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PURSE-SNATCHER GETS $270 FROM WOMAN IN NIAGARA FALLS

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 68-year-old woman was robbed of $270 late Wednesday during a purse-snatching at 20th Street and Pine Avenue, Officer James Reynolds said Wednesday.

The woman was walking east on Pine Avenue at 9:58 p.m. when the robber asked if she knew when the next bus would arrive, then snatched her purse and ran away, she told the police.

Fourth teenager accused
of having smoke bomb

WILSON -- A fourth teenager was arrested Thursday and accused of having a smoke bomb outside the Hub Hotel early Sunday on Young Street, said Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Dunn.

William J. Jordan, 19, of Youngstown-Lockport Road, was charged with unlawfully dealing in fireworks, Dunn said.

Three others arrested on the same charge earlier this week were: Jacob A. O'Keefe, 16, of Braley Road, Ransomville; Steven R. Cassick, 16, of Lake Street, Wilson; and Jordan's cousin Brian C. Jordan, 16, of Ridge Road, Town of Lockport, deputies said.

The arrests were made after customers at the hotel complained about four people wearing Halloween costumes possibly damaging parked vehicles in the area. Deputies said no damaged vehicles were found but an undetonated smoke bomb was located under one of them.

Stolen-car suspect released
after associates post bail

A Pakistan-born businessman -- jailed here for the past 36 days and still facing a possible stolen-property indictment -- was released from custody Thursday after Long Island associates posted $25,000 cash bail.

Jaffer Salem, 53, was arrested on stolen-car charges Sept. 13 by Depew police in a rental van that was overdue. He declined to comment after being released about noon in Erie County Hall.

Salem's arrest initiated FBI action, which Special Agent Paul Moskal, spokesman for the Buffalo office of the FBI, refused to discuss.

Salem was jailed without bail until Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico set stiffer-than-normal bail.

Salem on Thursday refused to say if he plans to testify at the Erie County grand jury investigation of his arrest. District Attorney Frank J. Clark and prosecutor Anthony Fumerelle also declined to comment.

Salem, who said he was in the area to scout out federally subsidized real estate sites, gave authorities addresses in Kingman, Ariz., and Palmdale, Calif.

His attorney, Robert J. Schreck, told bail office officials Thursday that his client lives in Kingman.

During court proceedings last week, Schreck contended Salem mistakenly thought he would continuously be billed on his credit card for each additional day he kept the rental vehicle without having to reapply.

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