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Dec. 11

A house in the 1000 block of Fairfield Avenue in Niagara Falls was broken into, and copper pipe and furniture were stolen.

The owner’s brother told police that the house is currently unoccupied, but his brother stays there when he is in town.

A window on a rear door was smashed to gain entry, and walls damaged to strip an unknown amount of copper pipe from a second floor bathroom. A water meter and a dining room table and four chairs were reported stolen. Other personal items in the house were not stolen, police said.

• A Grand Island contractor told Niagara Falls police that tools were stolen from a job site in the 2200 block of Grand Avenue sometime over the weekend.

The contractor told police that he left the tools at the house late last week, and when he returned Tuesday he found that a framing gun, two screw guns and a saw were gone. Total loss $1,125.

The homeowner told police that a man who worked with them and another man asked to be let in to retrieve some tools for another job. The victim said the man had worked for him one day and could be considered a suspect.

Dec. 12

Police from Niagara Falls and the U.S. Border Patrol were joined by Lewiston K-9 units to probe a reported burglary in progress at the closed Fallside Hotel in the 400 block of Buffalo Avenue.

Security at the hotel called for help at 3:30 p.m. when they saw a suspicious man inside the closed hotel who ducked down when they looked through the window.

Police set up a perimeter, but the man was not found after a two-hour search. During the search, police did find copper pipes rolled in a blanket inside a room and said boards that had been used to secure the main entrance were ripped off to gain entry.

• A contractor working on a vacant house in the 1800 block of Ontario Avenue in Niagara Falls reported that copper and an air conditioning unit had been stolen.

The contractor said someone removed a window from the west side of the house and took $800 worth of copper from the basement and bathroom. An air conditioning unit, valued at $1,000, was taken from the rear of the house.

The theft happened sometime in June or July, according to the contractor, who reported the damage Wednesday. Total damage was listed at $5,000. No explanation was given for why the contractor knew the thefts occurred last summer or why they were just being reported now.

• A Niagara Falls 18-year-old was granted youthful offender status, but also was sentenced to two years in jail, for his role in a Town of Niagara burglary and a drug possession case.

The 13th Street resident joined Joseph M. DiLaura III, 19, of Lindbergh Avenue, in backing up a vehicle to a Grauer Road home Jan. 10 and carrying out more than $30,000 worth of property. DiLaura is serving five years in state prison for that and a July 2011 house burglary on Stephenson Avenue in the Falls.

The 18-year-old pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree burglary and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. The latter charge was for selling cocaine in North Tonawanda June 20.

Dec. 13

Steven J. Hummel, 20, of Oliver Street, North Tonawanda, pleaded not guilty in State Supreme Court to a four-count indictment accusing him of selling prescription painkillers.

Hummel is charged with two counts each of fourth-degree criminal sale and fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance. He allegedly sold buprenorphine March 16 and 20 in North Tonawanda.

In another North Tonawanda painkiller case, Daniel P. Schwartz, 32, of Main Street, City of Tonawanda, admitted to seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for illegally having hydrocodone in North Tonawanda Feb. 24. Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas scheduled sentencing for March 21.

• A Buffalo man failed to show up for sentencing in Niagara County Court last year has been recommended for the state’s “shock incarceration” prison program.

If Michael A. Frears, 19, of Barton Street, doesn’t succeed in the six-month boot camp program, he’ll serve one to three years in a regular cell, Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas said.

After he gets out, he will have to pay $1,105 in restitution for the all terrain vehicle he stole.

Frears pleaded guilty in January 2011 to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree burglary. He was one of three Buffalo teens who stole four ATVs in Wheatfield June 22, 2010. However, Frears skipped out on his April 2011 sentencing date and eluded police until July of this year.

Dec. 14

Area police investigated a pair of identity theft complaints, including one in which an elderly city man’s credit card was used several times after being lost.

The LaSalle-area resident told police he lost the card at a Military Road restaurant on Dec. 4, and later learned that it had been fraudulently used on several occasions at area stores. The account has since been canceled.

A Lockport resident reported a similar incident, with the only exception being that she was still in possession of her debit card. The Royal Parkway North resident learned that someone in Brooklyn had made nearly $400 in purchases on her account, before her bank closed the account due to suspicious activity.

She told investigators she did not know how anyone could have gotten hold of her personal information.

Dec. 15

A 23-year-old Olcott man told police he was attacked after being invited to a Grace Avenue home.

The victim told sheriff’s deputies that a woman invited him to the home but that when he arrived around 2:30 a.m., a man confronted him as he exited his vehicle. He was punched repeatedly in the face and thrown into some nearby bushes. The victim then drove off and to a nearby emergency room, where he was treated for multiple injuries.

Deputies said they have applied for an arrest warrant for the assailant.

• A 19-year-old Medina resident was pulled over for a lane violation and ended up being arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, sheriff’s deputies said.

Shane E. Kruger of Brenner Place was pulled over just before 7 p.m. on Shimer Drive in Lockport, according to reports, and later failed several field sobriety tests. Kruger reportedly told deputies that he had smoked pot within two hours of driving.

He was charged with failure to keep right and two other traffic violations, in addition to the impaired count.

Dec. 16

A Niagara Falls woman went to retrieve her coat after church, only to find that it had been stolen, police said.

The 77th Street woman was about to leave a Main Street church at 11:30 a.m. when she discovered that her $100 coat was missing from a back room. A fellow parishioner told of seeing a woman – not believed to be a member of the church – going through the room during the church service.

Police said that another woman’s Bible bag had been gone through and moved, possibly by someone believing it to be a purse.

• Niagara Falls police arrested a man after he reportedly assaulted a 17-year-old inside a Niagara Falls Boulevard motel.

John E. Welch Jr., 52, who listed an address inside the Pelican Motel, was charged with second-degree menacing at 3 a.m.

The victim, also a resident of the motel, told police that Welch came to his room yelling and demanding money, and jumped on him after being told he had none. The victim was put into a headlock and threatened with a knife before the incident was broken up by others in the area, police said.