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Man's uncle suspected of stealing $600

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Cleveland Avenue man's uncle is suspected of stealing $600 from the man's apartment over the holiday period, police said Sunday.

The victim told police he found his uncle inside his home on Wednesday morning, apparently after having kicked in a rear door. He was escorted out, and the man secured the door and left for a family outing. Upon returning, he discovered that someone had stolen his rent money from the pocket of a jacket.


Man seriously hurt when struck by car

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 65-year-old man was seriously injured Sunday morning when he was struck by a car while crossing Pine Avenue.

Capt. Salvatore Pino of the Niagara Falls Police Traffic Division said the man was crossing in the 2700 block of Pine Avenue when he was struck at 8:12 a.m. Patricia Copeland of Independence Avenue told police she had just turned onto Pine from 27th Street and did not see the pedestrian until after striking him.

Copeland was not charged, although police are continuing to investigate. The victim, whose name was being withheld pending notification of his family, was unconscious at the scene and was taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo.


Man facing DWI charges again stopped by police

WHEATFIELD -- A North Tonawanda man with two DWI cases pending against him was arrested again Sunday morning and charged with driving while intoxicated.

Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Gregory Schuey said he stopped Dane E. Swanson, 25, of Wurlitzer Court, at 12:23 a.m. after clocking him driving 63 mph in a 45 mph zone on Niagara Falls Boulevard. The deputy said Swanson failed some field sobriety tests before registering a 0.15 blood-alcohol reading on a breath test.

Schuey said a records check indicated that Swanson's driver's license had been suspended pending the outcome of DWI cases in Amherst and North Tonawanda, and that he had an additional suspension for failing to answer a summons in the Town of Tonawanda.

Swanson was charged with a felony count of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation in addition to DWI and speeding.


Police hold man posing as 'fire policeman'

NIAGARA FALLS -- A man posing as a "fire policeman" was arrested Saturday evening as he detained a man outside a store where an alarm had been set off.

Police said that employees probably triggered the alarm while closing McCloud's Pharmacy on Buffalo Avenue just after 6 p.m. Outside the store, a LaSalle resident was attempting to tow his son's disabled car from the area when he was suddenly blocked in by another car.

The driver advised him to remain on the scene, and when police arrived, he identified himself as "fire police" and explained that he was attempting to keep the man from leaving a potential crime scene.

Police charged Duane T. Gworek, 46, of Buffalo Avenue, with unlawful imprisonment.


Ontario man arrested in bid to smuggle drugs

NIAGARA FALLS -- Customs officials detained an Ontario man Saturday night after they said he tried to smuggle cocaine and marijuana across the Rainbow Bridge.

Jason A. Vanderheyden, 24, of North York, was arrested at 8:45 p.m. after officials seized 7.1 grams of marijuana and 16.5 grams of cocaine from him during a border crossing. They also confiscated $3,800 in Canadian funds.

Vanderheyden was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of marijuana.


Three Canadians report thefts in car break-ins

NIAGARA FALLS -- Three Canadian visitors reported their cars were broken into Sunday in the parking lot of the Days Inn motel on Main Street, police said.

Passenger windows were broken out of two of the cars and global positioning satellite systems were stolen from each. A stereo system also was taken from one of the vehicles.

A wallet, some toys and Christmas decorations were stolen from the third vehicle, police said. In all, about $1,600 worth of merchandise was stolen in the three break-ins.

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