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POLICE & COURTS

Woman tied, man assaulted by three home invaders

A woman was tied up and a man was assaulted during a home invasion Thursday morning in Buffalo's Riverside section, according to Northwest District police reports.

Three young men -- one with a handgun -- entered an upper apartment on East Street at about 3:30 a.m. They used plastic zip ties to bind a woman, then hit a man in the forehead with an unknown object.

The robbers, with scarves covering their faces, took $10 cash and two cellphones, the victims reported. The injured man refused medical treatment.

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South Cheektowaga hit by rash of burglaries

Police are telling South Cheektowaga residents to lock their doors and windows after a rash of overnight burglaries Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the area of Borden, Losson and French roads.

In each case, the burglars entered residents' homes while they slept and stole computers, televisions and stereo equipment, police said.

"These are people bold enough to commit a burglary when people are home," said Capt. James Speyer of the Cheektowaga police. "We're looking for people to be alert and call us with any information."

Police noted Thursday that in all but one of the burglaries, the homes were left unlocked for the night. Many were entered through sliding glass patio doors.

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Woman stole $570,000 from the government

An Alden woman pleaded guilty Thursday to cheating the federal government out of approximately $570,000 in Civil Service Retirement System benefits that were erroneously paid to her deceased father-in-law.

Karen Peterson, 68, entered the pleas to theft of government money and filing a false tax return before Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse said Peterson received the money from June 1989 through September 2010 by indicating that her father-in-law, who died in 1989, was still living. Peterson admitted she failed to report receiving the benefits to the Internal Revenue Service, and that, from 2007 through 2009, she failed to pay approximately $13,000 in income taxes. She will be sentenced Feb. 10.

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Dog dies, man injured in fire on Ashley Street

A dog died and a man suffered smoke inhalation in a fire late Wednesday in the Broadway-Bailey area, according to Buffalo Fire Department officials.

The fire in a two-story frame home at 42 Ashley St. was reported at 10:30 p.m., a dispatcher said. A man was taken to Erie County Medical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation.

Damage was estimated at $20,000 to the structure and $5,000 to the contents, the dispatcher said. The cause is under investigation.

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Retired firefighter aids in arrest of burglary suspect

A retired City of Tonawanda firefighter is credited with helping police catch a burglary suspect on his street Thursday afternoon.

Tim Fedeson, who lives near the Tussing Lane home that was burglarized, took down the license plate of a suspicious black SUV and gave it to police, leading to the arrest of Timothy Braun, 28.

City of Tonawanda detectives filed a number of felony charges against Braun after allegedly finding stolen watches, necklaces and collectible coins in his SUV.

Police said an air gun resembling a Glock .40 handgun also was recovered from Braun's vehicle, along with a stun gun and hundreds of dollars worth of drugs. Detectives also said they found heroin needles in the vehicle. Braun was held Thursday night in the Erie County Holding Center.

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Buffalo man arrested on child porn charge

A Buffalo man was charged by federal authorities Wednesday with the criminal receipt and distribution of child pornography.

Jeremy Otrosinka, 31, faces a mandatory prison term of at least five years and up to 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted as charged, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.

Otrosinka is accused of downloading child pornography from the Internet. Following an appearance before Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy, he was released on his own recognizance but must remain on home detention under electronic monitoring.

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Three target Amherst bar in daylight holdup

Amherst police are on the lookout for at least three bandits who took an undetermined amount of cash in a daylight holdup Thursday in Westfield's Bar, 799 Millersport Highway.

A lone male victim in the bar told police a male who appeared to be about 17 or 18 years old, 6 feet, 2 inches tall and about 190 pounds entered the bar through a back door at about 3:15 p.m. and said: "We'll shoot you if you don't give us the money."

The victim said the robber, who had shoulder-length straight brown hair and wore a black hooded sweatshirt, jeans and tan work boots, put duct tape on his hands and feet and put a paper bag over his head. He said he could hear several other voices talking to the bandit afterward.

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