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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Armed men rob couple in mobile home, flee

TOWN OF NIAGARA -- Two masked men, one brandishing an AK-47 assault rifle and the other a semi-automatic handgun, fled on foot after robbing a couple in their Expressway Village mobile home late Saturday.

Town Police Sgt. Jeffrey Spears said the two men walked into the home at about 9:45 p.m. Saturday and at gunpoint robbed a male and female resident of an undetermined amount of cash before leaving. The Niagara County Sheriff's Office is assisting in the home invasion investigation.

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Falls woman, 45, charged in theft of go-cart

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 27th Street woman was charged Saturday when a 16-year-old spotted his stolen go-cart locked to a tree and covered with a tarpaulin in her backyard, police said.

The boy contacted police. He recognized the computer chair used for a seat on the machine and gave police the serial number of the motor on the vehicle. It had been stolen from the 2700 block of Niagara Street in April, police said.

Officers issued an appearance ticket to Toni M. Bounds, 45, charging her with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. The go-cart was returned to its rightful owner.

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Underage drinking at party probed

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police said as many as 10 people scattered at about 2 a.m. Sunday from a suspected underage drinking party on 59th Street.

Officers went to the home after finding a 16-year-old youth asleep on the ground in the 6100 block of Stephenson Avenue at 1:47 a.m. He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, police said, and told officers he had been at a party in the 100 block of 59th Street.

When police went to the scene, several people -- mostly teenagers -- quickly scattered.

Officers spoke to the homeowner and her teenage son. She promised to care for the 16-year-old and that there would be no further problems. No charges were filed.

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Man shooting at raccoon charged with cruelty

NIAGARA FALLS -- An 18-year-old was charged with cruelty to animals late Saturday after police said he was shooting at a raccoon from his third-floor balcony on Rainbow Boulevard.

Ryan R. Thomason was arrested at 10:29 p.m. after neighbors reported someone shooting a BB gun at cars in the nearby Hampton Inn parking lot. Thomason reportedly told police he was shooting at the animal because it kept getting into his garbage.

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Victim of Falls burglary has suspect in mind

NIAGARA FALLS -- A Pine Avenue man told police he believes his ex-girlfriend's cousin probably burglarized his home Saturday evening while he was out.

Someone kicked in the side door of the residence between 5 and 10 p.m. and stole an $800 Sony television from inside, police said. Nothing else was reported missing.

The victim contacted his ex-girlfriend, who also believes her cousin was likely responsible due to a drug habit. An investigation is continuing.

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Minor Home Depot fire traced to bird's nest

NIAGARA FALLS -- A bird's nest inside a lighting fixture apparently ignited Saturday evening, triggering a minor fire at the Home Depot store, 750 Builder's Way.

Fire crews responded to the nursery area of the business just after 7 p.m. to extinguish the fire and remove the nesting materials. No one was injured in the incident.

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Estranged husband faces questioning in theft

GASPORT -- A Park Avenue woman's estranged husband is being questioned in connection with a Friday afternoon theft from her home, Niagara County sheriff's deputies said.

Items taken from the home included a camcorder and a picture frame, both of which had been gifts from the victim's husband when he lived with her, deputies said. A front door knob was removed to gain access to the home, which recently underwent a lock change, deputies said. A screened door also was ripped from its hinges.

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Three car break-ins, burglary probed in Newfane

NEWFANE -- Niagara County sheriff's deputies investigated three car break-ins in the 6600 block of Ridge Road on Saturday morning, in the same neighborhood where Ken's Eats 'n Treats was also burglarized.

The owners of the burglarized vehicles reported losing nearly $700 worth of belongings, including a pair of global positioning systems, a pocket knife, a wallet containing several restaurant gift cards, two cartons of cigarettes and 10 prescription codeine pills.

Also Saturday morning, the owner of Eats 'n Treats found that a window air conditioner had been pushed in to gain entry to his business. Deputies said $350 in cash was stolen from a register, and a $250 power washer was also missing.

A recently terminated employee was considered a possible suspect in the break-in and was being interviewed by detectives Saturday. No charges had been filed as of Sunday afternoon.