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Amherst police hunt medical office burglar

Amherst police are looking for a burglar who has broken into more than 20 medical offices since July, stealing cash and some prescription forms, detectives said Friday.

The thief has stolen anywhere from some petty cash to a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand dollars in his thefts all over the town. The burglaries have taken place in medical offices within larger office complexes.

"There's no sign of forced entry in any of these," Assistant Police Chief Timothy M. Green said. "It appears it's someone who knows how to manipulate locks, has a master key, or the doors could have been left unlocked."

The burglar was confronted in one incident, when he was surprised by an employee working late in a Youngs Road medical office Sunday. The apparent intruder made up a story about why he was in the building.

"He was very polite and well-spoken," Green said.

Amherst police Friday released a surveillance photo of that man.

He's described as a white male, 25 to 30 years old, short with a thin build, clean-shaven and wearing a white T-shirt with "Abercrombie & Fitch" written down the front. He also was wearing a white Abercrombie & Fitch baseball cap, blue jeans and white sneakers.

Anyone who may know the burglar's identity is asked to call Amherst police at 689-1343.


Police arrest five after home invasion

Five people were arrested Thursday after a home invasion earlier in the day that victimized an elderly resident on Peck Street.

The incident occurred shortly before 11 a.m., when a female acquaintance of the victim allegedly tipped off four men she knew that there was money and other valuable items inside the house, police sources said. Peck is south of Broadway, between Fillmore and Bailey avenues.

The thieves entered the home armed with a rifle and a handgun and forcibly stole a bag containing a rifle and several prescription drugs. The robbers then fled to a house on Broadway, where detectives believe they were about to commit another home invasion, according to police reports.

Police were tipped off and arrived to arrest the five.

Charged with six felonies each, including two armed robbery counts, were Rhonda M. Smith, 40, of William Street; David A. Williams Jr., 19, of Colvin Avenue; Kevon V. Walker, 19, of Blake Street; Samuel H. Rashaad, 19, of Lovering Avenue; and Donte Clark, 16, of Freeman Street.


Man accused of having 'hot inventory scanners

A Niagara Falls man was charged with violating his parole and felony criminal possession of stolen property after state troopers found him with stolen inventory scanners from two retail stores, state police said Friday.

Chance E. O'Connor, 29, of Chestnut Avenue, was in possession of the two hand-held inventory scanners during parole compliance checks by Operation IMPACT in Niagara Falls, troopers said. The scanners are valued at $2,000 each.

O'Connor was taken to Niagara County Jail on the parole violation and his pending arraignment.


Accused burglar waives extradition proceedings

LOCKPORT -- A man wanted in Texas on 30 felony burglary charges waived extradition proceedings Friday in Niagara County Court.

That means Jefferson County, Texas, authorities have 30 days to come to the Niagara County Jail to collect John A. Desherlia, 59, who was arrested Wednesday in North Tonawanda.

Desherlia is accused of reading newspaper obituaries in Texas and burglarizing homes there while the occupants were at funeral homes. His wife and brother also have been charged.

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