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POLICE & COURTS

Two arrested in theft from tobacco store

An alert tobacco store worker helped Erie County sheriff's deputies and state police arrest two men accused of stealing eight cartons of cigarettes from a Brant shop late Thursday afternoon.

Two men entered the First American Tobacco shop shortly after 5:30 p.m., stole the cigarettes valued at $402 and fled in a vehicle toward Chautauqua County, sheriff's officials said. The worker then relayed the license-plate number to Erie County Sheriff's Deputies Tim Donovan and Tim Colling.

The deputies linked the plate number to an address in Fredonia, where troopers located the two men accused in the theft.

Sheriff's officials charged Patrick P. Phillips, 28, of Fredonia, and David F. McNaughton, 22, of Silver Creek, with petit larceny, according to police reports.

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Liquor store on Hertel is target of break-in

A man wearing a doo rag and a red backpack broke into a Hertel Avenue liquor store and took an undetermined amount of liquor before fleeing through nearby yards Friday morning, Northwest District police said.

The intruder broke a window to enter the Hertel-Parker Liquor store, causing an estimated $500 damage to the window. Witnesses saw the thief as he fled west through the yards after the burglary.

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Sex offender gets extended motel stay

NORTH TONAWANDA -- A judge's illness is keeping sex offender James A. McKinney in the B-Cozy Motel here, his attorney said Friday.

David G. Jay said State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr., who is hospitalized with a knee infection, has not signed the order he issued orally Sept. 4, commanding the state Division of Parole to find another place to house McKinney, 51, under the state's civil confinement law.

Heather R. Groll, spokeswoman for the Division of Parole, said that agency is awaiting the signed order before acting.

Meanwhile, Jay said both shelters in Buffalo that Kloch suggested have rejected McKinney, one because it's too close to places where children gather, and the other because its rules bar sex offenders.

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