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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Theft from grandfather leads to shock incarceration

LOCKPORT -- A North Tonawanda man who burglarized his grandfather's house was sent to prison Wednesday by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

She recommended Dennis H. Lawlor II, 23, of Schenck Street, for the boot camp-style "shock incarceration" program, which lasts six months. But if Lawlor isn't admitted or washes out of the program, he'll serve 1 1/3 to four years in a regular prison.

Lawlor had pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary for the Jan. 14 break-in on Rumbold Avenue in North Tonawanda. Sperrazza ordered him to pay his grandfather $2,500 restitution when he gets out of prison.

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Elderly man robbed, bound with a phone cord

NIAGARA FALLS -- A man pushed his way into the home of an elderly man in the 1300 block of Elmwood Avenue at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, knocking the octogenarian to the ground, stealing about $150 in cash, then tying up the victim with a phone cord, police said.

Police said the bandit told the victim he had shoveled his walkway and wanted to collect money, then asked to use the phone. But when the victim resisted, the bandit forced open the door, police said.

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Suspect in murder case submits to DNA sample

LOCKPORT -- Murder defendant Tyrome L. Elder gave prosecutors a DNA sample Wednesday after dropping his opposition to the request in Niagara County Court.

Elder is scheduled to be tried Jan. 10 in the case of the Nov. 7, 2009, shooting death of Jacobi L. Lovett, 36, of Stanislaus Street, Buffalo. Police said Lovett was shot during a robbery attempt on Niagara Avenue in Niagara Falls. A Feb. 7 trial date is slated for co-defendant Earl McCoy, 29, of Rochester.

DNA from Elder, 24, of Weston Avenue, Niagara Falls, is to be compared with samples taken from Lovett's car, which was stolen after the robbery. Judge Matthew J. Murphy III said positive results might force a delay in the trial, as the defense could seek its own tests.

Court-appointed defense attorney Yvonne Vertlieb received Murphy's permission to spend up to $1,000 of the county's money on a private investigator to try to track down two witnesses, one of whom she said might provide Elder with an alibi. Murphy said that also might delay Elder's trial, as the prosecution would be allowed to investigate the alibi claim.

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Ely Ave. man arraigned in burglary and robbery

NIAGARA FALLS -- An Ely Avenue man was arraigned Tuesday on charges in a burglary on Cayuga Drive and a robbery/domestic violence case.

Joseph L. Burton, 20, pleaded not guilty in City Court to third-degree robbery, menacing and harassment.

Police said that about 4 a.m. Dec. 5 in the 2400 block of Ferry Avenue he pulled a woman out of his vehicle by her hair, punched her several times and fled with her cell phone.

He also pleaded not guilty to second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree grand larceny for a break-in Dec. 9 in the 600 block of Cayuga Drive. Police said Burton and two others forced open a door to steal two 40-inch televisions and a fire safe containing $1,100.

Burton was released after posting $8,500 in bail.

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Vancouver man targeted by 5 in strong-arm robbery

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Canadian man was robbed by five men who took one of his bags, which contained a computer and his passport, as he walked in the 1800 block of Niagara Avenue after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Vancouver resident told police the five chased him and took one of his two bags. He said he then followed the thieves to a residence on South Avenue, but police were unable to find the thieves. The loss was estimated at $400.

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Marijuana suspect in jail is victim of home break-in

NIAGARA FALLS -- The apartment of a St. John's Parkway resident arrested for criminal possession of marijuana was burglarized Tuesday while the resident was in jail, Niagara Falls police said.

The victim said that when he left with police Tuesday afternoon the door apparently had not closed all the way, and someone took five computer games, a game system, an MP3 player and a backpack, police said. The loss was estimated at $780, police added.

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Suspect in tire thefts is freed on $6,500 bail

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Cheektowaga man was arraigned in City Court on Monday, charged with stealing tires from several area tire stores.

Mohamud Khalil, 35, of Losson Road, pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal trespassing, petit larceny and fourth-degree grand larceny. He was freed on $6,500 bail. A return court date was set for Jan. 4.

The manager at Goodyear Tire on Military Road identified Khalil as the man who stole 10 tires there Dec. 1, saying he confronted him and then recorded his license plate, police said.

Rainbow Tire said 26 tires, valued at $1,200, were stolen there Oct. 26. Police said Khalil was charged with similar thefts at Dunn Tire in the Town of Niagara.

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