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POLICE & COURTS

Police arrest suspects in two bank holdups

Northeast District police late Wednesday announced the arrests of two men in a recent bank holdup.

The suspects were identified as Andre D. Reynolds, 35, of Dewey Street, and Cameo C. Simmons, 21, of Kensington Avenue.

Reynolds faces counts of robbery and attempted robbery in holdups at the M&T Bank branch, 3037 Bailey Ave. on March 19, and the Bank of America, 2389 Fillmore Ave., March 23. Simmons also is charged with menacing and attempted robbery in the Bank of America holdup. Police said he threatened customers and employees with a handgun.

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Armed bandits target store on West Side

A convenience store at 319 Massachusetts Ave. was robbed about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday by two men armed with a shotgun, Buffalo police said.

Police said the bandits forced their way behind the counter and demanded money, escaping with a quantity of merchandise.

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Man faces 3 years in insurance fraud

A Buffalo man faces up to three years in prison for alleged insurance fraud after he apparently used a bank account that didn't exist to buy insurance on a house he didn't own to cash in on property losses that didn't occur, state Insurance Department officials announced.

Sidney Edwards, 55, of Frankfort Avenue, who was arrested last week, is accused of buying a homeowner's insurance policy on a Kenmore home and filing a claim for a damaged garage door, authorities said.

The insurance company mailed Edwards a $1,600 check. When he called to complain that he never received the check, they sent him another one for $1,600, authorities said.

Investigators learned Edwards allegedly picked out a home at random and used the address to purchase the policy on the property. He then provided the insurance company a fictitious bank account number for payment, authorities reported.

Further investigation showed the real property owner not only didn't know Edwards but said no damage ever occurred to the garage door. Edwards allegedly cashed the checks at local stores.

He was charged with two counts of grand larceny and released on his own recognizance pending a future appearance in Erie County Court.

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Inattention blamed in death of pedestrian

Pedestrian and driver inattention are being blamed for the death of 17-year-old Aundria Hudson, who was struck and killed by a car while crossing Seymour Street in the City of Tonawanda on Jan. 18.

The driver, John Broughton, 29, told police he was looking for something in his vehicle and had taken his eyes off the road, according to City of Tonawanda Detective Timothy Toth.

And witnesses told investigators that Hudson seemed to be looking at a phone or MP3 player as she crossed the street.

"Both of them, it appears, may have taken their eyes off of what they were doing," Toth said. "It just happened that both of them at the same time were doing something else. The planets completely just misaligned."

No criminal charges have been filed against Broughton, who stopped immediately and spoke with investigators.

After consulting with the district attorney's office, Tonawanda police issued several traffic summonses, including traveling at an imprudent speed, driving a vehicle without a current inspection, operating an unregistered vehicle and failure to use due care to avoid a pedestrian.

Broughton, a Grand Island resident, is scheduled to appear in Tonawanda City Court on April 30.

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Amherst man charged with aggravated DWI

A man was charged with aggravated drunken driving after a sheriff's deputy saw him drive into oncoming traffic on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst at about 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to police.

Brandon Morgan, 21, of Fairgreen Drive, Amherst, was stopped by Deputy Daniel Milbrandt and charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated after a test showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 percent. He also was charged with felony aggravated unlicensed operation; deputies said he had a conditional driver's license.

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Attack with guitar results in arrest

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Whitney Avenue man is accused with hitting a woman in the back with a guitar following an argument early Wednesday in their home.

Michael B. Duncan, 38, was charged with second-degree assault and harassment. Police said the attack occurred just before 3:30 a.m.

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