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POLICE & COURTS - Final

Car impound looted, 50 vehicles damaged

Police were hunting for one or more people who broke into the City of Buffalo's auto impound on Dart Street overnight Thursday and smashed windows on several cars and stole radio equipment from others, according to reports.

Officials at the impound told police that about 50 vehicles in the fenced-in yard were broken into between 4:30 p.m. Thursday and 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Police said a rear fence also was damaged.

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Corpus Christi Church burglarized once more

For the second time this week, burglars struck Corpus Christi Catholic Church on the city's East Side, according to Buffalo police reports.

The Rev. Miroslaw Chalupka told police that sometime before 8 a.m. Friday, burglars entered the rectory of the church through an open window. Once inside, they stole two laptop computers, a keyboard and a mouse, Chalupka told police.

Tuesday evening, Chalupka caught a 45-year-old man breaking into his car parked in the garage at the Clark Street church. David Rollins of Fillmore Avenue was charged with burglary, assault, petit larceny and harassment in the incident.

Chalupka had a minor hand injury after reportedly struggling with Rollins who, police said, tried to steal his CD player.

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Fate of small plane unknown; 3 feared dead

DUNKIRK -- The National Transportation Safety Board hasn't determined what happened to a small plane that disappeared from radar screens last month, but said in a preliminary report that three people aboard, all from western Pennsylvania, are presumed dead.

Crews found a few seat cushions and other items presumed to be from the plane that was last detected over Lake Erie near Dunkirk the night of Aug. 26.

The pilot, James Regal, 22, of Butler, took off from Zelienople and stopped at Port Meadville Airport to pick up Kevin Jesteadt, 24, and Lindsey Myers, 23. Regal flew the couple over Niagara Falls so Jesteadt could propose to Myers.

They were returning to Pennsylvania when the plane drifted west of its course, made a couple of sharp turns and dropped off the radar screen, the NTSB said in a preliminary report Thursday.

The final investigation won't be finished for about a year.

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Police say two kept on smoking pot at arrest

Two Buffalo men who knew police had surrounded a vacant Wohlers Avenue drug house walked out the front door smoking marijuana and right into the waiting handcuffs of Buffalo police, Buffalo narcotics detectives said.

Derek A. Jones, 21, of Butler Avenue, and Titus N. Thompson, 20, of Bennett Village, were charged with criminal possession of marijuana, two counts of unlawful possession of marijuana, obstructing governmental administration and criminal trespass.

Responding to complaints raised by the Ferry-Wohlers Block Club at a recent meeting with top police brass, narcotics officers surrounded 411 Wohlers Ave. early Friday evening. The two men were hanging out on the porch when they saw police coming, ran inside and locked the door.

"The house was completely fortified with bars on the doors and windows," said Lt. Thomas Lyon. "We had the house surrounded. We went in the side door and they just came walking out the front door smoking joints."

"They knew we had them. They were just showing the neighborhood . . . just being bold."

Detectives David Sugg and Johnny Walker assisted in the bust. Two pit bull dogs were also removed from the building that police described as a known "marijuana gate house."

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Police report capture of man who tossed gun

A Riley Street man who attempted to evade police while tossing away a gun and some drugs was apprehended Friday afternoon after he couldn't scale a fence on Kingsley Street, Buffalo police said.

Dwayne A. Higgs, 25, was charged with felony weapons possession, criminal trespass, obstructing governmental administration, and two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance.

Ferry-Fillmore District Officer Jose Colon spotted Higgs in the driveway of a vacant house in the 100 block of Kingsley Street at about 4:15 p.m. Higgs tossed a silver .357 Magnum in the doorway of the house and ran through the backyard, where he discarded a plastic bag of crack cocaine, police said.

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