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Two admit to meter thefts Pair destroyed 142 machines

Two Camp Street men who destroyed up to 142 Buffalo parking meters in September and stole the money in them pleaded guilty Thursday to grand larceny.

George Robinson, 47, and Terrence Miller, 40, pleaded guilty before Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman to third-degree grand larceny for the downtown meter thefts.

The judge ordered them held until their March 21 sentencings and refused to give them sentencing commitments.

Chief prosecutor Jeffrey J. Hagen said Robinson faces a prison term of 2 1/3 to seven years, and Miller, due to a prior robbery conviction, faces a prison term of 3 1/2 to seven years.

The two men, who admitted to stealing more than 70 meters, remnants of which were found near their Camp Street house, did not disclose how much money they extracted from the meters.

Hagen said a badly dented pickup truck found near the suspects' home was apparently used to ram into meters and cut the tops off of them. They then loaded them on the truck and later drilled into them to get the money, none of which was ever recovered. The city estimates the value of each parking meter at $440, Hagen said. Each meter is designed to hold up to $60 in quarters at a time.

Buffalo police, led by Detective Sgt. Thomas Donovan, recovered more than three dozen meters and tools at the men's home the morning of Sept. 28. Robinson and Miller were arrested that day.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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