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From the blotter / Niagara County police calls and court cases, March 20 to 26

Editor's note: Due to a technical problem, some of the police blotter items that appeared in the March 25 edition of Niagara Weekend appeared in an earlier edition and were inadvertently published again.

>March 20

A window was smashed overnight and a laptop was stolen at Harry F. Abate Elementary School, Niagara Falls police reported. The principal told police that the alarm was activated just after 5:30 a.m. at the school. He said the window was found open and a laptop was stolen from a desk that was five feet away from the window. Total loss and damage was estimated at $1,200.

Thousands of dollars worth of power tools were stolen in two unrelated break-ins in the city on Tuesday, according to Niagara Falls police. In the 400 block of 23rd Street, an unknown person broke into a vacant house and stole power tools that were being stored in the garage. Taken were a table saw, an air compressor, a gas trimmer, edger and lawn mower. The victim said the items were stolen sometime in the past week. Loss was estimated at $1,250. In the 4600 block of Patricia Drive, a woman told police that someone broke into her storage shed during the past week and stole a push mower and a weed trimmer. Total loss and damage was pegged at $1,500.


>March 21

A burglar left behind various valuables, including cash, after breaking into a Lake Road home, sheriff's deputies said. A kitchen window was forced open to gain entry to the home, according to reports. Items taken from the home included a watch, some candy and some Xbox video game cartridges. Loss was placed at $121.


>March 22

A house was ransacked in the 1000 block of 101st Street and electronics valued at more than $5,700 were stolen, Niagara Falls police said. The 46-year-old victim told police that sometime between 6 and 11:30 p.m. March 21 someone entered his house through an unlocked kitchen window, ransacked the house and stole a 46-inch and a 22-inch television, a computer monitor, 50 DVDs and Blu-ray discs, a DVD/Blu-ray player, and a $3,000 wristwatch. A blanket was also taken from a bedroom.

A Niagara Falls woman was cut by a razor blade following a fight on Ashland Avenue at 19th Street, city police said. The 26-year-old victim told police that just before 10 p.m., as she was leaving the Corner Store, a woman she has been having problems with ran toward her, grabbed her and began hitting her. After the fight broke up the victim said she realized she had been cut on her left forearm with a razor blade. Police said the three-inch cut was not deep and had stopped bleeding before they arrived.

A Lewiston woman accused of shoplifting was found in possession of heroin, city police reported. Amanda L. Ricco, 25, of James Drive, was charged with petit larceny and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance following her arrest at 6:20 p.m. at Walmart on Military Road. Store security said Ricco put several items of clothing valued at $79 in her purse without paying for them. She was stopped by police while sitting in her car in the parking lot. Police said they also located a bag of suspected heroin and hypodermic needles, including one which had heroin in the tube. During booking, Ricco was found in possession of an unlabeled prescription bottle and was suspected to be under the influence of heroin, police said. She was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for treatment.


>March 23

A commercial air conditioning unit was stolen from a building in the 2800 block of Highland Avenue in Niagara Falls last weekend, police said. The complainant told police that while they were in process of transferring the building to the city, cleaning and repairing it, when they found that someone had stolen the $2,000 unit. Police said the pipes had been cut to remove the unit from the east side of the building.


>March 24

Someone broke into a Somerset home by kicking in a boarded-up basement window that had been the site of another recent break-in, sheriff's deputies said. About $420 worth of assorted clothing, groceries and other items were taken from the Youngstown Road residence. Also missing from the home were several DVD movies and a motorcycle helmet. The break-in occurred between 4 a.m. and 3:15 p.m., deputies said.


>March 25

Someone cut all four seats on a 2004 Ford belonging to a Frontier Avenue man while the vehicle was parked in front of his home overnight, Niagara Falls police said. In addition to the extensive damage to the seats, a signal arm also was broken on the vehicle, which was parked unlocked in the victim's driveway at the time. Damage to the vehicle was estimated in excess of $1,000.

A garage in the 900 block of Harrison Avenue in Niagara Falls was burglarized while the homeowner was on vacation, city police reported. The victim said that sometime during the last several days the garage door handle was broken and four paint ball guns and accessories, golf clubs and bag, a weed trimmer, a chain saw and two scuba tanks were stolen. Total loss was estimated at $4,500 to $5,000. Police said this is one in a number of recent thefts in the DeVeaux area of the city and encouraged residents in the area to report any thefts, no matter how minor.

A Niagara Falls landlord said his tenants moved out and took the appliances that came with the apartment. The victim told city police the tenants moved out of the apartment in the 1700 block of Pierce Avenue during the past week and were seen loading the refrigerator and stove into a truck. Total value was estimated at $1,100.


>March 26

A shoplifter accused of stealing a game controller was charged after he sold the stolen property to another game store, Lockport police reported. Jason R. Minderler, 26, of South Street, was charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property by city police at 8:37 a.m. The manager of Oogie Games on South Transit Street told police that Minderler left the store March 25 without paying for a PlayStation 3 game controller, valued at $34.99, then fled on his bicycle when he was confronted. Shortly afterward, a Game Stop employee called to say that Minderler sold the controller, claiming it was used, for $10.40, as well as two games, a Wii remote and nunchucks, police said.

A fight over a parking spot resulted in a vehicle being found keyed in the parking lot at Niagara County Community College on Saunders Settlement Road in Sanborn, according to sheriff's deputies. A 21-year-old City of Tonawanda woman told deputies that she arrived at the spot first at 2:27 p.m., then pulled in and parked. She said there was no confrontation at that time, but when she returned a few hours later she found a note on her car that said, "I hope it was worth it," and key scratch marks on the driver's side of her 2005 Chevy, stretching from the front to the back of the car. Damage was estimated $300.

A refrigerator that was being stored in a backyard in Niagara Falls while a man was renovating his house was reported stolen from the 400 block of 17th Street. Loss was estimated at $800.