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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Rocks dropped from bridge damage car's windshield

WHEATFIELD -- Someone dropped rocks from a railroad bridge in the 2300 block of Niagara Road just after 11 p.m. Wednesday and damaged the windshield of a Niagara Falls man's Cadillac, Niagara County sheriff's deputies report.

The 69-year-old victim told deputies he noticed one or two people on the bridge as he approached. He said someone dropped multiple rocks on his car, leaving a two-inch impact mark on the windshield, which also spidered the glass. Deputies said they were unable to find anyone in the area.

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Electronics, sound system stolen from pickup

NIAGARA FALLS -- A thief smashed the driver's side window of a pickup truck parked in the 2700 block of Orleans Avenue between 2 and 6 a.m. Wednesday and took electronics and a sound system valued at more than $800, city police report.

The owner told police he just had the system installed. Taken were an amplifier, a GPS unit, a flashlight and the title to the truck.

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Can recycling machine behind store is stolen

NIAGARA FALLS -- A aluminum can recycling machine, valued at approximately $2,000, was stolen from behind the Rite Aid store in the 1700 block of Pine Avenue.

A store employee told police Wednesday that the machine, which is about 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide, was stolen sometime since Monday. Store surveillance cameras are being reviewed for possible suspects.

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Items valued at $4,000 taken from apartment

NIAGARA FALLS -- A landlord found the door to her tenant's apartment forced open just before 4 p.m. Wednesday and discovered that furniture, electronics and jewelry, valued at over $4,000 were missing.

Police said the side door appeared to have been pried open in the apartment in 700 block of Cedar Avenue. The 21-year-old tenant told police that $500 cash, a $1,200 TV set, a sofa, love seat, end tables and an unknown quantity of jewelry were taken. She said the theft happened while she was at work.

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Guilty plea entered to tax evasion, bank fraud

Vincent P. Mangione, the operator of a North Tonawanda payroll and tax preparation business, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny on Thursday to more than $800,000 in tax evasion and bank fraud charges.

Mangione, 47, faces a maximum combined prison term of up to 35 years and fines of up to $350,000 when he is sentenced in Buffalo at 9 a.m. Feb. 8.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. and prosecutor Michael DiGiacomo said that between December 2002 and December 2007, Mangione, who operated MTS Payroll and Mil-Sher Tax Services Inc., routinely filed false quarterly federal tax returns and pocketed the difference.

At the same time, Mangione, whose business provided payroll services, bookkeeping and tax preparation for individuals and businesses, bilked an unidentified local bank by depositing checks into an account he knew had insufficient funds.

Mangione would then withdraw the funds before his checks cleared, prosecutors said.

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Work program term set in theft of shotgun, 'bong'

LOCKPORT -- A man who took part in the theft of a shotgun and a marijuana "bong" from a Niagara Falls man last year was sentenced Thursday to 20 days in the county work program.

James A. Connell, 34, of Bellreng Drive, Town of Niagara, had pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree robbery in the July 6, 2010, attack on a man in an apartment on Packard Court in Niagara Falls.

"What I did was really stupid," Connell told Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III, who said there was little evidence for the claim that Connell was armed during the incident.

Connell's cousin, Joseph E. Edmiston, 30, is serving a four-year prison sentence for the robbery and for an unrelated charge of being a sex offender who failed to register his home address with authorities.

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Driver who struck dog attacked by its owner

NIAGARA FALLS -- A motorist told police he was attacked by a dog owner in the 3500 block of Ferry Avenue on Wednesday afternoon when he stopped to check the condition of the dog after he struck it with his car and then the owner came out and tried to attack him, throwing a garbage can and then punching his car window.

The driver said a dog, possibly a basset hound, ran out in front of his vehicle at 3:45 p.m. He said the owner, a heavy-set man, ran out and started yelling at him for hitting the dog.

He said the owner threw a garbage can at him, so he immediately went back into his car.

Then, the motorist said, the owner punched his driver's side window, shattering it. The motorist said he was able to drive away, but was injured by broken glass that got into his eye.