Burglars entered a Waterfront Village townhome early on July Fourth and left with computers, televisions and house keys. They drove off with their loot in two white Acuras they found parked there.
The residents who slept through the break-in were not aware of what happened until Buffalo police arrived later Monday morning and saw the garage and front door still open.
Chief Joseph A. Gramaglia declined to describe how the thieves gained entry into the three-level luxury townhome located in the Breakwaters development on Lakefront Boulevard within view of Lake Erie.
But he said at least three other incidents occurred over the holiday weekend, one at Breakwaters and two at the Harbor Point development located nearby.
Police in West Seneca became involved solving at least one of the break-ins when they tried to stop an Acura at about 4:30 a.m. Monday. They chased the vehicle, which crashed into a pole at Union and Orchard Park roads.
When officers approached the vehicle, the 19-year-old driver tried to jump out the window but didn’t get far with a broken leg suffered in the crash, West Seneca police said.
“Why didn’t you pull over?” asked one officer.
“Because the car is stolen,” the young man said, according two officers.
The two white Acuras had caught the attention of West Seneca police when they were observed driving erratically on Belgia Place off Indian Church Road, Detective Capt. Patrick A. Shea said.
“Officers tried to pull over the first vehicle when the second Acura bolted around him and sped away,” Shea said.
Marcos Rios-Garcia, 19, of Carolina Street, was taken to Erie County Medical Center, Shea said.
He was charged with felony possession of a stolen vehicle, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of stolen property, fleeing a police officer and 14 state Vehicle and Traffic infractions.
Officer James J. Gehan suffered a cut to the arm when he stopped the man from fleeing through the window.
Gramaglia confirmed the incident that occurred in West Seneca involved one of the cars taken from the Buffalo waterfront.
“We were sent to the home and are working with the homeowners,” Gramaglia said. “We are actively investigating it and are definitely making progress.”
The break-ins happened over a couple of days,” Gramaglia said.
“All three involved unlocked cars,” he said. “Two of the cars contained garage door openers.”
Police believed thieves used the garage openers to gain access to the garages. In two cases, bicycles were taken. In those cases, each of the doors leading into the house from the garage were locked. Neighbors believe the losses would be greater if the doors were left unlocked, as they said happened with their sleeping neighbors.