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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Man unloading groceries targeted in $5,000 theft

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Fourth Street man was robbed shortly after 4 p.m. Friday while unloading groceries from his car.

Police said the victim had left his wallet and iPhone in the unlocked car while taking the groceries into a Whitney Avenue home. Both were targeted by the thief. The loss was placed at $500.

Earlier this year, a string of similar thefts occurred in the city as shoppers returned home from grocery shopping.

Man faces 50 years to life in child sex predator case

A child sex predator faces from 50 years to life in prison when sentenced next month following his conviction on two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, incest and endangering the welfare of a child, according to Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.

John Black, 40, was convicted as charged after a jury trial before acting Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski, Sedita said Friday.

Black was convicted of repeated acts of sodomy on an 8-year-old child and will be sentenced June 21.

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Drug charges lodged in bust on Rainbow Bridge

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Mississauga, Ont., woman faces drug charges following her arrest on the Rainbow Bridge early Saturday.

Christina P. Russell, 36, is charged with third- and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Authorities said they found 2.2 grams of powder cocaine and a small amount of marijuana as she tried to enter the United States.

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Plea bargain heads off trial for Falls resident

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man, who was scheduled to go on trial Monday on one of the two indictments against him, accepted a plea bargain Friday to wrap up both cases.

Rueben W. Davis Jr., 33, of Niagara Avenue, pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal mischief. Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III could send Davis to prison for as long as four years when he is sentenced June 29.

Davis sold cocaine to a police informant outside the 7-Eleven store on Davison Road in Lockport Dec. 7, and smashed two mirrors, a TV set and the glass cooking top of a stove May 13 at his ex-girlfriend's Niagara Falls home. He will owe restitution of $978.

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Investigations under way in break-ins at three homes

NIAGARA FALLS -- Food, toilet paper, pajamas and copy paper were stolen Thursday during the burglary of a Walnut Avenue address -- one of three break-ins investigated by police recently.

Early Saturday, a woman returning to her Hyde Park Boulevard home confronted two burglars trying to steal her flat-screen television. The would-be thieves dropped the TV and fled, said police, who noted damage to a door at the house was was estimated at $200.

Meanwhile, the loss was estimated at $2,530 as the result of a recent break-in at a Seventh Street apartment. Items stolen included a 61-inch television and video-game system.

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Windows of three cars smashed out during thefts

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police are investigating three car break-ins Friday afternoon -- two of them, behind a Pine Avenue store.

The break-ins behind Zane's store occurred between 5 and 8:20 p.m., police said, with windows smashed out in each case. A bag of clothing valued at $250, a purse containing $180 in cash and an antique silver watch were stolen, police said. A window was smashed in a car in a 10th Street parking lot, with a makeup bag and contents valued at $200 stolen, police added.

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Criminal trespass case ends with a jail sentence

LOCKPORT -- Eight weekends in jail was the sentence Friday for a Niagara Falls man who had pleaded guilty to entering a Lockport woman's apartment last July 17.

Christopher M. Bevilacqua, 31, of Ferry Avenue, Niagara Falls, had pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree criminal trespass.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre told Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III that the woman was believed to have moved out of state and did not respond to requests to assist the prosecution.

Bevilacqua originally was indicted on a felony gun possession charge.

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40,000 pounds of shavings spilled in collision on I-86

RED HOUSE -- A tractor-trailer traveling east on Interstate 86 near Red House flipped over Friday afternoon after being clipped by a car, leaving the drivers of both vehicles injured and spilling 40,000 pounds of metal shavings onto the road, Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office said.

Ricardo Roman Jr., 29, of Brooklyn, was eastbound in a rented 2012 Toyota Prius at about 4 p.m., when he moved from the right lane into the left lane and struck the front end of the tractor trailer, driven by Robert J. Mitchell, 47, of Wellsville.

The two were being treated for injuries not considered life-threatening.