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Bystander holding niece at bus stop shot in leg

A man police describe as an innocent bystander was shot in the leg Saturday while walking with his 2 1/2 -old niece on Tower Street.

Michael D. Thomas of Hempstead Avenue was shot in the left calf at about 2:14 p.m. after he and his niece walked his wife to the bus stop on Tower and Langfield Avenue.

His condition was unavailable. Police are looking for the shooter.


Marijuana, cocaine charges follow traffic stop

Buffalo police stopped a man for driving with a broken brake light Saturday morning but ended up charging him with possession of cocaine and marijuana.

Luis A. Aviles, 21, of Auburn Street was arrested near Plymouth and Porter avenues after officers pulled him over and discovered four bags of cocaine and one bag of marijuana, police said.

Police also said they arrested Jimmy D. Sessions, 23, of Seventh Street and Alexy Lopez, 19, of Columbus Parkway, who were passengers in the car. Charges placed against them were unavailable.


Family Dollar Store loses $350 to bandit

A young man walked into a Family Dollar Store in South Buffalo Saturday, pointed an unknown object in the assistant store manager's back and walked out with $350, police said.

They said the bandit, believed to be about 18 to 20, told the woman to "be calm and open the drawers" and then fled the store, at 438 South Park Ave.


Sunoco store robbed again on Elmwood Ave.

A Sunoco A-Plus convenience store on Elmwood Avenue was robbed Saturday morning by a man wearing a hooded sweat shirt and a leather jacket, police said.

The same Sunoco, at 460 Elmwood near Bryant Street, was held up seven times last year.

In Saturday's incident, a clerk reported to police that the suspect entered the store just after 8 a.m., displayed the handle of a silver gun and demanded money from the cash register.

The clerk handed the suspect the drawer from the register and the suspect fled.


Theft from company nets ex-CFO prison term

The former chief financial officer of a Hamburg-based construction company was sentenced Friday to 18 months to three years in prison for stealing company funds to feed his gambling habit.

James M. Wright, who has already fully repaid Burke Construction the nearly $65,000 he stole, was taken into custody about 10:30 a.m. following his appearance before State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang.

Before he was handcuffed by deputies, Wright, 57, of Towers Place, Hamburg, told the judge he will continue the professional counseling he recently began and will work to regain the trust he lost.

John C. Doscher, chief of the Erie County district attorney's White Collar Crime Bureau, said Wright was allowed to plead guilty to a low-level grand larceny charge because he already had fully reimbursed his former employer.

Doscher said Wright has never disclosed the exact nature of his gambling addiction or how he lost the company funds.

Wright had been a key officer of the company for about five years before his firing last summer.

His thefts were disclosed after the company had an independent audit, Doscher said.


Scam artist posing as officer bilks store

A man claiming to be a Buffalo police officer scammed a store Friday in a manner that has been reported by other businesses in recent months, according to South District officers.

In Friday afternoon's case, a man purporting to be a police lieutenant "from the Southside station" called the Dollar General Store, 942 McKinley Parkway, and said he had to return some rugs, but didn't have a receipt.

He asked if he still could return them.

A man subsequently entered the store -- empty-handed, surveillance video later confirmed -- and picked up rugs valued at $65.25 from one of the aisles.

He returned them for cash at a register, identifying himself as the same police lieutenant.

Other stores in South Buffalo have reported similar calls from people, claiming to be priests and firefighters, who needed to make returns without receipts, according to police reports.


Buffalo teen wounded in drive-by shooting

A 17-year-old Buffalo youth was shot in the right buttock during a drive-by shooting Friday night on Seventh Street, Central District police reported.

The victim was walking on Seventh Street with a friend at about 10:30 p.m., when a burgundy or maroon Saturn station wagon with four males inside drove up and someone inside opened fire with a handgun.

The victim was treated in Buffalo General Hospital.

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