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The (not-so-funny) Week in Crime

By Mike Hudson

Break-ins plague city

A rash of burglaries reported around the city was typified by one that occurred on Cudaback Avenue, police said. As was the case in four other burglaries, the front door of a residence was simply kicked in while the resident was away.

In all the cases, the burglaries occurred during the day, with the Cudaback Avenue break in taking place sometime between noon and 4:47 p.m.

The thieves absconded with three television sets and four gaming systems with a total value of $2,400, police said. Electronic devices seemed to the favorite targets in the other reported burglaries, although other items were taken as well.

Police have no suspects in any of the break-ins, and it seems unlikely at this point that any of the victims will see their property again.


Senseless shooting here

Police responded to the 1500 block of Whitney Avenue shortly after 9 p.m. one night last week after receiving a report of a man shot.

On arriving at the scene, officers found the victim, a black male, lying face down on the sidewalk with a single, small caliber gunshot wound in his lower back.

The victim told cops he was walking east when an unidentified suspect ran up on his and shot him once. The victim then turned and ran west until he fell where officers found him.

He was unable to provide a description of his assailant, or say what type of gun had been used in the shooting. He was transported by Rural Metro Ambulance to Erie County Medical Center for treatment, police said.

The mean streets of Niagara Falls get meaner every day.


Robbed at casino

A mix up at the front desk at the Seneca Niagara Hotel and Casino resulted in a substantial loss for some tourists who came to town looking for some fun.

Police said the victims checked in at around 8 p.m., dropped their luggage and other things off in their room and went back down to the casino floor to do some gambling.

When they returned to their room, 1428, around an hour later, they discovered all their things missing.

A check by hotel security showed that the front desk had mistakenly assigned the room to more than one customer, so there were at least two sets of keys floating around.

Bags containing clothing, car keys, a Kindle reader, medication and gift and credit cards were taken, police said.


Another senseless shooting

A business at 29th Street and Pine Avenue was targeted by a lone gunman last week for reasons that remain unclear.

Numerous witnesses told police they saw a black male, wearing a black hat and a blue bandanna over his face come out of a nearby building, pull out a small handgun, lean over the hood of a parked pickup truck and fire four shots into the glass door of the business.

No one was injured, police said.

Witnesses told police that the suspect then walked to a black Nissan Maxima, got in and sped away north on 29th Street.

There was a time when you could walk down Pine Avenue on any given weekday at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and not have to worry about catching a stray bullet.

Those days are long gone, apparently.


Falls man stabbed

A man walking alone in the 600 block of Ferry Avenue at around 2:46 p.m. one afternoon last week was set upon by two black males. One of the suspects had a knife and stabbed the victim in the throat and shoulder. He was also beaten.

He walked to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, where he was treated for his wounds and met with police.


Auto burglary reported

Ladies, when you park your car in Niagara Falls, anywhere in Niagara Falls, don't leave your purse in plain view on one of the seats even if you're crafty enough to make sure the doors are locked.

Because someone will steal it.

Last week, a Lewiston woman had an appointment at her chiropractor's office, located in the 10100 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard. She left her purse on the back seat of her car and, when she came out of the doctor's office shortly before 4 p.m., was horrified to discover that someone had smashed out one of the car's back windows and made off with the purse.

The purse and its' contents were valued at $421. Damage to her vehicle added a bit to the tab.


Another casino incident

City police were called to the Seneca Niagara Casino last week for a report of an unruly customer. On arrival, officers found casino security with one Darryl Pickney II in custody.

Security officers told the cops they'd found Pickney in one of the valet parking booths and that he'd run away when they confronted him. He didn't get far before he was caught, however.

Pickney told officers he was cold and had gone into the booth to get warm.

Police said Pickney was in possession of an 18-pack of Miller Light beer and they asked him how he'd gotten it, seeing as how he was only 20 years old.

He got very nervous and was unable to explain how he'd obtained the beer, so one of the officers walked across Niagara Street to the 7-11 there and asked whether anything unusual had happened earlier in the evening.

Store employees said yes, a young black male had shoplifted an 18-pack of Miller Lite. Pickney was brought to the store and identified as the culprit. He was then transported to the Public Safety Building on North Main Street and booked on a shoplifting charge.


Drive By Shooting

Lastly, there was a drive by shooting at a house in LaSalle last weekend. The house was only 200 yards from Niagara Falls Blvd. It is not known if the shooters were black or white but it is said by someone close to the scene that they used shotguns and covered the outside of the house.

Another week in Niagara Falls crime, ladies and gentlemen. Shootings, a stabbing, multiple burglaries, robbery and more in a town of fewer than 50,000 residents.

We here at the Niagara Falls Reporter are keeping an eye on it, even as the denizens of City Hall want you to look the other way.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Jan 21, 2014