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Mingo Firefighter Accused of Impersonating A Paramedic and Theft Has Long History of Identity Theft.



Chris Beckinsale Arrested

Who is Christopher Beckinsale? That was a popular question in Mingo County this week as charges were filed against a Volunteer Firefighter that included impersonating a Paramedic. But this story has multiple twists and turns.

Here is where the story starts:

On February 2, 2023 “Chris Beckinsale” wearing a fire department logo fleece, WVU hat, with what appears to be a fire department radio is seen on a TikTok video criticizing the EMS response times in Mingo County. He claims to be a paramedic who was rendering aid to a patient who experienced a long response time. His comments were very critical of the EMS system in Mingo County.

Fast forward a few days and the Mingo County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page announced:

WOWK reported that a criminal complaint filed on March 15th claims Linn did not return several items from both the Wharncliffe VFD and Baisden VFD. The total value of both complaints is estimated at approximately $25,000. The complaint also cites that Christopher Beckinsale aka Christopher Linn impersonated a paramedic. It is unclear if the allegation is limited only to his TikTok video or if law enforcement is actually accusing Beckinsale of rendering care or performing official acts as a paramedic.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Christopher William Beckinsale was born Christopher Lee Linn in August of 1986. Maryland Court records indicate a legal name change was granted in August 2020.

The timeline of issues goes back much further.

Maryland court records show a series of criminal charges starting in 2004 thru 2009 and include several theft charges, an arson charge as well as domestic violence reports.

There is a gap in the Maryland timeline between 2010 and 2014. However internet searches show Christopher Linn relocated to Saratoga Springs, NY and is quoted in an interview where he is named as the manager of a Big Apple Pizza. During that time a Linked In profile shows a profile picture of Linn and claims he obtained his BA Degree from Western Governors University between 2007 and 2010, worked as salaried management between 2009 and 2010 for Papa Johns Management before becoming the Director of a program called Operation: Home to Heroes.


In 2014 Maryland court records show a Domestic Violence Petition was filed and served on Christopher Linn in Cary, North Carolina. A 2015 Cumberland Times-News article says that Christopher Lee Linn (then 28) was convicted of theft and was sentenced to six years with three years being suspended. It was determined that while living in North Carolina, Linn had obtained the personal information of the victim including a passport and used that passport to get a West Virginia identification card which was used to obtain a loan at Maryland credit union.

Assistant Maryland State’s Attorney Erich Bean, who prosecuted the case, said:

“In my six years as a prosecutor, this is the most sophisticated identity fraud scheme I’ve seen. The troubles Mr. Linn created for himself aren’t over once he has finished serving his time in Maryland. Had it not been for the diligent work of our local law enforcement, he would probably still be doing this somewhere else. This case crosses four states.”Cumberland Times News | April 7, 2015

Lynn would go on to be charged with and plead guilty to federal crimes for identity theft and lying to unlawfully purchase a firearm. He was then sentenced to 58 months and was released in April 2020 after completing his prison sentence and transitioning to a halfway house in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

During this time a Facebook profile that had been dormant since 2013 sprang back to life for a catering company called “A Moment in Thyme Catering” where Linn was listed as the Executive Chef. The profile linked to this business shows Linn says he went to Beall Junior-Senior High in Frostburg, MD, Studied Paralegal at Blackstone Career Institute and studied Management at Glenville State College.

The last post by “A Moment in Thyme Catering” shows a bottle of Cold Brew Latte available for purchase. The Latte is made by Uncommon Grounds Coffee Company.

Uncommon Grounds Coffee Company was founded in February 2022 and shows Christopher Beckinsale and Andrea Sloan as the owners. Andrea Sloan is an art teacher at Gilbert PK-8.

The Journal has an article about the business dated April 18, 2022. In the article Beckinsale claims to be a Marine Corps veteran who spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan. The article states that a portion of all of the proceeds will go to veteran-related charities like Mission 22. The article also links to the Uncommon Grounds Facebook page. The last post on this page says, “Due to our staff assisting with fighting a structure fire in Isaban all evening, all unpaid orders for 2/14 are canceled. We regret any inconvenience this may cause, but we put the safety and well-being of our neighbors above our business.” Isaban is a community located on Fourpole Creek in both McDowell and Mingo counties.

We will continue to follow this story as it develops.


  • Staff Writer

    From the WV Statewide News Team. Articles depicting “Staff Writer” indicate the content was prepared by several members of the news team. View all posts

From the WV Statewide News Team. Articles depicting "Staff Writer" indicate the content was prepared by several members of the news team.

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