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Rash of car break-ins reported Wednesday

NIAGARA FALLS -- City police were kept busy Wednesday investigating a rash of car break-ins, primarily in the city's South End.

Two break-ins occurred in the 600 block of Chilton Avenue, where a handicap parking tag was stolen from one car and $1,100 worth of electronics -- including a global positioning system, an iPod and some credit cards -- were stolen from another, police reported.

An Amherst man's car was broken into while parked in the 2400 block of Grand Avenue, with $4 cash and three cases of compact discs being stolen. A Tonawanda woman lost her wallet and bank card -- with a $100 withdrawal being made from a nearby automated teller machine -- after her car was entered while parked near 18th and Niagara streets.

Other break-ins occurred in the 400 block of Fourth Street, the 500 block of Sixth Street, the 700 block of Pierce Avenue, the 600 block of 15th Street, the 1700 block of Virginia Avenue and the 2500 block of Falls Street, with car stereo units being a popular target, police said.

Other stolen items included a bag of hockey equipment, speakers and amplifiers, a battery charger and cash.


McDonald's employee, 16, attacked by 3 women

NIAGARA FALLS -- A teenage employee of the City Market McDonald's restaurant told police she was assaulted outside the eatery after picking up her paycheck Wednesday afternoon.

The 16-year-old victim told police she was confronted by three women upon exiting the restaurant at 1:30 p.m. and was attacked. When a friend tried to intervene she was threatened with a knife, police said.

Neither girl was seriously injured. An investigation continued Thursday.


2 men charged with DWI in Thanksgiving eve stops

NIAGARA FALLS -- Thanksgiving eve is considered one of the biggest "bar nights" of the year, and city police were out looking for drunken drivers. They reported making two arrests early Thursday.

Grand Island resident Brian P. Wilcox, 27, was arrested at 2:45 a.m. in the 1600 block of Ferry Avenue. Police said the Center Court North resident was speeding and swerving, and that they charged him with driving while intoxicated, speeding and making an unsafe lane change.

At 12:31 a.m., Fourth Street resident Frank P. Bellavia Jr. was arrested a short distance from his home. The 30-year-old was charged with DWI and passing a stop sign.


Burglar flees when man awakens to investigate noise

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Barton Street man was awakened from a Thanksgiving Day nap by a burglar in his home, city police said.

About 1 p.m., the victim woke to a noise in another area of his house and, upon investigating, spotted a man fleeing out his back door.

The thief stole two video game systems and a 15-inch television set. The stolen items were valued at $1,500.

An investigation is continuing.


Alarm foils burglary try at Wheatfield gas station

WHEATFIELD -- A would-be burglar was apparently scared off before stealing anything from the Citgo gas station on River Road, Niagara County sheriff's deputies said Thursday.

Someone threw a cinder block through the front glass door of the station just after 3 a.m., causing an estimated $500 damage, but an alarm was activated and the burglar apparently fled empty-handed, deputies said

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