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POLICE & COURTS

2 accused of stealing copper in Cheektowaga

Two men have been arrested on various charges after Cheektowaga police said they were caught stealing copper and brass tubing from a Walden Avenue business.

Nicholas Bucci, 26, of Park Street, Springville, and John McDonald, 32, of Roseview Avenue, Blasdell, were charged with grand larceny, unlawful possession of marijuana and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Authorities said an employee of API Heat Transfer followed two men after spotting them loading a pickup truck in a storage area at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The employee confronted the men. Police were called.

Tubing worth more than $1,000 was recovered. Police said they also found drugs in the men's vehicle.

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Woman faces charges of false jobless claims

State police arrested a Highgate Avenue woman last week after she was accused of submitting fraudulent unemployment claims to the state Labor Department.

Janeen Easley-McIlwain, 38, was charged with grand larceny and falsifying business records, both felonies, after collecting $3,540 in benefits from Dec. 10 to Feb. 11, state police said.

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Clinton Street deli owner attacked; store robbed

A Clinton Street delicatessen was robbed, and the woman running it was attacked late Monday afternoon, according to Buffalo police reports.

RoseMarie Wardenski, 64, of Wardenski's Delicatessen at 826 Clinton, was grabbed around the neck and thrown to the floor at about 4:10 p.m. Reports stated her attacker entered the store and emptied a bag of pennies onto the counter "to buy candy," according to police reports.

As Wardenski turned, the assailant grabbed her, tossed her to the floor and repeatedly punched her in the back, chest and face before demanding she open the cash register. He fled with an unknown amount of cash westbound on Clinton Street riding a black moped, police reports stated.

The suspect was described as a 5-foot-9, thin build black male wearing a black cap, black hooded sweat shirt, a white T-shirt and black jeans.

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Cab driver says fare assaulted, robbed him

A Buffalo cab driver told police he was assaulted and robbed of $53 by a man he picked up at Delaware Avenue and Amherst Street at about 4:45 a.m. Saturday.

The cabbie said the fare jumped from the back seat into the front seat and punched him several times in the face. The robber pushed the driver out of the cab, kicked him several times and took the money from the cabbie's shirt pocket.

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Officials say man tried to bring pigeons into U.S.

A Serbian-born U.S. citizen was caught Sunday at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge attempting to smuggle three live pigeons inside his luggage, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol reported Monday.

The suspect told authorities he was returning from a one-day trip to visit family in Hamilton, Ont., when he was referred for secondary inspection. There, agents searched the man's luggage and found the birds wrapped in newspaper and stuffed in his clothing.

The undeclared birds were seized and turned over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Initial interviews with the suspect suggested he collected pigeons as "a personal hobby," according to reports.

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Man, 49, dies of injuries from motorcycle crash

BYRON -- An Elba man died Friday in Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, two days after he crashed his motorcycle on Swamp Road in Byron, Genesee County sheriff's officials reported Monday.

Thomas M. Legler, 49, of North Byron Road, died just before noon from injuries he received in the 3:30 p.m. crash when he failed to negotiate a sharp curve in the roadway, crossed over the opposite lane and skidded onto its side, going off the road.

Legler was ejected from the motorcycle. Police said he was wearing a helmet that did not meet state transportation standards.

Police said speed was a factor in the crash but no alcohol was involved.

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Olean motorcyclist, 23, fatally injured in crash

ALLEGANY -- A 23-year-old Olean man was fatally injured when he crashed his motorcycle on a curve late Sunday, Cattaraugus County sheriff's officials reported.

Aaron V. Thropp was taken to Olean General Hospital, where he died a short time later from severe trauma.

Sheriff's deputies said the crash was discovered shortly after 10 p.m. on Valley View Drive. They listed the apparent cause as speed and failure to negotiate a curve in the road.

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Shooting victim listed in fair condition

A Pershing Avenue man was listed in fair condition Monday in Erie County Medical Center after being shot by masked men over the weekend.

Elijah Goodard, 28, told police he was walking on Pershing at about 9 p.m. Friday, when two males wearing masks approached and fired two or three shots at him.

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