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Cab driver in Falls robbed at gunpoint

NIAGARA FALLS -- A taxi driver was robbed at gunpoint near Niagara Falls Boulevard and 47th Street on Sunday night, police said.

The driver told police he was dropping off a fare near that intersection at about 9:38 p.m. when he felt a gun put to the back of his head, Niagara Falls Police Lt. Michael Trane said.

The robber, who made off with an undetermined amount of cash, fled the area on foot through a nearby field, but not before cutting the driver on the hand as he apparently tried to slice the vehicle's microphone cord, police said.

Several police agencies responded to help in the search, including Lewiston Police K-9 unit, State Parks Police, Niagara County Sheriff's Office, State Police, U.S. Border Patrol and the Erie County Sheriff's Office helicopter.

The robber was described as a black male in his early 30s, 5 feet, 7 inches to 5 feet, 8 inches in height, and weighing about 130 pounds. He was wearing a gray hoodie and dark sweatpants.

Anyone with information about the holdup is asked to call city detectives at 286-4553.


Donated Christmas gifts taken in home burglary

NIAGARA FALLS -- Three donated Christmas presents were among the items stolen when a C Street home was burglarized over the holiday weekend, police said.

The female victim told police that someone cut a screen to gain entrance to the home, then stole a 32-inch television and several gifts, which were awaiting opening. The break-in occurred sometime between 9:30 p.m. Friday and noontime Monday.


Motel resident questioned in holiday vandalism

NIAGARA FALLS -- City police questioned a resident of a Niagara Falls Boulevard motel in connection with two incidents of vandalism at a neighboring motel over the holiday weekend.

According to reports, bricks were thrown through the windows of two cars parked at the Super 8 Motel. One vehicle was a rental car being operated by a German tourist, and the other belonged to a visitor from Massachusetts, police said.

About $200 damage was done to each vehicle.

Police said nothing appeared to have been stolen from either vehicle, but a room key from the Bit-O-Paris motel was found inside one of the cars.

Police interviewed the man who occupied that room, but he denied any involvement, nor having left the motel.

An investigation is continuing.


Motorist damages lawn and parking lot gate

LEWISTON -- An unknown motorist damaged the lawn and a parking lot gate over the weekend at the Tuscarora Medical Clinic on Mount Hope Road, Niagara County sheriff's deputies said.

Someone drove a blue Ford Explorer across the lawn of the clinic early Friday, hitting a guy wire for a utility pole before turning and driving through the parking lot gate, damaging a padlock in the process.

Damage from the incident was estimated at about $75.


Man surrenders to police in November bank robbery

A Laird Avenue man turned himself in to Buffalo police Monday, admitting he robbed an M&T Bank branch on Tonawanda Street last month, according to a police report.

Andrew D. Szurczynski, 23, was arrested at the department's Northwest District station, the report said.

He faces a first-degree robbery charge.

The bank robbery happened just before 3 p.m. Nov. 21. Police previously said the robber handed the teller a note demanding money and fled with an undisclosed sum of cash.


Woman arrested in assault of Walmart greeter, 70

TOWN OF BATAVIA -- A 26-year-old woman is due in court next month to face charges she caused several facial fractures to a 70-year-old greeter at Walmart.

Jacquetta Simmons, of the City of Batavia, was arrested after an incident on Christmas Eve morning at the Walmart on Veterans Memorial Drive, state police said.

Simmons is accused of punching the victim in the face after she was asked to verify the contents of her bag, troopers said.

The victim was treated in United Memorial Medical Center.

Simmons faces two counts of assault. She was arraigned Sunday in Town Court and sent to the Genesee County Jail and released on $40,000 bond.

She was scheduled to reappear in court Jan. 23.


Electronics stolen from home on Christmas

Christmas Day thieves took some electronics from a Grimes Street home.

A 50-inch plasma television and a PlayStation 3 video game system were taken from a home off Broadway between 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday, according to a Buffalo police report.

The thieves, who entered by breaking a window on the side of the home, also damaged two other televisions, furniture and dishes.