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POLICE & COURTS

Photo released in probe of Tri-Main computer theft

Buffalo police have released a photo of a "person of interest" in connection with the theft of two computers from the Tri-Main building on Main Street in the last 10 days. Detectives believe the theft occurred sometime between Sept. 16 and Thursday.

The thief may have posed as a construction worker and, while still inside the building, taken the Apple I-Mac computers from the art studio on the fifth floor of the building at 2495 Main.

Anyone with information may call the Buffalo police confidential TIP-CALL line at 847-2255, text a tip to (716) 847-2255, or email the department at www.bpdny.org.

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Man treated for injuries suffered in attack; 2 charged

South District police have made two arrests in a stomping and beating that sent a man to Erie County Medical Center early Saturday with a bloody gash to the back of his head.

The Mackinaw Street man was being treated Saturday afternoon in the emergency room at Erie County Medical Center. He also suffered facial swelling and was lapsing out of consciousness after being punched, kicked and stomped during the attack, police reported.

Following the beating, at about 3:15 a.m. on Alabama Street, witnesses provided police with the names and descriptions of the suspects.

Officers charged Walter J. Clark III, 26, of Woodside Avenue, and a 16-year-old Lockwood Avenue youth with second-degree assault and obstructing governmental administration, according to police reports.

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State police plan crackdown on drivers using cellphones

Beginning Monday morning and running through Thursday, state police will stage enhanced enforcement of the state law banning the use of hand-held cellphones while driving.

More than 1,000 Thruway motorists statewide were ticketed during last fall's "Operation Hangup," and since Jan. 1, troopers have ticketed more than 3,000 motorists with such violations.

State law prohibits the use of a hand-held mobile phone while driving except to call 911 or contact fire, medical or police officials about an emergency. Violators face a fine of $100 and a mandatory $60 surcharge.

Texting, surfing the Internet or playing computer games while driving carries a maximum fine of $150.

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Man accused of threatening 2 teens with 9 mm handgun

A 19-year-old Hazelwood Street man was charged with menacing and child endangerment after allegedly threatening two teens with a 9 mm handgun when they came to help their upstairs neighbor while the suspect argued with her Friday morning, Buffalo police said.

Hakim Y. Jones was arrested by Officer Sollie Boone when he tracked him to a store in the 400 block of Fillmore Avenue at about 2 p.m., some five hours after the alleged gun threat was made.

Jones also left his 5-year-old brother untended at Hazelwood and Lang Avenue on Friday morning, police said, resulting in the child endangerment charge.

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Robber takes cash, phone in attack on Delaware Ave.

A robber threatened to shoot a man early Saturday at Delaware Avenue and Bryant Street, taking the man's cellphone and $40 in cash, Central District police reported.

The victim told officers that a male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt threatened him before pushing him to the ground.

The injured man suffered cuts to his hands.

The thief fled south on Delaware Avenue in an unknown vehicle following the 3 a.m. robbery.

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Race car heavily damaged after catching fire

WHEATFIELD -- A 2005 Pontiac GTO modified for racing sustained an estimated $20,000 in damage Thursday after catching fire on Nash Road, sheriff's deputies said.

The owner, a North Tonawanda man who told police he regularly races the vehicle at Lancaster Speedway, reported that he was driving at around 9 a.m. when the vehicle backfired, and then heavy smoke and flames began pouring out from beneath the hood.

The man disabled a 10-pound nitrous oxide tank mounted in the vehicle's trunk, which was full of racing fuel.

A crew from the Adams Fire Company extinguished the blaze.

There were no injuries reported.

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Wallet stolen from purse of worker at Falls hospital

NIAGARA FALLS -- An opportunistic thief stole a wallet Friday morning from a worker's purse at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

The thief then used a stolen credit card to make several purchases before the victim was able to cancel the card.

Police said the wallet was stolen between 10 and 10:30 a.m. from a purse left beneath a desk at the hospital. The victim, a Lewiston woman, told police the wallet also contained several personal effects.