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Burglary suspect nabbed in woods

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By Abdon Sidibe

Nearly a dozen Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies and K-9s converged on woods near Crystal River early Friday morning to nab a burglary suspect.

And, it was a sighting of the suspect by someone alerted by the CodeRED public notification system that ultimately led to the arrest of the 33-year-old man, according to Sgt. Steve Conley.

Zachary Linville of Webster was arrested at 7:48 a.m. Friday and is facing charges of burglary while armed, grand theft, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, criminal mischief, burglary of a vehicle and resisting arrest. His bond is $118,000.

According to Conley, Linville was at a residence on Dublin Street when the alarm in the home went off. The alarm company contacted the owner, who was away. The owner, in turn, alerted his brother, who lives near the home, asking him to check his residence.

Conley said when the brother arrived at the residence he startled Linville, who took off running into the woods near the residence. Linville also reportedly dropped at least six long guns he had wrapped in a blanket, according to Conley.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene at 5:45 a.m. and began the search for Linville.

Nearly two hours later, Conley said he encountered a man Linville reportedly had flagged down on a road for a ride. When the man asked if he (Linville) was the man deputies were searching for, saying he had been alerted via CodeRED, the man fled. CodeRED is a Citrus County Sheriff’s Office emergency management alert system which lets residents know via phone calls about all kinds of emergencies. 

“He pointed to the area of the woods where he fled and it was not even five minutes later, K-9 caught up with him,” Conley said.

Linville reportedly suffered some abrasions during the K-9 encounter, but was treated at the scene.

“I am very impressed with the work of everybody and the teamwork. It goes to show how dedicated everybody is about not only making sure we caught the suspect, but for the safety of the citizens,” Conley said.

Linville was transported to the Citrus County Detention Facility.

Contact Chronicle reporter A.B. Sidibe at 352-564-2925 or asidibe@chronicleonline.com.