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From the blotter / Police calls and court cases, Nov. 14 to 19

Nov. 14

• State police charged a Robinson Road man after they found him in possession of a television that had been reported stolen.

Jarad R. Matsulavage, 19, was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Police said Matsulavage was found in possession of a flat-screen television that was stolen from a residence in early June in Royalton. Investigators said Matsulavage was aware that the television was stolen.

Matsulavage was arraigned before Lockport Town Justice Leonard G. Tilney Jr. and was remanded to the Niagara County Jail on $1,000 cash bail. He is scheduled to reappear Dec. 6.

• A 66-year-old LaSalle-area woman was victimized by online scammers recently, offering her “lifetime” protection against computer viruses.

The victim told police she received a telephone call from someone claiming to be from “Microsoft India,” advising her of a problem with her computer and offering protection in return for a fee. The woman wired $199 to a man in India, police said.

The caller later phoned again, this time soliciting personal information including credit card numbers. The woman learned that fraudulent purchase attempts were later made against her card before she canceled it.

• Two brothers pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court to a pair of strong-arm robberies in Niagara Falls.

Madison A. Desso, 18, and Ronello D. Desso, 16, who listed their mother’s address on Young Street in Wilson, each face a maximum of 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to third-degree robbery and attempted second-degree robbery. County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas scheduled sentencing for Jan. 3, and the brothers remain jailed in the meantime.

They were living with their uncle on Fifth Street in the Falls at the time of the crimes July 12 and 15. In the first, a man was injured in a mugging; in the second, a man was robbed of his wallet and cellphone at Third Street and Ferry Avenue.

Charges against a co-defendant in the latter case, Chonte D. Holland, 24, of Fourth Street, are pending in City Court, where a bench warrant was issued after Holland failed to appear Sept. 24.

Nov. 18

• A 2003 Dodge valued at $3,000 was stolen from the 400 block of Fifth Street, Niagara Falls police said.

The car was being operated by a Ransomville man and is owned by his mother, police said. It was taken sometime between midnight and 5:40 a.m.

Nov. 19

• Michael G. Barber, 31, of Hennepin Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded guilty in Niagara County Court to a felony count of driving while intoxicated.

Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas scheduled sentencing for Feb. 15 and said she will sentence Barber to no more than one to three years in prison. Barber was arrested May 13 in Niagara Falls.

• A man who converted a shoplifting case into a felony by pulling a box cutter on a security guard pleaded guilty, the day jury selection for his trial was to begin in State Supreme Court.

Joshua K. Allen, 27, of Lena Drive, Wheatfield, admitted to attempted second-degree robbery. Assistant District Attorney Theresa L. Prezioso said Allen stole a bottle of Ed Hardy perfume and a memory card for a digital camera at the Sears store in The Summit, a Wheatfield mall, on Feb. 15, 2011.

Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. promised to give Allen no more than a year in Niagara County Jail when he is sentenced Dec. 20.

Allen had entered the same plea earlier this year, but Kloch canceled it when Allen denied in a presentencing interview that he had a weapon.

• A Lockport woman was charged with violation of a Town of Lockport ordinance that prohibits a dog from running at large after two young children were bit by her dog. The injuries were not considered serious.

A 71-year-old woman told Niagara County sheriff’s deputies that her two granddaughters, ages 5 and 8, were playing outside just before 11 a.m. near her home in the 4100 block of Clubhouse Drive when the loose dog bit the girls. The dog did not break the skin, but did cause redness and slight bruising on the 8-year-old’s hand, according to reports.

The dog did not have a collar or tags. The owner was identified as Colleen G. Vallese, 56, of Lake Avenue, who was charged with an ordinance violation. The dog was taken by the Town of Lockport dog warden to the SPCA of Niagara until Vallese could be contacted and the Niagara County Health Department was advised, deputies reported.

• Two men were placed on probation in separate cases by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas.

Turhan E. Clause III, 21, of Saunders Settlement Road on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation, will serve four months of weekends in jail, in addition to five years’ probation, for third-degree burglary.

Brandyn M. Downey, 19, of Christiana Street, North Tonawanda, drew six months of interim probation for attempted fifth-degree sale of a controlled substance, pending a final sentencing decision.

• Paul J. Schubert, accused of holding up three 7-Eleven stores in Niagara Falls in September, refused a plea offer in Niagara County Court.

Schubert, 21, of Garden Avenue in the Falls, could have pleaded guilty to two Class C felonies, carrying a 15-year maximum sentence. Defense attorney David J. Mansour said he thought Schubert was going to plead guilty, but he changed his mind.

Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said the case will be presented to a grand jury next week and after that, there will be no plea offers. She said Schubert is suspected of a total of five robberies in Niagara Falls and Wheatfield.

Two of the 7-Eleven stickups occurred Sept. 6, and another came Sept. 12. Schubert was on the judicial diversion program of court-supervised drug treatment when the robberies occurred.

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