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POLICE & COURTS

Elmwood Ave. phone store is target of armed robbers

Two robbers, one with a gun, held up the Cricket Wireless store at 264 Elmwood Ave. in the Stuyvesant Plaza late Wednesday afternoon, Buffalo police report.

The men asked to see a phone, then ordered customers to the floor. They emptied two cash register drawers and took $168 from a customer's hand, police said. They fled on foot toward North Street.

The gunman was described as short and stocky with dreadlocks. His accomplice was said to be tall and thin. Both were said to be in their early 20s.

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Man arrested in theft of model trains, audio gear

A 16th Street man faces grand larceny and petit larceny charges in the theft of more than $10,000 worth of model trains and audio equipment from the attic of a Linwood Avenue man, Buffalo police report.

Paul Amodeo, 29, was arrested late Tuesday following an investigation by Northwest District police. The theft occurred between June 26 and Aug. 18.

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3 arrested on drug counts after traffic stop in Amherst

Three Amherst men were charged with fifth-degree possession of marijuana after Amherst Police Officer John Fiore stopped their car for traffic violations about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday on John James Audubon Parkway and noticed a strong odor of the drug.

Arrested were Kenton L. Brooks, 22; Yustito A. Alim, 21; and Sumanth S. Gazula, 21. Brooks, the driver, also was charged with speeding, unsafe lane change and failure to signal a lane change. Gazula was charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, and he allegedly became belligerent.

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Home invasion results in theft of cash, electronics

Three men fell victim to a home invasion at gunpoint Tuesday night on Meech Avenue, Buffalo police report.

The men told police that a Facebook acquaintance came at about 9 p.m. and left the doors unlocked. Then two more men with their faces covered entered with handguns and ordered everyone inside to the floor. The robbers took $1,500 in rent money, three cellphones, a computer and two iPods.

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Police say Amherst man exposed himself to girl, 12

An Amherst man is expected to be arraigned today in Amherst Town Court on charges related to lewd conduct in front of a 12-year-old girl.

Nicholas Lichtenthal, 36, of Applewood Drive, was arrested Tuesday on misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child and attempted sexual abuse. On numerous occasions, he allegedly exposed himself, police said. Detective Ed Bailey of the Special Victims Unit said the incidents occurred at Lichtenthal's home.

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Postal carrier accused in theft of gift cards

A temporary U.S. Postal Service letter carrier from Buffalo has been accused of stealing gift cards from the mail, Amherst police said Wednesday.

Noah J. Dombrowski, 29, of Buffalo, was charged with four misdemeanor counts of petit larceny.

Town police said Dombrowski was removing gift cards from mail that he picked up, as well as mail he delivered in Williamsville and Amherst.

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Police dog aids in capture of suspect in break-in

Amherst police report that their K-9 dog Judge helped them track down a Town of Tonawanda man shortly before midnight Tuesday in a wooded area behind Hector's Hardware, 2455 Niagara Falls Blvd., when they investigated a break-in there.

Christopher C. Sturniolo, 38, was charged with third-degree burglary, petit larceny, possession of stolen property, resisting arrest and third-degree criminal mischief. Police went to the store after an alarm sounded and discovered that cash had been taken.

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Man driving damaged car linked to hit-run accident

A Town of Tonawanda man faces multiple charges after Amherst Police Officer Andrew Edwards spotted him driving a car with heavy front-end damage on Cottonwood Drive about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

An investigation determined that Michael F. O'Neill, 41, had been in a hit-run injury accident earlier Tuesday in the Town of Tonawanda and apparently was under the influence of drugs.

He was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance after officers said they found him with oxycodone and Xanax after he was taken to headquarters. Other charges included aggravated unlicensed driving.

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Buffalo man admits role in student loan fraud

A Buffalo man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a felony charge of bank fraud in connection with a phony student loan scheme, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. reports.

Jason Hull, 25, faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he appears for sentencing Dec. 15 before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Prosecutors said Hull and an unidentified co-defendant used Hull's landlord's name and personal data to list him as a co-signer on the application for a $23,331 student loan in 2005.