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Graffiti along expressway causes $3,000 damage

An estimated $3,000 in graffiti damage was caused by vandals who painted sections of walls along the Kensington Expressway earlier this week, Buffalo police said.

According to an official at the state Department of Transportation, which maintains the highway, the vandals painted concrete walls between the overpasses for Jefferson Avenue and High Street.

Central District police are investigating.


Multiple charges follow rollover vehicle crash

STOCKTON -- A Cassadaga woman was charged with criminal possession of drugs and driving while ability impaired by drugs after she drove her car off Stockton Hartfield Road and the vehicle rolled over Wednesday night.

Alyssa M. Schneider, 25, of South Main Street, Cassadaga, was unhurt in the 7:30 p.m. crash, Chautauqua County sheriff's officials said. She also was charged with unsafe lane changes.

Schneider told deputies she swerved off the road while adjusting her radio. The vehicle entered a ditch, struck a culvert and "became airborne" before rolling over several times and landing in a ditch, deputies said.

Deputies said Schneider was in possession of prescription drugs for which she didn't have a prescription.


Woman in hit-run collision with motorcycle identified

Jennifer Garno, a 36-year-old West Side resident, has been identified as the pickup truck driver who partially disrobed and fled on foot from the scene of a crash that critically injured a motorcyclist earlier this week.

Garno, authorities said, faces a charge of leaving the scene of an accident and possibly other counts, pending the results of toxicology tests for alcohol and drugs.

Motorcyclist Jeffrey Stanton, 51, of the Town of Tonawanda, on Thursday remained in critical condition in the trauma unit of Erie County Medical Center.

Garno allegedly took off her pink top to reduce her visibility as she left the crash scene at 10 p.m. Tuesday at Delaware Avenue and West Utica Street.

Accident witnesses assisted police officers, who were able to locate Garno and take her into custody.


Bomb making suspect faces mental health tests

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man accused of making bombs in his home will undergo a mental competency evaluation before considering a preindictment guilty plea, Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy ordered Thursday.

Thomas P. Jamieson, 25, of Falls Street, will return to court July 12. Assistant Public Defender Michael E. Benedict said Jamieson has been in mental health court before, and Benedict wasn't comfortable going ahead with a plea yet.

Jamieson was arrested April 17. Police evacuated his neighborhood after two officers seeking to arrest him on a probation violation charge entered his bedroom and found more than a dozen bombs, which turned out to be unarmed.

Jamieson allegedly told the officers that bomb making was a hobby and he bought jet fuel and gunpowder to make them.


One arrested, two sought in gas station holdup

One man has been arrested and two others are being sought in connection with a robbery early Thursday at the Sunoco gas station on the 3400 block of Bailey Avenue, Northeast District police said.

Anthony Flood, 22, of the 300 block of Millicent Avenue, was charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, escape and resisting arrest, Officer Joseph J. Szafranski said.

Flood allegedly stole money from the gas station's cash register at about 4 a.m. The two other robbers remain at large.


Convenience store clerk accused of taking wallet

WHEATFIELD -- A convenience store clerk was charged with pocketing a wallet left at the store and found by another customer, according to the Niagara County sheriff's deputies.

Ryan C. Lips, 19, of Witmer Road, North Tonawanda, a clerk at a Noco convenience store in the 6700 block of Williams Road, was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and petit larceny on Wednesday.

The owner of the wallet said he went into the store May 29 to use the ATM and when he got home he realized he left behind his wallet, which contained $110 in cash and his credit cards. He said he immediately returned to the store and spoke to the clerk, Lips, who told him no one had found it.

The victim said he returned two hours later and again asked Lips about his wallet, but was told it was not found.

The next morning, the victim spoke to a manager who viewed the security video, which showed that a female customer had found the wallet and turned it in to Lips, deputies said.

The manager told deputies that she confronted Lips and he admitted taking the wallet.

Deputies said Lips was charged following depositions from the victim and the manager.