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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>Falls boy, 14, beaten and robbed of $15

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 14-year-old boy was jumped, beaten and robbed Friday night as he walked with a friend in the 100 block of Hyde Park Boulevard, police said.

The victim was attacked by a group of about 15 youths just after 8 p.m. as he walked behind the former Tripi Foods store, police said. He reported being struck in the back of the head with a brick or rock and said he was robbed of $15 cash during the altercation. An investigation is continuing.

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>Thief takes jewelry, cash from Wheatfield home

WHEATFIELD -- A burglar broke into a Sunset Drive home Friday afternoon by removing a window air conditioner, sheriff's deputies said.

The intruder entered the home between 11:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. while the occupants were out, according to reports. An office area was ransacked, and $200 in cash was removed from a desk. About $500 worth of gold and other assorted jewelry was taken from a bedroom in which several drawers were rifled through.

Witnesses told investigators of two trucks in the area around the time of the theft. An investigation is continuing.

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>Vandals damage junk cars and two new vehicles

RANSOMVILLE -- Between 15 and 20 junk cars, as well as two new vehicles, were vandalized sometime over the past week at the Youngstown-Lockport Road location of Ki-Po Motors, sheriff's deputies said.

The junk cars, parked in a rear lot while awaiting demolition, had the fuel filler necks cut off and the gasoline removed. The same damage was done to the two new vehicles, according to deputies.

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>Roofer arrested in theft of shingles worth $600

NIAGARA FALLS -- A man who had been given a $1,500 down payment for doing roofing work on a Whitney Avenue home disappeared after doing only a small portion of the work -- but he may have had a good excuse.

Upon investigating the apparent fraud Saturday, police learned that the suspect -- 26-year-old Patrick J. Dugan of Walmore Road -- had been arrested early Thursday, along with another man, for reportedly attempting to steal $600 worth of shingles from the 84 Lumber store on Lockport Road in Wheatfield.

City police said Dugan never returned after tearing some of the shingles off the Whitney Avenue home last weekend. He had been scheduled to be paid $2,800 for the entire job.

Early Thursday, sheriff's deputies interrupted a burglary-in-progress at 84 Lumber and arrested Dugan and 20-year-old Troy C. Shepherd of Whitney Avenue, charging them with numerous counts in connection with the attempted theft. Dugan was tasered by deputies during the arrest when it appeared he was attempting to flee, according to reports.

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>Victim of Falls burglary suspects his ex-wife

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Michigan Avenue man told police he suspects his ex-wife may be behind a recent break-in at his home.

He said that while he was out of town last week, someone kicked in a basement plexiglass window, entered his home and stole a television set, DVD player and a desktop computer.

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>Felony assault charged in shoe attack on women

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Tonawanda woman faces two counts of felony assault after police said she whacked two women over the head with a high-heel leather shoe early Saturday.

The victims were both bleeding from the head when police arrived at Culbert's Tavern on Buffalo Avenue just after 1 a.m. Charged was Christine N. Dee, 31. Police did not specify what the dispute was over.

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>2 defendants sentenced in drug-related cases

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

John W. Crumpton, 32, of Fourth Street, was found to have had about half an ounce of cocaine in his home when police raided it June 4, 2008. He pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

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>Runner killed by car in Ontario; driver held

WEST LINCOLN, Ont. -- A 49-year-old man running along Woolverton Road was struck and killed by a vehicle early Saturday morning.

The victim, Robert Katolinski, of West Lincoln, was running on the east shoulder of Woolverton, near Kemp Road, at about 8:15 a.m. Saturday when he was struck from behind by a 2005 orange Honda Element, officials with the Niagara Regional Police Service said.

Katolinski, who was thrown into the ditch from the impact, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Honda ended up in the ditch on the other side of the road.

The driver, Muriel Freeman, 66, of Niagara Falls, Ont., was charged with criminal negligence causing death, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and driving with a suspended license, police said.

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