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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Body of woman found at apartment complex

NIAGARA FALLS -- The body of a woman was found outside an apartment complex on Porter Road in Niagara Falls on Saturday morning.

Niagara Falls police were called to investigate the discovery of the body outside the Almar Apartments at 9805 Porter Road, witnesses said. Further details were unavailable Saturday.

Niagara Falls Police Capt. William M. Thomson told WIVB-TV that investigators aren't sure whether it is a homicide, and that the woman had been dead "a little while."

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Multiple-alarm fire hits W. Seneca offices

A multiple-alarm fire that broke out in a West Seneca office building Saturday morning sent one volunteer firefighter to Erie County Medical Center with what were described as minor injuries, West Seneca police said.

A neighbor alerted authorities to the blaze at 7:24 a.m. after spotting flames on the outside of the office building at Wimbledon Plaza at 290 Center Road. The building houses several medical and other professional offices.

Firefighters from Seneca Hose, Vigilant Fire Company, Winchester, East Seneca and Reserve Hose rushed to the scene to fight the fire.

West Seneca detectives are investigating the cause. A damage estimate was not immediately available.

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Pedestrian shot in leg treated in Falls hospital

NIAGARA FALLS -- A 38-year-old Ninth Street man was treated in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center after being shot at about 2 a.m. Saturday in the 600 block of Ninth Street near Pine Avenue, police said.

Police said the man was walking when he heard popping sounds and felt a burning sensation in the back of his leg. Authorities said the victim was brought to the hospital by several other males who left quickly. The victim offered no other details of the shooting, police said.

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Threat with knife leads to charge of menacing

NIAGARA FALLS -- An Ontario Avenue man is accused of threatening to kill a house mate at about 7:15 p.m. Friday.

Craig H. Phillips, 52, held a knife to the throat of the house mate, 55, and threatened to stab him in the heart, police said. The encounter occurred after the victim had returned to his apartment from a card game. Phillips was charged with second-degree menacing.

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Pickup stolen in March was stripped and torched

LEWISTON -- A 1998 Chevrolet pickup stolen in late March has been recovered on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation, Niagara County sheriff's deputies said

The vehicle, owned by a Sanborn man, was discovered Friday in a field about 300 feet north of Mount Hope Road -- in an area where stolen vehicles are frequently abandoned, sheriff's deputies said. Rge pickup had been stripped of its catalytic converter and burned, deputies added.

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Copper pipes, bicycles targeted in burglaries

NIAGARA FALLS -- Police investigated two house burglaries on Saturday, including one where several pieces of copper plumbing were stolen from a vacant Spruce Avenue address.

Neighbors told police they saw flashlights shining inside the Spruce Avenue home at about 1:30 a.m., then observed men fleeing the building with copper piping.

Several pieces were found outside in the yard.

Police also are investigating the theft of two bicycles during a garage break-in on 25th Street between midnight and noon Saturday.

A padlock was cut from the garage door.

Also stolen was a tool set.

The loss was placed at $300.

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Loaded gun tossed near kids in backyard

Brian K. Wardlaw, 18, is being held on weapons and child endangerment charges for allegedly throwing a loaded .22-caliber pistol into a Wohlers Street backyard where young children were playing Thursday.

Wardlaw was charged by Officer Michael J. Acquino with criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degrees for the loaded weapon he threw into the next yard when the officer spotted him behind a house in the 400 block of Wohlers about 7:45 p.m.

He also is charged with endangering the welfare of a child because an 11-year-old girl was playing in the backyard when he threw the loaded handgun.