trying to climb a fence.
Police searched Baker for their own safety before placing him in the cruiser. They found a glass pipe with burnt residue, and seven round pills, later identified as codeine and oxycodone. Baker also had a backpack containing numerous items.
Summit Hill police took Baker to prison on the warrant. At 1:10 a.m. June 9, Ondrus had received a call from a man who said items had been taken from him, and that he believed Baker had them. He retrieved the backpack and items Baker had with him from Summit Hill police. The man said all the items in the backpack were his, except for some clothing that belonged to Baker. The man stated the backpack and the items were in his house, and were removed between 3-8 p.m. June 9. They included a pair of hiking gloves, a tarp, New York Yankee license plate, Medal of Honor, Undercover, Call of Duty 4, and The Run PlayStation games, a fiberglass hammer, a Dale Earnhardt cap, an LG cell phone, and a baseball cap with NASCAR pins that had been taken from his bedroom.
The victim provided a full written statement, which included that Baker had access to the house.
Ondrus attempted to contact Baker several times after his release from prison, but was unsuccessful. On Feb. 23, 2013, Tamaqua police arrested Baker on a felony warrant stemming from an incident in Lansford. Baker was brought from Tamaqua to the Lansford police station, where Ondrus interviewed him concerning the stolen items. Baker was given his Miranda warnings, and said he understood them and signed off on them. He agreed to talk with Ondrus. Baker said the pipe was his, and that he used it to smoke marijuana. The pills were purchased in Summit Hill from a male named "Jay," and Baker paid $1 each for them. Baker said the backpack belonged to the man who had reported the missing items, but that some of the items belonged to Baker, including the tarp, rope, hammer, and clothing. Baker said he did not know the license plate and cap were in the backpack. He said the PS3 games belonged to the man, and that he had borrowed them to play with his nephew. He said he planned to return the items and did not mean to steal them.