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From the blotter / Niagara County police calls and court cases, Dec. 13 to 20

Dec. 13

LOCKPORT -- A man pleaded guilty Tuesday in a domestic violence case in County Court. Arnold M. Cogar, 51, of Mill Street, Lockport, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree assault. He was charged with pointing an unloaded 12-gauge shotgun at a woman Oct. 13 and pulling the trigger several times before brandishing a large kitchen knife and threatening to stab her if she left him.

Cogar, who served in the Navy from 1977 to 1981, was assigned by Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas to the veterans' court program in Buffalo, which will supervise treatment for alcohol abuse.

NIAGARA FALLS -- Niagara Falls police received several unrelated reports of forced entry and missing electronics. In the 500 block of Tenth Street, someone used a garbage can as a stepladder to enter a window, police said. The owner told police that she was out of the apartment for two days because the heat was off and returned to find a 42-inch rental television and Xbox game system stolen. Loss and damage was estimated at $1,000.

A rifle and a 60-inch flat-screen television were reportedly stolen from a house in the 1500 block of Whitney Avenue. The victim told police that she left the residence on Monday and returned Tuesday to find the door unlocked and the $500 television missing. She also said a .22-caliber long gun valued at $500 was gone.

In the 600 block of 18th Street, an owner told police that he was out between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. and returned to find a bedroom window smashed and an Xbox game system and a $60 game stolen.

NEWFANE -- A Drake Settlement woman told Niagara County sheriff's deputies that she was conned out of more than $1,600 after she answered a help wanted advertisement in a weekly jobs newspaper.

In a sheriff's report released Tuesday, the 51-year-old victim told deputies she answered an ad last week to be a "mystery shopper" and was asked to cash two $965 money orders that were sent via mail from Virginia. She was then asked to send $1,660 to a woman in Florida. Five days later, her bank told her that the money orders were no good.

She said received a second "mystery shopper" package from Dallas with three more money orders, but did not deposit them or send any more cash.

Deputies said they confirmed with the U.S. Postal Service that the money orders were counterfeit.


Dec. 15

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 29-year-old man told police he was punched in the face while standing outside a bar in the 400 block of Third Street at 2 a.m.

The victim told police he doesn't know why he was attacked. He said he was standing with some friends outside the bar when a man he knows punched him in the face. He was found missing a tooth and had blood around his mouth, police said, but the victim said the tooth was missing due a previous attack and he was unable to put the fake tooth back in because of the punch.

Police said both the victim and the witness were highly intoxicated.

NIAGARA FALLS -- A game system and $500 worth of games were reported stolen in the 1800 block of Michigan Avenue Thursday morning.

The victim told police that while she was sleeping someone was able to gain entry and take the game system and five games, valued at a total of $983.

A man in the apartment told police that he had been the victim of a previous burglary where a flat screen television was stolen. All the stolen items had been rental electronics and videos.

The victims said they have had problems with someone entering through a bedroom window. Police found a screen cut from the previous burglary and cautioned the couple to better secure the residence.


Dec. 16

NIAGARA FALLS -- A LaSalle-area woman told police she was robbed of her wallet while inside a Buffalo Avenue convenience store Friday evening. The victim told police she needed a cigarette and called a man shortly before 7 p.m, to see if he had any. He did not, but offered to buy the woman a pack of smokes in return for a ride to the Wilson Farms store. The man told the woman she would have to go inside to make the purchase because he did not have any identification on him.

While the woman was inside the store, the man apparently stole her wallet from her car and fled the area, making off with $400 in cash, a credit card and other belongings. The woman was advised to seek an arrest warrant.

WILSON -- Baseball cards valued at approximately $10,000 were stolen in a burglary on Palmer Road over the weekend.

Niagara County sheriff's deputies that sometime between 5 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Sunday someone removed a rear window screen on the west side of the house in the 3400 block of Palmer Road and took an undetermined amount of collectible baseball cards, valued at approximately $10,000 and comic books, valued at $500; as well as two chain saws, a rototiller, a bow and arrow, a game system and several CDs. Total loss and damage $12,750.

