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Fast-talking con artist sought by Amherst police

Amherst police are looking for a quick-talking con artist who has collected hundreds of dollars in cash register money by fast-talking cashiers at town stores after making a small purchase and using a large denomination bill.

The con artist presses the clerks for various denominations in an effort to confuse them and ends up pocketing more money than he started with.

Police said the "person of interest" they seek is a black male between 30 to 35, about 5-foot-7 and 200 pounds. The man has targeted stores on Transit Road near North French Road in East Amherst, along with stores on the other side of town in the University Plaza. He also may have pulled the same con in Niagara County.

An image on the Amherst police Facebook page shows the man wearing a pinstripe New York Yankees hat and shirt.

Anyone who has been swindled in such an instance or has more information about the man to call the Amherst Police Detective Bureau at 689-1385 or 689-1339.


Hit-run crash results in multiple charges

A hit-and-run crash on Broadway in the Village of Alden late Sunday led to the arrest of a 47-year-old Lockport man on a pair of felony counts, state police at Clarence reported Monday.

A vehicle driven by a 56-year-old woman was struck from behind, causing significant damage to both vehicles, at about 9:50 p.m., troopers said. The other driver fled east on Broadway without stopping.

About 15 minutes later, troopers found the vehicle on Route 20 in the Town of Darien, Genesee County, where they arrested Xzavier A. Davis and charged him with driving while intoxicated.

Further investigation revealed that Davis had a prior conviction for DWI and had his license suspended, troopers said.

He was charged with felony DWI and felony aggravated unlicensed operation, along with leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, according to police reports.


Suspicious fire damages adjoining vacant houses

Buffalo firefighters early Monday battled a suspicious blaze that left a total of $4,000 damage to two vacant houses on Goodyear Avenue in the city's East Ferry-Genesee area.

Firefighters responded to a 2:26 a.m. call at 580 and 582 Goodyear.


Amherst man charged with DWI, pot possession

An Amherst man was charged with felony driving while intoxicated and marijuana possession Sunday following an incident on Glenwood Drive in Clarence.

Victor W. Vaarwerk, 65, who has a prior DWI conviction, according to the state police, was stopped for speeding and for the lack of a front license plate and refused to take any chemical tests.

Troopers said he also was found to have marijuana in his vehicle. He was ordered to appear in Clarence Town Court at a later date.


Vehicle traveling 85 mph leads to felony DWI charge

A Hamburg man was charged with felony driving while intoxicated after state police stopped him for driving 85 mph in a 65-mph zone on the northbound 219 Expressway in the Town of Boston at about 7 a.m. Sunday.

Paul B. Mantino, 37, who refused to take a breath test, has two prior DWI convictions, troopers said, and was ordered to appear in Boston Town Court for further proceedings.


Two charged with threat to shoot cab driver

Two men were charged over the weekend with threatening to shoot a Buffalo cab driver and trying unsuccessfully to steal his cellphone, Buffalo police reported.

Kapone C. Young, 18, of Vangorder Street, and Sean R. Barnes, 19, of Alexander Avenue, Cheektowaga, were arrested by Officers Melanie Neureuther and Michael DiVito after chases down Floss Street and East Delavan Avenue shortly after the alleged incident at Newburgh and East Delavan at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday

Both were charged with second-degree robbery, police said. Barnes also was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment for allegedly pointing a handgun at the cabbie and pulling its trigger twice, without the gun firing, police said.


Hospital security guard captures break-in suspect

A French Street man captured by an off-duty Buffalo General Medical Center guard late Saturday is being held for allegedly trying to burglarize a car parked at the foot of Allen Street.

Gawaine S. Thompson, 49, was captured by hospital security guard Justin Hoellie moments after he fled down Allen.

Hoellie held him until Police Officers Scott Blesy and Eric J. Kross arrived and charged Thompson with criminal mischief and criminal possession of a controlled substance after a glass crack pipe filled with crack cocaine residue was found in his left front coat pocket.

Thompson was already being sought on a Buffalo City Court bench warrant in an earlier burglary case.