A Grand Island man who broke into a Wilson ice cream stand Aug. 1 pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court.
Steven J. Yaksich, 25, of West River Road, admitted to third-degree burglary. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas admitted him to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment, meaning to he can earn a reduction in charges to a misdemeanor, with a probation sentence, if he succeeds in treatment.
Otherwise, Yaksich will be sentenced to as long as seven years in prison.
He was caught by sheriff’s deputies hiding in the basement of a hardware store next to Hibbard’s Custard Stand on Young Street in Wilson. Yaksich stole a three-gallon container of ice cream. He told Farkas that at the time, he had a $100-a-day cocaine habit.
• Jeffrey J. Farrell Jr., 23, of Washburn Street, Lockport, was sentenced to six months in jail and five years’ probation for violating a restraining order a woman had obtained against him.
Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas imposed a new restraining order on Farrell, who was arrested June 30 after entering the Town of Lockport home of the mother of one of his children and allegedly choking her. Farkas said she will sentence Farrell to the maximum, seven years in prison, if he violates the order.
Farrell had pleaded guilty Sept. 6 to aggravated criminal contempt.
A 2000 Chevrolet Blazer stolen from a Niagara Falls woman has been located, in pieces, on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation.
Sheriff’s deputies said they found the vehicle behind a Mount Hope Road home. The body had been removed from the frame and overturned, and the engine had also been removed from the vehicle and was sitting separately from it. Deputies said the vehicle had damage to the steering column and that the catalytic converter was missing.
• A rear door was forced open and tools and lawn mowers were stolen from a home in the 2200 block of Welch Avenue in Niagara Falls.
The homeowner told police that sometime between 7 and 8:30 p.m. two lawn mowers, two rakes, a shovel a tool box and two pairs of Timberland boots were taken from his home. He said a bottle of Pine Sol was dumped on the floor and stairs. Total loss and damage was $1,115.
The victim said the burglary happened while he was away at a Bible study class.
• NIAGARA FALLS – A minibike valued at $500 was stolen from a Pierce Avenue garage overnight Thursday, police said.
Someone cut a lock to a garage door to gain entry.
Police said a 47-year-old man was assaulted in his Girard Avenue home Friday afternoon by his girlfriend’s ex-husband and his friend.
The victim told Niagara Falls police he came home around 5 p.m. and was immediately confronted by the two men, who attacked him without provocation and repeatedly punched him in the head and face. He fled to a nearby retail area and phoned police.
The victim’s girlfriend told police she had invited the men over, but did not expect their violent reaction to her boyfriend’s arrival. He was advised to seek an arrest warrant. Police said he was not seriously injured.
• Three residents in the 7100 block of Schultz Road in Wheatfield reported having cars broken into overnight, sheriff’s deputies said.
One man said a GPS unit and a starter’s pistol were stolen, resulting in a loss of about $250. Another reported losing only about $1 in change, while a third reported the loss of about $650 worth of belongings.
Items taken from the latter vehicle included four power drills in a case, and a monitor for a reverse camera, deputies said.
• An unattended stove in a garage caught fire in the morning, causing an estimated $2,500 in smoke damage to a residence at 6827 Sy Road, Wheatfield, sheriff’s deputies said.
A woman had been cooking just after 11 a.m. and forgot the garage stove was left burning, deputies said. She vacated the premises with her 1-year-old child upon noticing smoke and flames coming from the garage. A sheriff’s deputy was able to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher from his patrol car. No one was injured in the fire.
• A 72-year-old woman had her purse snatched by two teenagers as she walked in the 600 block of 20th Street in Niagara Falls just after 4 p.m. Friday, police said.
The victim told police she was accosted from behind by two young males, 15 to 17 years of age. They ripped the purse from her arm and fled. She was able to locate the discarded purse and wallet nearby, but her money, about $40, had been removed.
• Cars were broken into overnight at neighboring homes on Stevenson Court in Wheatfield, sheriff’s deputies reported.
One couple said that both of their cars were entered while parked in their unlocked garage. Close to $600 in goods were stolen from one car, including a GPS unit, several pairs of sunglasses and two cellphone chargers. A GPS was taken from the other, along with $150 in cash.
A neighbor reported that a GPS valued at $150 was stolen from his unlocked car while it was parked in his driveway overnight. The thefts occurred between 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.
An elderly Valley Drive woman inadvertently left her apartment unlocked after experiencing plumbing problems, and someone entered and stole her $300 diamond ring, police said.
The woman left her home around 9 a.m. Saturday and discovered Sunday morning that someone had entered the residence and taken the ring from a bedroom nightstand.
• More than $5,000 worth of housing materials were removed from a vacant rental property in the 1700 block of Ashland Avenue sometime over the past three months, Niagara Falls police said.
The homeowner, a LaSalle-area resident, said that someone removed numerous items sometime since Aug. 20. Police said most of the material was probably sold for scrap. Items missing included assorted pieces of copper, brass and aluminum, a furnace, some water tanks, sinks, doors and tools.
Damages were listed at $10,000 in a weekend fire on Ninth Street, according to the Niagara Falls Fire Department.
Firefighters responded at 2:20 a.m. to a fire on the first floor at 3113 Ninth Street, according to Chief of Fire Prevention Daniel Ciszek. He said firefighters were able to contain the fire to the kitchen in the first floor apartment.
Ciszek said first floor tenant Elois Holmes told investigators that her 15-year-old granddaughter had been cooking french fries on the stove and then left the stove unattended.
• A member of the Hartland Masonic Lodge called Niagara County sheriff’s deputies to report a burglary.
Sometime between 8 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Sunday, someone cut a screen on the west side of the building at 9201 Ridge Road to open a window and gain entry. Once inside the person stole two cases of beer and $10 from petty cash, according to sheriff’s deputies. The complainant told deputies that a locked cabinet was pried open, but nothing appeared to have been taken. Total loss and damage $110.
A clerk at the Hometown Market 2 convenience store told police that a man with a ski mask robbed the Niagara Falls store at gunpoint.
The clerk told police that a man brandishing a silver handgun entered the store at 1519 18th Street just before 9:30 p.m. Monday and demanded all the money in the cash register. The clerk told police they filled up a plastic shopping bag and handed over $400.
• The owner of Variety Motors in the 1100 block of 11th Street told police that a security camera was installed after being plagued by burglaries. But overnight thieves hit again and the first thing they took was the security camera. Two males jumped the fence and entered the lot sometime between 5 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday. The men walked around a white van and then one suspect, a black male wearing a dark hoodie and a back pack, knocked the camera, facing it downward. The suspects then knocked the surveillance camera off the wall and stole it. The thieves also smashed a passenger side window in a 2004 Ford Escape and a stole a speedometer.
The owner told police this is an ongoing problem for his business.
Total loss and damages was $500.