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Detectives at the Major Crimes Unit are investigating the death of a 24-year-old woman who apparently fell down the stairs of her Shoshone Street home.

Police said they are not releasing the identity of the woman until her family is notified.

A man called 911 just after 7 p.m. Monday reporting that a woman was not breathing at 55 Shoshone, near Hertel and Tacoma avenues. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

"She was found at the bottom of the stairs from a fall," said Detective Sgt. Philip Torre of the Major Crimes Unit.

An autopsy was scheduled for later today.

One fire blamed on grease,
second is listed as arson

Fire officials suspect grease left burning on a kitchen stove was the cause of fire Monday night at a North Oak Street home.

Authorities said the blaze started at about 8 p.m. at 525 N. Oak, and firefighters contained it to the kitchen area of the two-story home. No injuries were reported.

Damage was estimated at $55,000 to the building and $25,000 to the contents.

In a second fire, arson is being blamed for causing an estimated $3,500 damage to a vacant Empire Street building this morning.

The fire broke out at 4:14 a.m. in a rear bedroom of 56 Empire and was quickly extinguished. There were no reports of injuries.

Complaint of drug sales
on porch leads to arrest of 2

Two Buffalo men were arrested on drug charges Monday night after a citizen called police to report that drugs were being sold on the porch of a Wakefield Avenue house.

Derrick D. Floyd, 18, of Rodney Street, and Jermain C. Adams, 19, of Bailey Avenue, were each charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Officers said they found one bag containing eight smaller green packages of crack cocaine between the yards of a neighboring home. Officers Kevin Kindzierski and Michael Maiola made the arrests.

Lumber company break-in
probed by Buffalo police

Buffalo police are investigating a weekend break-in at Buffalo Lumber Products on Hubbard Avenue.

Police said two small fires were set on a concrete floor, then extinguished, and a desk in a second-floor office was ransacked. Hand tools, a saw and keys to two company vehicles were stolen and a copy machine damaged, police said.

The burglars also left six handwritten notes and spread human or animal waste on the walls, according to reports. They gained access to the building by breaking a window, police said.

More than 60 cars
vandalized at auto shop

Buffalo police are searching for the vandal or vandals responsible for breaking windows and lights on more than five dozen vehicles at a Hopkins Street auto shop.

About 60 unregistered vehicles that were being used for parts only had all four windows as well as the light assemblies smashed out at Bob and Don's Auto Parts. The vandals entered by cutting a fence with wire cutters between noon Saturday and 8 a.m. Monday. Damage was listed at about $10,000.

Man held in gang assault,
possession of cocaine

An Orange Street man was taken into custody on gang assault and other charges Monday after he allegedly beat another man severely in the city's Fruit Belt, Buffalo police reported.

Spiwe Barnes, 22, was charged with assaulting an Edna Place man with a group of other people at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Orange and East North streets, police said.

The victim was punched, kicked and beaten in the head and rest of his body. He suffered a broken front tooth, swelling and head cuts. He was treated at Buffalo General Hospital.

Central District Detectives Edward M. Cotter and Timothy J. McDonald investigated the incident and determined that Barnes was the alleged ringleader of the gang that beat the victim. They tracked him down and arrested him Monday.

Besides felony gang assault, Barnes also was charged with felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor cocaine possession. He was to be arraigned this morning in City Court.

Five assailants beat man,
take $120 from his pockets

A 24-year-old Goodyear Avenue man was beaten and robbed of $120 by a group of five men Monday night, police said.

The man told police he was at Goodyear and Empire Street at about 11:50 p.m. when he was jumped by five men, who stole money from his pockets. Police said the victim declined medical attention.

Burglars loot, damage
Korean Church in Clarence

Erie County sheriff's investigators are continuing to probe a weekend burglary that netted thieves about $5,000 in office equipment and left hundreds of dollars worth of damage inside the New Hope Korean Presbyterian Church in Clarence.

Burglars who forced their way into the church on Strickler Road sometime overnight Saturday confined their damage to the office area of the church.

"We're looking at it very carefully," Chief Deputy Richard T. Donovan said today. "There was no damage to the sanctuary itself. There was nothing to give us any indication that it was any kind of a hate crime. But it's still under investigation."

Fast food restaurant held up
on N. Bailey Ave. in Amherst

Amherst police are looking for the bandit who robbed the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at 3962 N. Bailey Ave. on Monday night, after failing to get a clerk to open the safe.

The robber, who took an undetermined amount of money from the cash register, fled from the scene at about 9:30 p.m., after being told it would take 10 minutes to open the safe.

Police are looking for a black man in his 20s, about 5 foot 10 and 190 pounds, wearing an orange hooded sweat shirt and denim shorts. He was seen fleeing in what was believed to be a white, older, four-door sedan. It was unclear whether he had a gun.

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