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Cheektowaga

You can thank the bad guys for the town’s newest crime-fighting weapons.

Last week, the Town Board approved the purchase of a license plate reader and a Throwbot XT Tactical Robot, both of which will be paid for through asset forfeiture money related to criminal investigations.

“Using their money to fight them,” quipped police Lt. Brian Gould.

The car-mounted plate reader, which costs approximately $21,000, reads the plates of moving and parked vehicles, then lets police know if the vehicle was stolen or its registration suspended, or if the registered owner is wanted on an arrest warrant.

Town police already have some license plate readers in use. “It’s been very successful in helping us solve crimes,” Gould said.

The robot, which resembles a dumbbell, is a portable, remote-controlled device that can provide video surveillance in potentially hostile environments. It costs approximately $13,700.

Also this week:

• A Town Board work session begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Office Conference Room at Town Hall, 3301 Broadway.

• An informational session about associate and bachelor degree programs at Empire State College will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Niagara Frontier Center in the AppleTree Business Park, 2875 Union Road. For more information, call 686-7850.