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POLICE & COURTS

Woman facing DWI charge after Ellicottville crash

ELLICOTTVILLE -- An Ellicottville woman was arrested by Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies for allegedly driving while intoxicated when she was in a crash on Dec. 9.

Pollyann Costello, 43, was operating a vehicle on Ellicottville-Maples Road about 6 p.m., when her vehicle rolled, Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies said. She was treated for minor injuries in Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital, Springville, and faces Jan. 12 appearance on the charges in Mansfield Town Court.

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Robbery suspect seeks ride with wrong person

JAMESTOWN -- A man armed with a knife and pistol who robbed tenants at the Bullfrog Motel early Friday ran away before police arrived, but ended up practically running into the arms of an off-duty officer, authorities said.

After Juan Carlos Diaz fled from the motel on the 1400 block of East Second Street, a short time later he tried to enter a vehicle occupied by the off-duty officer on the city's north side, according to Lt. Todd Isaacson.

The officer, who was warming up his vehicle, was unaware that Diaz was a robbery suspect and told him to go on his way after Diaz said he needed a ride. When Diaz left, the off-duty officer called police dispatch to inform authorities of the encounter.

It was then the off-duty officer learned that on-duty officers were searching for a robbery suspect and that Diaz' description fit that of the suspect.

Diaz was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree menacing, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal trespass, five counts of unlawful imprisonment and obstruction of justice.

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Connecticut man arrested on Family Court warrant

SALAMANCA -- Dana James Seneca, 26, of Norwich, Conn., was arrested Wednesday on Broad Street on a Family Court warrant for failure to pay child support, Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputies said.

Following arraignment in City Court he was taken to the county jail in lieu of $1,000 bail.

Similar Buffalo blazes

trigger an investigation

Buffalo fire investigators are probing two similar blazes late Wednesday and early Thursday.

The first fire, just before midnight, broke out in a wall at 321 Sherman St. and spread to the attic. Damage was estimated at $12,000.

Just before 1:30 a.m. Thursday, a fire broke out in an occupied house at 239 Sweet St. The fire started in a wall and extended to the attic. Damage was estimated at $14,000.

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Buffalo robbery suspect surrenders to the FBI

One of two Buffalo men wanted in a North Carolina bank robbery turned himself in to the FBI earlier this week, after a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the pair was offered.

Gregory K. Young II, 19, surrendered Wednesday night, but his alleged accomplice, Philip A. Purdue, 32, remains at large, FBI spokeswoman Maureen P. Dempsey said Friday.

Young and Purdue are accused of holding up the Fidelity Bank branch in Kings Mountain, N.C., on Nov. 22.

Purdue, also a suspect in bank robberies in Buffalo and Jamestown, was charged with attempted murder earlier this year in the September 2009 shooting of an Amherst man.

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Two Buffalo men accused of selling fake merchandise

TOWN OF NIAGARA -- If it looks like a bargain that's too good to be true, that's probably the case.

At least that was the situation with two Buffalo men apprehended Thursday night in a parking lot outside a Military Road business in the Town of Niagara.

Don Mumford, 54, and Jonathan A. Crosby, 51, were charged with fraudulent accosting after attempting to sell fake merchandise, according to Niagara Town Police Chief H. James Suitor.

Mumford was arrested after allegedly trying to selling an iPad that turned out to be a box filled with paper. Crosby is accused of attempting to sell imitation gold jewelry.

A background check on Mumford determined he is also wanted in Canandaigua on outstanding warrants, Suitor said.

A rash of similar incidents have been reported in recent months in shopping plaza parking lots in and around Niagara Falls.

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Footprints in the snow lead officer to suspect

Northeast District police found snow to be a useful crime-fighting tool this week in catching an armed robber.

Following footprints left in the snow from Avenue Pizza in the 200 block of East Ferry Street early Tuesday, Officer Joseph Wendel traced the suspect to a home in the 100 block of Purdy Street.

Wendel said he found a discarded handgun on a sofa in the family room then, the suspect -- identified as Jeremy Fernandez, 17, hiding in a bedroom closet on the second floor.

Fernandez, of East Delavan Avenue, was charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, grand larceny, burglary and possession of stolen property. A purse containing $560 stolen from the pizzeria was recovered.

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