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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Effort to bury stolen truck brings arrest of father, son

ALBION -- A Town of Murray man and his son were taken into custody Wednesday by the Orleans County Sheriff's Office and face possible criminal charges for trying to bury a stolen truck found half covered in a sand pit.

Sheriff's officials said they used a helicopter to find the 26-foot truck, stolen last year from a Wayne County business, after they spotted a man using a bulldozer to bury the vehicle.

The two men who are being questioned about the theft operate a construction business in Murray, deputies said.

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Driver who nearly hit school bus faces charges

ROYALTON -- A driver who nearly hit a school bus Tuesday morning faces a number of charges, including driving while impaired by drugs, Niagara County sheriff's deputies reported.

Colleen L. Smith, 49, of East High Street, Lockport, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, driving on the shoulder, driving while impaired by drugs with a previous conviction in August 2005, felony driving while intoxicated and failure to keep right.

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Father, son, both drunk, face charges after fight

LOCKPORT -- City police arrested a father and son Monday night after an argument between them turned physical. Both were extremely intoxicated, police said.

Chad McKerrow, 29, of Nichols Street, was charged with obstructing governmental administration, second-degree harassment, resisting arrest and criminal possession of a controlled substance after a prescription narcotic tablet was allegedly found in his pocket.

Robert G. McKerrow, 54, of East Avenue, demanded to be arrested and was charged with obstructing governmental administration after police said he climbed into a patrol car.

Police said they found the younger man passed out when they arrived at about 7 p.m. Monday at his father's home, but then he woke up and lunged at his father and struggled with officers. Police said he had to be Tasered to be handcuffed and then was transferred from the jail to Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport for treatment due to extreme intoxication.

Both McKerrows were arraigned in City Court on Wednesday. Robert McKerrow was held on $100 bail and Chad McKerrow was returned to the hospital, police said.

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Jewelry valued at $7,000 stolen in house burglary

MIDDLEPORT -- Jewelry valued at more than $7,000 was stolen in a house burglary Tuesday in the 2700 block of Carmen Road, according to Niagara County sheriff's deputies.

A homeowner reported that nine gold, ruby and diamond rings, including a $1,000 engagement ring and three 18-carat gold Bangkok rings valued at $4,000; and two gold necklaces and a gold chain were taken from a jewelry box, along with assorted cash from a coin jar and bills. Total loss was estimated at $7,430.

The victim told deputies they were taken between 7:30 a.m. and 3:50 p.m. Tuesday. She said she found a sliding glass door slightly ajar when she returned home, but didn't think anything of it, then noticed later that her jewelry box had been ransacked.

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15-year term accepted to avoid life sentence

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man accepted a 15-year prison term Wednesday in exchange for prosecutors' agreement not to seek a life sentence for him as a persistent felon.

Jacob E. Ware III, 40, of 24th Street, pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary for a break-in at a 20th Street home sometime between Oct. 1 and 3, 2010. DNA found on a cigarette butt in the toilet connected Ware to the break-in, Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Scalzo said.

In January, a jury convicted Ware of helping another man beat and rob a Niagara Falls resident who was pulled from his stalled car June 9 at 17th and Niagara streets in the Falls.

The 15-year sentence, to be officially imposed June 28 by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas, covers both incidents, and Ware agreed not to appeal either case. Wednesday's plea came in the midst of a trial on the burglary charge.

Ware's record includes state prison sentences in 1991 for burglary, 1997 for assault and 2000 and 2005 for robbery.

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Guilty plea entered in second burglary

LOCKPORT -- A man awaiting sentencing on one burglary pleaded guilty to another Wednesday in State Supreme Court.

Kevin L. Randall, 50, of Seventh Street, Niagara Falls, admitted to third-degree burglary for stealing a 42-inch television, a PlayStation with three games and an iPod Touch from a home on Townsend Drive in Niagara Falls July 23.

Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. said he will sentence Randall May 23 for that crime and for an attempt to steal copper pipe from the former St. Mary's Manor nursing home in the Falls on Sept. 10, 2010.

Randall, who pleaded guilty last year to attempted third-degree burglary in that case, faces a combined maximum sentence of 11 years in prison for the two cases.