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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Man charged with beating ex-girlfriend arrested twice

NIAGARA FALLS -- A city man was charged with beating his former girlfriend Sunday, then was arrested again Monday after police said he returned to the woman's house against a judge's orders.

Vilmos "Bill" Szabo, 37, of Seymour Avenue, hit the woman in the head and pulled out strands of her hair Sunday, according to city police.

Szabo was charged with first-degree felony criminal contempt for violating an order of protection from Jan. 31, as well as third-degree assault. He also was charged with criminal mischief after police said he broke a ceiling fan and smashed a table, causing $280 damage.

He was freed Monday morning on $10,000 bail.

His 39-year-old victim, a woman who had previously lived with Szabo, told police he showed up at her residence and tried to get inside shortly after his release.

The woman told officers Szabo is supposed to have no contact with her or their children. Police said they found Szabo in his parents' house in Lewiston and also found a machete and two swords in the living room there.

Police said Szabo would not give them the weapons but agreed to lock them away in an attic.

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Police investigate theft from Polish Cadets Hall

Buffalo police are continuing to investigate a January burglary at the Polish Cadets Hall on the city's West Side, they announced Monday.

The incident happened Jan. 18 or 19 at 927 Grant St.

At least two people entered the building after breaking a window. They made off with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the police confidential tipline at 847-2255.

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Drive-through window used to rob Amherst McDonald's

Two armed and masked robbers who apparently crawled through a rear drive-through window stole an unknown amount of money from the McDonald's Restaurant at 1970 Kensington Ave. early Monday, Amherst police reported.

The two thieves, who both displayed black handguns, took money from the cash register, plus a cell phone and some cash from employees, according to police reports.

The robbers left the scene in a vehicle, possibly a light-colored SUV, following the 2:15 a.m. holdup, police said.

Lt. Paul Fels asked anyone with information about the bandits or the robbery to call police at 689-1311.

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Cause still sought for fire that destroyed church

FORT ERIE, Ont. -- Investigators still are trying to pinpoint the cause of a weekend fire that left more than $500,000 in estimated damage to a 97-year-old Fort Erie church, fire officials said Monday.

The fire, reported at 12:15 a.m. Sunday, destroyed St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church at Prospect Point Road and Disher Street, Fort Erie fire officials said.

"It's not at all suspicious," Deputy Fire Chief Keith German said.

"The building was secure and tight when we got there. There was no indication that it was anything but accidental."

Church officials hope to rebuild on the same site.

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