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Two charged with stealing equipment during 'Nightmare Alley' filming

While many people in Buffalo last week kept their eyes peeled for Bradley Cooper, at least two people were watching Hollywood's arrival with more nefarious purposes, according to police.

Two men have been charged with stealing generators that belonged to crews in town for the production of Guillermo del Toro's film "Nightmare Alley."

And it didn't take long for the alleged thieves to strike, according to Buffalo police reports and court documents.

Just before 4:30 a.m. Feb. 25, the first day the crew was in town for filming, two electric generators were stolen from Statler City on Delaware Avenue, according to a police report. The work of film crews, who spent four days in the area, included shooting scenes at City Hall and in Niagara Square, adjacent to Statler City.

Christopher Martinez, 30, and Wilberto Negron, 39, each face three felony charges, according to court records. Martinez, of Porter Avenue, was arrested just before 6 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Niagara and Virginia streets, according to a police report. Police arrested Negron, of Genesee Street, at about 8 p.m. Tuesday a couple blocks away, in the basement of a home on Niagara near Carolina Street, according to the report.

Each was charged with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree burglary and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Both men pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in Buffalo City Court. Martinez was released on his own recognizance, while Negron was being held at the Erie County Holding Center because of a detainer out of Niagara County, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

Both men also were charged in connection with a theft on Michigan Avenue on Nov. 11, according to court documents. They are charged with stealing a furnace, circular saw and cordless drill from a property on Michigan near Sycamore Street. They pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree burglary and fourth-degree grand larceny.

The cases were investigated by Detective Sgt. Chris Mordino, Detectives Jasmine Olmstead and John Losi, as well as Officer Michael Maritato.

Martinez and Negron are due back in city court for both cases on Monday.

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