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CRACK COCAINE, CASH, CAR SEIZED BY NIAGARA TASK FORCE

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police seized more than $1,200 worth of crack cocaine, $800 in cash and a car from a suspected drug dealer after executing two search warrants Monday.

Members of the Niagara County Drug Task Force first stopped a car being driven by Rodriguez R. Hunt, 22, of Ninth Street. They reported finding a quantity of drugs inside the vehicle.

They then searched Hunt's residence and found additional crack, along with the money and some marijuana.

Hunt was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and faces a hearing in City Court.

Tenant suspects landlady in series of Falls thefts

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police are investigating a series of thefts from a Michigan Avenue apartment in which the tenant suspects possible involvement of her landlady.

Police said Monday that Bonnie Seelbinder's home has been entered several times, apparently by someone using a key. Items have been repositioned and taken from the home, some of which were returned at later dates.

Seelbinder told police that her indoor cat was also poisoned, necessitating it be euthanized.

Traffic stop results in multiple charges

NIAGARA FALLS -- Ralph T. Szopinski Jr., 40, was charged with driving while intoxicated and three other counts late Sunday, police said.

The Ferry Avenue resident was stopped in the 7400 block of Buffalo Avenue just before 11 p.m. for driving without taillights on his car, police said. He was charged with that, as well as having no insurance and also faces a count of second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.

Szopinski faces a hearing in City Court.

Apartment building, target for arson, will be razed

NIAGARA FALLS -- City crews will raze a vacant apartment building that burned twice Monday and has been the scene of past arsons.

The building, at 468 Eighth St., was hit by an arsonist at about 2 a.m. Monday, fire officials said, igniting a blaze that required more than three hours to get under control. Flames rekindled several hours later, sending crews to the scene again.

Fire officials said the building was heavily damaged from previous fires and is scheduled for demolition. There were no injuries in Monday's fire.

Well-dressed man robs service station

A well-dressed bandit outfitted in his Sunday best took an undetermined amount of money in a holdup early Sunday morning at the Noco service station at 2596 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda police said Monday.

The robber walked into the station at about 5 a.m., asked to use the bathroom and ripped off the video surveillance system before grabbing the clerk and threatening to shoot him, police said. The clerk did not see a gun, however.

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