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POLICE & COURTS

Bergen man accused of 7-month crime spree

BATAVIA -- A 27-year-old Bergen man has been charged with committing seven felonies in the past seven months in the Town and City of Batavia, according to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

Brett M. Blair, 27, who was the focus of an investigation by city, county and state police agencies, was arrested Tuesday morning. He was already in the Monroe County Jail at the time of his arrest.

Police allege Blair's crime spree started March 3, when he filed a police report claiming $2,475 in electronics and cash were stolen from his residence. Blair sold the items himself and filed a false report, police said. He faces a felony grand larceny charge.

Between early August and early September, Blair allegedly used a credit card stolen from his employer to purchase items at a Batavia Kmart, police said. He was charged with felony identity theft, forgery and grand larceny,and one misdemeanor count of grand larceny.

Police charged Blair with felony criminal mischief for breaking a window Oct. 4 at an East Main Street business. Then, on Oct. 15, he allegedly broke into a Route 33 residence in the Town of Batavia and stole cash and jewelry, police said. He faces a felony burglary charge.

One week later, Blair allegedly stole electronic equipment from a home on North Street in the City of Batavia, police said.

Blair was arraigned in the Batavia town and city courts Tuesday and returned to Monroe County Jail.

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7-year-old boy drowns near Niagara-on-the-Lake

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. -- A 7-year-old boy drowned in Lake Ontario on Tuesday near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Regional Police said.

The boy, identified as Porter Irving Simpson of Niagara-on-the-Lake, was reported missing near the shores of Lake Ontario at Ryerson Park at about 5:25 p.m. Police along with fire and emergency crews from the Niagara Region as well as the U.S. Coast Guard began a search.

At about 7 p.m., a St. Catharines Fire Department vessel found the boy in the water. He was rushed by ambulance to St. Catharines General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

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Town of Darien home is destroyed by fire

DARIEN -- A Town of Darien house was destroyed by fire early Tuesday afternoon, according to Genesee County sheriff's officials.

The blaze at 1081 Route 20 was reported by a passing motorist at about 1:30 p.m. Darien firefighters along with those from Corfu, Alexander, Alden, Attica and Bennington also responded.

The cause of the blaze remained under investigation. The house was owned and occupied by Diane Allison, officials said.

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Body of missing man found hanging from tree

A former East Aurora man who disappeared under unusual circumstances in the Albany area Sept. 22 was found hanging from a tree this week, police said Wednesday.

Police in the Town of East Greenbush said Steven R. Klippert, 52, is believed to have committed suicide after he was involved in a hit-and-run accident Sept. 22. His body was found in a wooded area of the Village of Nassau on Tuesday, police said.

Klippert was a former East Aurora resident who was working in Albany as a counselor in the state Correctional Services Department. State officials said Klippert worked at Gowanda Correctional Facility from 1994 until 2008, when he was transferred to a position in Albany.

Police conducted several searches for him after he fled the scene of a hit-and-run accident.

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Man, 33, going to prison over child pornography

Samuel W. Nigro, 33, of Batavia, was sentenced to five years in federal prison Wednesday for receiving child pornography over the Internet.

Federal agents seized Nigro's computer in late 2009 and found more than 5,300 images and 113 videos of child porn stored on the computer, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango said.

U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents conducted the investigation, and U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara handled the sentencing. He ordered Nigro, who pleaded guilty to a felony charge of receiving child pornography, to pay $2,000 in restitution to two victims.

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Officer struck by car released from hospital

The Spring Brook fire police officer who was struck while directing traffic at an accident scene in Elma was treated in Erie County Medical Center and released.

James Stevenson suffered hip, leg and possible internal injuries Tuesday night when he was hit by a car.

He was taken by the Jamison Road Fire Company's ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Stevenson was directing traffic at about 8 p.m. near the scene of an accident on southbound Route 400, near Jamison Road.

The accident is being investigated by the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

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