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Fire destroys office at Fronczak farm

CAMBRIA -- Fire of undetermined origin destroyed an office on the farm of William P. Fronczak on Saunders Settlement Road Thursday morning.

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office said the blaze, reported shortly before 9 a.m., ruined a detached garage used as a farm office, about 20 feet north of Fronczak's house. It contained business records and equipment, a computer, a television and some furniture. A dog was rescued unharmed from the office.

Cambria, Pekin and Shawnee volunteers fought the fire. No injuries were reported, and no monetary value was set on the loss.


Camera films suspects in $4,000 theft

NORTH TONAWANDA -- The Niagara County Sheriff's Office Thursday was investigating the theft of $4,000 from two dog wash machines at Zach's Car Wash at 3509 Niagara Falls Blvd.

Apparently so pleased with the haul, one of the bandits got of the getaway car to inspect it for damage after he accidentally backed into a concrete post in front of the store Tuesday evening -- with a surveillance camera filming his actions. A camera also recorded both suspects breaking into the machines.

The owners of the popular car wash have offered a $500 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 438-3394.


Canadian father, son admit trying to smuggle car

A Canadian father and son pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny and Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder in Buffalo this week to smuggling into the United States a car that did not meet federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Bradley Ruiter, 20, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a smuggling charge carrying a possible prison term of up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine and his father Richard Ruiter, 47, pleaded guilty to refusing to assist a customs officer. The older Ruiter faces a possible one-year prison term and $100,000 fine.

Federal prosecutors said the Ruiters tried to smuggle a motor vehicle owned by Bradley Ruiter into the United States. The vehicle, a Mazda Miata, was a right-hand-drive vehicle that does not meet a host of federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Prosecutors said the defendants planned to sell the car to a prospective buyer from Massachusetts. Bradley Ruiter acknowledged that he switched the license plate on the vehicle in order to conceal the purpose of the defendants' entry into the U.S.


Man accused of cutting girlfriend with glass

LOCKPORT -- A North Adam Street man was arrested on two felony charges Thursday after his girlfriend accused him of ramming a drinking glass into the left side of her head.

Devin M. Rose, 21, was charged with second-degree assault and first-degree criminal contempt of court.

The latter charge stemmed from a protective order the victim had previously obtained against him, police reported.

Police said Rose and the woman argued in her bedroom at about 4 a.m., and Rose allegedly threw some water at the woman before striking her with the glass. The woman was treated for a laceration in Eastern Niagara Hospital's Lockport location.

Rose was tracked down on Cold Springs Road and arrested about seven hours after the incident, police said.


Suspect charged after man shot to death on E. Side

An East Side man was shot and killed Wednesday night on Briscoe Avenue, according to Buffalo police reports.

Wayne P. Vance, 29, was charged with second-degree murder, possession of a loaded firearm and resisting arrest after police responded to his home at 69 Briscoe at about 7:30 p.m.

Vance was forcibly subdued by responding officers, who found a small handgun they believe was used to kill the man, whose identity has not been released.

Vance is well-known to police. In July 2006, he tried to skip out on a bill in Sisters Hospital by giving a false name, according to police reports.

Vance, who was treated in Sisters Hospital for a gunshot wound, told Officer Vatasha Tibbs that his name was Wade L. Hawkins. When confronted with a police photo of Hawkins, Vance said he lied because he didn't want to pay the hospital bill and he was on parole, according to police.

In Dec. 2001, Vance tried to outsmart police by hiding a loaded handgun in an oversized boot after a traffic stop arrest, according to reports.

Wednesday night's victim is the city's 36th homicide victim of the year.


Bergen man is accused of sex contact with 3 girls

LEROY -- A Bergen man faces three sex charges related to underage girls, Genesee County sheriff's officials said.

Stephen I. Stone, 45, of South Lake Street, was charged Thursday with first-degree sodomy, rape and committing a criminal sexual act involving three alleged incidents from 1997 to 2008. Stone allegedly had sexual contact with a 6-year-old girl from 1997 to 1998, had sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl by "forcible compulsion" in 2004 and had sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl by force in 2008, police said.