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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>Police blame crash on drug intoxication

NIAGARA FALLS -- An early morning accident at Ferry Avenue and 17th Street led to the arrest of a Buffalo woman on a charge of driving while impaired by drugs, police said.

Traci A. Greene, 34, was arrested at 1:10 a.m. and was additionally charged with a pair of traffic violations, police said. She told police that she had smoked marijuana, used prescription medications and consumed alcohol prior to the accident, according to police reports.

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>Burglar admits stealing Christmas gifts, $3,000

LOCKPORT -- A Newfane man pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree burglary after having been accused of break-ins in Lockport and Newfane last year.

David P. Smith, 32, of Wheeler Road, is to be sentenced Sept. 6 by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

Smith was charged with stealing Christmas presents, clothing and $3,000 in cash from a home on Jackson Street in Lockport on Dec. 25. He also was accused of breaking into a woman's home in Newfane on June 30, 2006.

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>Burglars take $2,600 from Volare Lodge

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two men were seen fleeing from the Volare Lodge on Kies Avenue after the facility was burglarized Friday morning, police said. About $2,600 in cash was taken.

Police said they found a south side door open just after 3 a.m. and, upon checking inside the facility, discovered a cash register drawer lying on top of an office desk. A padlock securing the register had been cut with bolt cutters.

A witness reported seeing two men carrying an unknown object fleeing the area about the time of the break-in, police said.

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>Buffalo man accused in assault on 2 women

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Buffalo man was arrested Saturday morning in connection with assaults against two women, including his girlfriend, police reported.

Steven D. Newkirk Sr., 37, was arrested just before 4 a.m. in the 300 block of Ferry Avenue. He was accused of throwing a woman to the ground, injuring her legs.

Earlier, police said Newkirk attacked his girlfriend, causing her to suffer minor injuries.

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>2 large-screen TV sets stolen in Falls burglary

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two large-screen televisions and an Apple iPod have been reported stolen from a 23rd Street home, according to police.

The resident told police Friday that she is preparing to move out of town and lives in the home only on weekends. When she arrived Friday morning, she found the rear door open and the interior ransacked.

The intruder apparently pushed in a window air-conditioning unit to gain entry, then stole the 36-inch and 52-inch television sets, plus the Apple iPod, police said.

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>3 teenage girls arrested in taped playground arson

FORT ERIE, Ont. -- Three teenage girls were arrested in connection with torching equipment at a Catholic school playground earlier this week and videotaping the arson, Niagara Regional Police reported.

The girls -- ages 14, 15 and 16 -- were charged with arson. Their names were withheld by police because of their ages.

The girls allegedly set fire to the playground equipment at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. George's Catholic School, 3800 Wellington Road, Fort Erie. When police made the arrests, they found the girls had video-recorded the event as they started the fire. Damage to the equipment is estimated at $35,000.

The crime caused outrage in the Fort Erie community. The playground was built less than two years ago, at a cost of $60,000, after five years of fundraising by the community.

Police credited "community spirit" in providing information to identify the girls responsible for the crime.

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>Amplifier and CDs stolen from car

NIAGARA FALLS -- An estimated $1,100 worth of belongings were stolen from a Byrd Avenue man's car Friday after it was broken into while parked in his driveway, police said.

Sometime overnight, someone damaged a front door on the vehicle, then removed an amplifier and about 50 compact discs, police said.

In another case, someone caused an estimated $1,500 damage to a Niagara Falls Boulevard woman's car by scratching it with a sharp object, according to police.

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