The items were taken from a number of rooms in the house and from the garage, deputies reported. The owner told police that the cards and comic books were taken from a chest, which was found open in the study, as well as from a fire safe.

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 6-foot tall Christmas-themed ferris wheel, valued at $200, was reported stolen from a front yard in the 2900 block of Michigan Avenue, city police reported.

The owner told police on Friday night that the K'nex ferris wheel had a red post, blue banners and lights up. She said the wheel was taken some time during the day and that the wheel also had a number of stuffed animals on it.

NIAGARA FALLS -- Fourteen reels of copper wire, valued at approximately $5,000, were reported stolen from a building site in the 4700 block of Packard Road Friday.

The owner of ANB Systems told police that the padlock was cut off the door sometime between Wednesday and Friday and approximately 14 reels of building wire were stolen. He told police he was conducting an inventory to see if anything else was stolen.


Dec. 17

NIAGARA FALLS -- A pair of halo headlights worth about $200 were stolen Saturday night from a car parked in an alley off 22nd Street. Police said the driver of the car, a 33-year-old Ransomville man, parked the car around 7:40 p.m. and returned about 15 minutes later to find the door open and a box containing the headlights missing from his 2003 Dodge Durango. A search of the area failed to turn up any possible suspects, police said.


Dec. 18

PENDLETON -- A call from his credit union alerted a Tonawanda Creek Road man to the fraudulent use of his credit card, sheriff's deputies reported Sunday.

The victim learned that someone had used his card to make a $630.53 purchase at a Best Buy store in Joliet, Ill., on Tuesday. A previous attempt, earlier the same day, to use the card for a $1,000 purchase had been blocked. It was unknown whether the fraudulent purchase was made in person of over the Internet. An investigation is continuing.

NIAGARA FALLS -- A laptop computer, valued at $3,200, was stolen from the seat of a vehicle Sunday.

The owner told police that his Tough Book laptop was taken from the passenger seat in his truck sometime between Saturday and Sunday, but believes it may have been taken from the truck while he was in the parking lot of Auto Zone on Niagara Falls Boulevard at 1 p.m. Sunday when he left his truck's door unlocked.


Dec. 19

SANBORN -- A student at Niagara Academy was suspended from school for five days and faces a superintendent's hearing for texts saying that he intended to sell illegal drugs at school.

School officials told Niagara County sheriff's deputies that they found numerous texts on the student's cellphone and pictures of a white substance. The 16-year-old Clarence boy told deputies that he did not bring any drugs to school and denied possession of the drugs.

NIAGARA FALLS -- Two unrelated copper thefts were reported in the city on Monday.

In the 1000 block of 91st Street, a contractor told police that sometime since Dec. 7 someone entered the vacant building and took 225 feet of copper pipe from the basement and damaged the hot water tank and furnace. Total loss and damage, $1,200.

In an unrelated case, 5 feet of copper was taken from the boiler room in the utility room at the family-owned Traveler's Inn on Niagara Falls Boulevard after a door was damaged to gain entry. The owner told police that the motel is vacant in the winter season. Loss and damage $60.

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 73rd Street man faces trespassing and theft charges Monday for allegedly taking more than $1,000 worth of metal shelving from the enclosed outdoor lawn and garden area of the Super Walmart on Military Road, on at least two occasions.

Randy A. Sharp, 23, was charged with two counts each of third-degree criminal trespassing and petit larceny.

Police said they stopped a suspected pickup on Packard Road at Niagara Metals and questioned Sharp, who said he found the shelves in a dumpster near Walmart. Sharp was positively identified by Walmart employees who said Sharp had taken $700 worth of shelving at 1:30 p.m. Monday and also took $400 worth of shelves and metal beams on Saturday.


Dec. 20

WHEATFIELD -- An unknown suspect entered an unlocked garage in the 6200 block of Ward Road and took a 2002 Chevy Silverado pickup, valued at $5,000, reported Niagara County sheriff's deputies.

The homeowner told deputies Tuesday morning that sometime overnight someone unscrewed the motion sensory lights on his garage and took the vehicle from the unlocked garage. He said the keys were on the driver's seat.