Investigators suspect arson in a fire that destroyed a 1999 Montana van in the 1800 block of South Avenue on Monday morning, Niagara Falls police said. A 33-year-old woman told police that her neighbor started yelling just before 7 a.m. that her mother's van was on fire and she came out to find the van's door open and the van fully engulfed. The woman said she had recently had an argument with her husband and kicked him out of the house. Investigators said the fire was suspicious. The value of the van was $4,200, police said.
Following a drug raid, Niagara Falls narcotics investigators charged Kendrick Chandler, 23, of Ashland Avenue, with third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Police said they confiscated four digital scales, a clear baggie with 0.11 grams of powder cocaine, a gun cleaning kit and several rounds of ammunition.
A North Avenue man told Niagara Falls police that his stepson memorized his credit card number and then used Western Union to send himself more than $3,000 in cash over five months.
Lockport police said two cars were drag racing on South Transit Street just before 10 p.m., and several patrol cars were called to stop them. One car being driven by Michael C. Miller, 19, of Hill Street, was stopped, and Miller was charged with speeding after an officer said Miller was going 62 mph. However, the other car sped off, and police said family had be used to assist police. Branden McCormick, 20, of North Transit Street, was found to have a suspended license and was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, unreasonable speed, reckless driving and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, according to reports.
A 20-year-old woman in the 100 block of 61st Street told Niagara Falls police that she returned home at 3 p.m. and found her screen cut, the blinds damaged and the safe removed from the basement. The woman told police that $1,200 cash was taken from the safe.
An 88th Street woman who cares for her sister told Niagara Falls police that they were sitting in the house watching television at 7 p.m. when someone sneaked into the house and stole $4,000 cash from a safe. She told police she suspects a family member who has a drug addiction.
A Newfane woman told sheriff's deputies that sometime between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. someone entered her unlocked apartment in the 2800 block of Lockport-Olcott Road, rifled through her drawers and cupboards, and took a variety of prescription painkillers, her cell phone, a coin jar with $40 and a case of CDs and DVDs, valued at $3,000.
Niagara Falls police were called to the 500 block of 19th Street at 1:30 a.m. to a car stuck in a snowbank and found a man walking in the 400 block of 19th Street. Henry F. Foertsch, 50, of Welch Avenue, said he was driving home and wanted to stop at the bar and got stuck when he tried to make a three-point turn. He was charged with driving while intoxicated after failing several field sobriety tests, police said.
Andrew J. McCulloch, 18, of Hartland Road, Hartland, was arrested by Lockport police and charged with second-degree criminal contempt of court. On Jan. 12, McCulloch allegedly sent five threatening text messages to a Newfane woman who had a restraining order against him, while she was at a house on Locust Street in Lockport.
Teresa E. Williams, 40, of Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, was charged with third-degree unauthorized use of a motor vehicle after City of Lockport police found a stolen car parked on Livingston Place, according to reports. Officer Matthew Hurtgam reported that he was about to place a parking ticket on the car at about 2:40 a.m., when he ran the license plate through his computer and found the vehicle had been reported stolen in the Town of Tonawanda. Just then, Williams exited a house and walked toward the car. Hurtgam said Williams told him she had been a passenger in the car, driven by a man she knew only as Justin. Williams said Justin was going to drive her back to Buffalo after he stopped in Lockport and picked up some money.
Hurtgam reported he failed to find Justin, although officials at Eastern Niagara Hospital's Lockport site called police an hour later to report a man named Justin had just yanked an intravenous tube out of his arm and left the hospital. Police again failed to track him down.
Michael J. Davis, 37, of Dickersonville Road, Lewiston, was arrested by Lockport police, who charged him with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and failure to signal a turn at Willow Street and Beattie Avenue. Davis was pulled over on Beattie, and police said they found four hydrocodone tablets and a pocket knife with a white powdery substance on the blade.
Joan A. Warnica, 49, of Rapids Road, Lockport, was arrested on Washington Street in the City of Lockport and charged with a felony count of driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and unsafe lane change. Warnica's vehicle allegedly sideswiped one driven by Lisa S. Miles of Lockport on South Transit Street. Miles followed the other car while phoning police to describe the other auto.
Karen L. Sanders, 38, of Slade Road, Medina, was charged with a misdemeanor count of DWI, not wearing a seat belt and improper lane usage after after her auto ran off West Avenue in Lockport and struck a fire hydrant at about 8 p.m. Lockport police said Sanders had a blood- alcohol content of 0.18 percent. Sanders said she was on her way from Attitudes, a Lockport bar.
An official of Wilson Automotive told sheriff's deputies that someone stole two booklets of inspection stickers from the Lake Street shop sometime over the previous two days. The 40 stickers were valued at $240.
A Seneca Avenue woman told Niagara Falls police that someone stole her purse out of her car around noon while she was in a convenience store at 19th Street and Ferry Avenue. The purse contained personal effects, a debit card and about $200 in cash, police said.
Niagara Falls police investigated two incidents in which aluminum gutters were stolen off homes. A Fifth Street man reported that gutters and a screen door were stolen from his residence, and a Whitney Avenue woman said that gutters and some ceramic roof tiles were taken from her home. No loss estimates were given.
Washington Street resident Rashad L. Blount, 18, was arrested at 4 a.m. after an incident at the Denny's restaurant on Niagara Falls Boulevard, Niagara Falls officers said. Police said that Blount at first refused to pay his bill, then after paying it caused a disturbance and punched a man in the restaurant lobby. He was charged with disorderly conduct.
A Newfane man was arrested on Bixler Road just before 6 p.m., after sheriff's deputies stopped his car for reportedly having an obstructed driver's view. Deputies said they recovered an illegal cane sword from the vehicle, along with a glass pipe containing marijuana residue, and charged 21-year-old Ian L. Regling, of South Main Street, with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of marijuana and a vehicular violation. Other pills also were seized from the vehicle and were sent for testing, with additional charges possibly pending the outcome of those tests, deputies said.
A movie-goer said his car was broken into while attending a show at the Regal Cinema on Builder's Way, Niagara Falls police said. Sometime between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., a compact disc stereo unit valued at $150 was taken from the man's car.
Gary S. Williams, 45, of 16th Street, Niagara Falls, was arrested by city police at 9:56 p.m. inside the Family Video store on Pine Avenue. Police were called to remove Williams from the store, as he was a suspect in some earlier thefts, according to reports. While being removed, Williams was found to be in possession of two bags of marijuana and was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, according to reports.