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UB student robbed while walking near home

A University at Buffalo student was robbed at gunpoint by two teens late Thursday as she was walking near her home in University Heights, according to a Buffalo police report.

The student told police she was walking east on Northrup Place, between Main Street and Winspear Avenue, at 10:40 p.m. when she was approached by two young men, both wearing hooded sweat shirts and one armed with a handgun.

One robber put the gun into her chest and demanded money and her cell phone. The victim handed over her debit card, and the robbers fled west on Northrup Place.


Hamburg man accused of impersonating officer

A Hamburg man is facing charges that he robbed a Buffalo resident late Thursday after telling the victim he is an undercover law enforcement agent, according to a police report.

Buffalo police say the robber approached the victim's sport utility vehicle in the area of Lyman and Howard streets at 8 p.m. The suspect told the victim he was an FBI agent and an undercover police officer and asked him to get out of his SUV.

The robber then grabbed the victim by the neck, pulled him out of the vehicle and began searching him.

The robber took $50 out of the victim's pocket, kept $30 and gave back the other $20.

The suspect, Joseph S. Chowaniec, 37, of McKinley Parkway, was arrested about 10 minutes later nearby on Lewis Street. He is charged with robbery and criminal impersonation of a police officer.


Meals on Wheels volunteer is victim of carjacking

A 67-year-old Meals on Wheels volunteer was carjacked late Thursday morning as she was delivering food to an East Side residence and Buffalo police have made two arrests in the case.

The victim was delivering meals for the nonprofit agency at 11:20 a.m. to a home on St. Louis Avenue. She was outside her car closing the car door when the suspect approached her and demanded she give him the vehicle.

The suspect then got into the car, which had meals and the victim's purse in it, and drove south on St. Louis and east on Walden Avenue. Officer Tara Wells-O'Neill later spotted the stolen vehicle, a Chevy Impala sedan, parked at Walden and Wood avenues.

Officer Melissa Brinson then noticed a teen who matched the description of the carjacker, Demetrius E. Hammond, 17, of Floss Avenue, standing near the vehicle.

He was arrested and charged with robbery, grand larceny, possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance, because Officer Dell Storey said he found crack cocaine on the suspect during a search.

A second suspect, Kabir M. Dunston, 16, of St. Louis Avenue, is charged with possession of stolen property after police say he admitted participating in the carjacking.


Second suspect arrested in East Side home invasion

Buffalo police Thursday made a second arrest in a violent home invasion that took place last July on the East Side.

Kashika Speed, 34, of Hempstead Avenue, was arrested on a charge of first-degree robbery. Another suspect, Jeffrey Early, was arrested earlier.

Ferry-Fillmore District officers say two men forced a woman and her two children at gunpoint into their Peace Street home on the evening of July 17.

Once inside the home, the robbers forced the children to sit on the floor while they ransacked the upstairs. They also threatened to kill the children if their mother didn't give them money.

The robbers left with various pieces of jewelry.

The case was investigated by Officers Thomas Moran and Ronald Clark.


City, Hamburg police join in cocaine arrest

Buffalo and Hamburg police Thursday made another arrest in their ongoing investigation into illegal drug trafficking in South Buffalo.

Investigators found a half kilo of cocaine, with an estimated street value of more than $50,000, after executing a search warrant at a Hamburg residence Thursday afternoon, according to Buffalo police.

Buffalo narcotics detectives worked with investigators from the New York State Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force to build the case against suspect Bobby Rivera.

Rivera, 35, of Southwestern Boulevard in Hamburg, was charged Thursday with first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and related counts. He is being held without bail at the Erie County Holding Center.

The arrest is the latest to come out of the six-month "Operation Triple Play" probe. Buffalo officers who participated in the arrest were led by Narcotics Lt. Thomas Lyon and Sgt. Thomas Vivian, along with Hamburg officers under the command of Lt. Kevin Trask.

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