William A. Robinson, 51, of Phelps Street, Lockport, admitted in Niagara County Court that he stole copper pipes from a house on Grand Street in Lockport and sold the metal to get money to buy drugs.
Robinson admitted to third-degree burglary and was assigned by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment.
If Robinson succeeds in the program, he will receive a misdemeanor and a probation sentence, but if not, he could spent as long as seven years in state prison.
The burglary occurred Nov. 26. Thirty pounds of copper was sold at Lock City Metals on West Avenue, Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Caldwell said. Robinson was ordered to pay $1,100 in restitution to the homeowner.
• An out-of-town contractor told Niagara Falls police that a co-worker skipped town taking all her tools.
A woman working for an independent cellphone contractor, told police that her partner suddenly quit last week and has not returned phone calls from her or their company. The woman said the suspect was supposed to come and pick her up in his 2001 Alero on Jan. 17, but never returned. She said he had all her tools in his vehicle, which included different types of cable cutter, various wrenches, socket sets, screw guns, cable testers and a bar code scanner that belonged to the company.
Total loss was estimated $4,500.
Jeffrey M. Tretter, 20, of Eddy Drive, North Tonawanda, pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court to fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He had about one-quarter ounce of cocaine May 15 as he sat in a car outside an apartment on Pine Street in Lockport, which police were raiding.
County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III assigned Tretter to the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment. Tretter faces a maximum of 5½ years in prison if he fails at the program, but if he succeeds, he will be placed on probation after his charge is reduced to a misdemeanor.
• Lockport police said they had to force a distraught man to hand over his infant son at his Niagara Street home. Brandon K. Hoffman, 19, of Niagara Street, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration at 9:15 p.m. Thursday.
Hoffman was found in his home crying and yelling, according to police, and refused to hand over his infant son to the baby’s mother or his father. Police said when they tried to talk to him he kicked at police. He reportedly became enraged when someone took the child, shaking and bouncing the baby around.
Additional officers were called to the scene and were able to return the child to the mother.
Hoffman was forcibly taken into custody and was physically subdued, police said.
Erratic driving led to the arrest of a North Tonawanda man, who was later found to have been hiding a crack pipe inside his sock, sheriff’s deputies said.
Sharif Y. Hamdy, 40, of Nash Road, told Niagara County sheriff’s deputies that he had no driver’s license, and a check showed that he possessed only a nondriver’s I.D. card, which had been suspended for failure to appear in court in Grand Island, as well as failure to pay a fine in Amherst. Hamdy was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, as well as passing a red light and driving on the shoulder. Possible drug charges are pending the outcome of testing on the seized pipe.
• Upset over being denied a paper cup, a customer shoved a cash register off the counter and onto the floor of the City Market McDonald’s restaurant, Niagara Falls police said. The incident occurred just after 4 p.m. when the female customer asked for a cup but was refused. Enraged, she began yelling profanities before shoving the register to the floor and fleeing the restaurant, heading west on Pine Avenue, police said. The register was not damaged, and the woman could not be located, police said.
A thief targeted a vacant house on C Street, stealing more than $2,000 worth copper pipe and wiring.
Police said the theft probably occurred during the previous week. Copper pipe and electrical wiring was stripped from the walls. Damage to drywall was estimated at $1,000.
• A false alarm on a possible medical emergency brought police and emergency crews to a Nicki’s Lane apartment house in Wheatfield, where they took a .380-caliber pistol from a 91-year-old man.
An EMS crew had convinced the man to put the gun down after arriving at the home shortly before 10 p.m. and seeing him through a window, holding the weapon. He told police he had owned the gun for three decades and did not realize he needed a permit to possess the weapon, which was then confiscated. A relative was contacted and was making plans to take possession of the gun. No charges were filed.
• A North Tonawanda man was charged with drunken driving after he went off the road and crashed into a tree at 7:30 p.m. in the 6800 block of Ward Road in Wheatfield.
Ronald J. Golimowski, 53, of Meadowbrook Drive, was charged with driving while intoxicated and failure to keep right by Niagara County sheriff’s deputies.
Golimowski went off the road, collided with a tree and needed to be extricated from his vehicle by rescuers from the St. Johnsburg Fire Company, according to deputies. He was taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center with leg and ankle injuries that rescuers called minor. When questioned, Golimowski told deputies he felt drowsy and went off the road. Deputies said they received a positive sensor reading for DWI.
He was charged at ECMC but refused to submit to a blood test until he was able to consult with an attorney, deputies said.
A neighbor alerted Niagara County sheriff’s deputies when the lights were on, but no one was supposed to be living in a closed home on the seasonal Sunset Island.
The woman said she investigated and called deputies when it appeared that a window was broken at 6 p.m. Sunday.
Deputies said they found a rear door unsecured with Solo plastic cups littered throughout the house, a table set up for beer pong, a fireplace that had recently been burning wood, and a pull out futon couch with pillow and blankets. Deputies said the screen was pulled back, but no window was broken.
The house was secured by deputies, and the owner was contacted and asked to check the house and determine if anything was stolen or damaged.
• A 23-year-old man told Niagara Falls police he was beaten up by three men and had his car stolen when he went to a 24th Street address to attempt to purchase illegal prescription narcotics.
The victim told police he pulled up to an address in the 400 block of 24th Street at 7:30 p.m. to meet a woman and purchase several Opana pills, a narcotic painkiller, from her.
He said while he was waiting, a man walked up and asked for his identity and told him to follow him into the house. Once inside he told police he was confronted by two more men and the three men punched him, pulled him into a basement and shook him down, taking his wallet, which contained his driver’s license and $510 and then fled. The victim said when he went back outside his car, a 2004 Saturn, registered to his mother, was gone.
Police were allowed entry to the house and were able to search the basement, but said they were unable to locate the suspects or recover the vehicle.
• Niagara County sheriff’s deputies said they had to rapidly slow down to avoid a vehicle that left a parking lot without yielding to oncoming traffic just before 5 p.m. in the 5800 block of South Transit Road in Lockport.
Lisa Ann Sebo, 47, of Lockwood Lane was charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to stop from an alleyway or private drive, and moving from a lane unsafely.
She was additionally charged with drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle when she was found with an open, cold bottle of a flavored vodka drink within her reach.
The property manager of a house in the 4000 block of Elmwood Avenue in Niagara Falls found the inside of the house destroyed, copper plumbing cut and stolen and electrical lines ripped out of the walls.
The manager said the previous tenants were evicted. He said someone had stripped the walls of pipes and electrical lines, stolen the water meter and water tank, damaged the walls, tore apart and destroyed the kitchen and two bathrooms. Loss was estimated at $16,750.