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POLICE & COURTS

Electrical transformers stolen from National Grid

National Grid officials reported to police Thursday the theft of electrical transformers from the power company's facility at 144 Kensington Ave.

The robber entered Vaults No. 1 and 2 sometime between noon on June 5 and 1 p.m. Thursday and stole four 100-kilovolt transformers, one of which was energized. A rear steel door and lock were damaged.

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Girl accused of stabbing boy after demanding cash

A Fargo Avenue teen faces felony assault, robbery and weapons possession charges after she allegedly attacked a 15-year-old Grand Island boy with a pocket knife early Thursday on the Lower West Side, Buffalo police reported.

Wendy Hidalgo, 17, and a man apparently were arguing over money at about 1:45 a.m. in the 300 block of Busti Avenue. She demanded money or else she'd stab the Grand Island teen, police said.

Hidalgo then stabbed the victim once in the neck and once in the back and the man gave Hidalgo $40. The youth was taken to Women and Children's Hospital intensive care unit. His condition was not immediately available.

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Reported sexual assault of girl, 10, investigated

Buffalo police are investigating the report that a 10-year-old Hamburg girl was sexually abused on Vincennes Street early Thursday.

Police said the girl's mother told them her daughter was attacked in a house on that street by a Sloan man.

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Lockport man, 20, indicted under new predator law

LOCKPORT -- Sean P. Benton, 20, of Elmwood Avenue, Lockport, Thursday became the first person in Niagara County to be indicted on the new crime of predatory sexual assault against a child, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Benton is to be arraigned today in Niagara County Court on that charge, as well as first-degree criminal sexual act, attempted criminal sexual act and attempted predatory sexual assault. He is accused of having sexual contact with a boy under age 13 in Lockport on May 27. The minimum penalty is 10 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said Benton qualifies for the new predator law because he is over 18, the victim was under 13, and he allegedly committed a violent sex crime, that being the first-degree criminal sexual act.

In another sex indictment Thursday, the grand jury charged Sanford Soles, 49, of Jewett Avenue, Buffalo, with third-degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse in a Feb. 3 incident.

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3 armed men beat, rob woman of $390

Three armed men robbed a Buffalo woman between 1 and 2 p.m. Wednesday on Broadway after she refused to give them money they claimed her boyfriend owed them, Buffalo police said.

The victim told police Thursday the three men -- each with a handgun -- took $390 from her pants pocket, punched her in the face, threw her to the ground and kicked her.

She was treated in Buffalo General Hospital Wednesday.

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Loss put at $500,000 in theft of copper wire

Copper wire valued at more than $500,000 was stripped from a Fuhrmann Boulevard building sometime between June 29 and Thursday, Buffalo said.

Police said a white male described as 5-foot-7, 190 pounds, with a shaved head, wearing a gray T-shirt and carrying a blue tackle box and fishing pole, was seen inside the building carrying the copper wire. The man then fled.

The door to the building had been broken, and the primary feeds to transformers, made of copper wire, were ripped from all three floors of the building, police said.

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Theater District shooting seriously injures man

A Buffalo man was shot at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday on Pearl Street in the city's Theater District, police said.

Vincent Stallworth, 22, suffered a gunshot to his left buttock. He was listed in serious condition late Thursday in Erie County Medical Center.

Police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said the shooting happened behind Club Serenity, 481 Pearl St.

"It appears there was an argument outside when the suspect walked up from behind and shot the victim," DeGeorge said.

The shooter fled the scene, and the motive for the shooting remains under investigation, DeGeorge said.

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Quick demolition sought on 2 fire-ravaged houses

Buffalo fire officials have requested emergency demolition on two vacant East Side houses destroyed by fire.

Firefighters responding to an alarm at 11:55 p.m. Wednesday at 35 Goemble Ave., in the city's Walden-Bailey area, found flames shooting from both the second floor and the attic of the 2 1/2 -story house. The fire caused an estimated $25,000 damage.

At 5:18 a.m. Thursday, firefighters were called to 245 Sweet Ave., where a two-story house was fully engulfed in flames. Fire officials listed the damage estimate at $50,000 for the house in the city's Walden-Fillmore area.

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