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MAN CHARGED SECOND TIME WITH CREDIT CARD FRAUD

LOCKPORT -- For the second time in two weeks, Caleb Bell Jr., 20, of Church Street, has been arrested in a credit card scam, this time involving $22,835 in illegal purchases with a card he obtained using his father's Social Security number and date of birth, authorities said.

Detective John Yotter said he charged Bell at 9 a.m. Wednesday with grand larceny, forgery and criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Bell is accused of applying for an American Express Card via the Internet in September using his own name along with his father's birth date and Social Security number, without permission.

After receiving the card, Bell made close to $23,000 in purchases between Sept. 28 and Nov. 2, Yotter said.

Nov. 12, Bell was arrested on similar charges for allegedly using a stolen credit card to purchase four money orders at the Wilson Farms Store, 95 S. Transit St., and then cashing them a day later for $1,950, Detective Capt. Lawrence Eggert said.

Driver faces DWI charge
after vehicle hits parked car

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 23-year-old man was charged with driving while intoxicated late Tuesday after he struck a parked car in the 2400 block of North Avenue, Officer Shawn Bosi said.

Thomas G. Weiner Jr. of 87th Street also was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation. The parked car belongs to Michael Gonzalez of North Avenue, Bosi said.

Lewiston driver who gave
man a lift is robbed, injured

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Lewiston man who gave someone a lift Wednesday wound up injured in a accident and robbed of $100, Officer James VanEgmond said.

David Whitehall, 52, of Tuscarora Street, was treated in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for a hand laceration and pain to the back, elbow and knee, VanEgmond said.

At 8:07 a.m. Whitehall agreed to give a man a ride in his van and was driving down Cleveland Avenue when the man asked Whitehall if he had change for $20. He pulled over, took out $10, $20 and $100 bills to show he had no change, and started driving again, VanEgmond said.

The man took the $100 bill, telling Whitehall he could show him how to do a good trick with it, and then refused to return it, he said.

When the man tried to get out of the car, Whitehall stepped on the gas so the man could not leave. But the man grabbed the steering wheel and forced the van to hit a fence, a small wall and then a tree at 15th Street, causing it to roll over, VanEgmond said.

The man escaped, and Whitehall, who named a possible suspect, was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Drunken driver fined, gets
probation; 2nd pleads guilty

LOCKPORT -- One drunken driver was sentenced and another pleaded guilty Wednesday in Niagara County Court.

Stephen A. Brayley, 38, of Chew Road on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation, was fined $1,000 and placed on five years' probation on a felony count of driving while intoxicated.

Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. also ordered Brayley to spend 15 months in the Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime program. Brayley was arrested April 24 in Lewiston.

Thomas C. Huey, 33, of Oliver Street, North Tonawanda, pleaded guilty to felony DWI in the wake of his Aug. 1 arrest in that city. Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza scheduled sentencing for Jan. 15.

Youthful offender status
granted for teen robber

LOCKPORT -- A 16-year-old from Niagara Falls was granted youthful offender status in an armed robbery case Wednesday.

The ruling by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza sealed the punishment for Michael L. Sample Jr. of 84th Street.

He had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree robbery in connection with the July 4 knifepoint robbery of $370 from a Taco Bell on Niagara Falls Boulevard, Niagara Falls.

Co-defendant Chevalier Jones, 18, of 16th Street, Niagara Falls, is awaiting sentencing on the same charge.

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