Weekly Feature

2011-12-08 / Police Blotter

Churches targeted for gas, money scams last week

Monday, Nov. 28

A man’s 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass was allegedly stolen from its spot on Duerstein Street. The parked vehicle was said to be locked prior to the incident.

On French Lea Road, a man’s GPS device and laptop computer were removed from his vehicle. Each item was said to have a value of at least $200.

A man left the key to his Dodge Grand Caravan on the driver’s seat after dropping it off at Monroe Muffler on Ridge Road. The vehicle was unattended and unlocked. When the man called to check on the status of the vehicle, an employee said that they could not locate the key, which would cost about $185 to replace.

The passenger side window to a woman’s vehicle was found smashed and the vehicle had been ransacked while parked in the YMCA lot on Southwestern Boulevard. Nothing was said to be missing at that time. Estimated damage was valued at $250.

Total calls received: 62

Tuesday, Nov. 29

Patrol observed a man wearing a yellow shirt run through the Home Depot parking lot on Ridge Road. He appeared nervous and continuously looked back at the store while heading toward the Seneca Square Plaza. The man removed his yellow shirt and revealed a black one underneath. Then, dispatch put a call out of an attempted larceny that just occurred at the store. Patrol stopped and confronted the man, who was identified as the suspect from that larceny report as well as two other scams at Home Depot stores in Hamburg and Dunkirk. The man allegedly attempted to pay for an item using a counterfeit $100 bill.

Patrol responded to Center Road where a man was allegedly assaulted by another. The victim admitted that he was in the area to illegally sell prescription drugs; when the suspect asked about the $300 charge for the pills, he put a pocket knife to the victim’s neck. The victim escaped the vehicle and was chased by the suspect down Florence Avenue. Officers responded to the suspect’s home where they had to force entry; one officer drew his taser but did not fully activate the device. The suspect was eventually handcuffed and taken into custody. His mother, who was in the house at the time of the incident, relinquished the suspect knife from her son’s bedroom.

A refrigerator, stove and three DirecTV receivers were taken from a Leydecker Road apartment. The victim was in the process of moving and realized the items were missing when she came back one week later to retrieve them. She found the rear door of that apartment had been kicked in.

A female resident applied for credit online earlier in the month. Since then, she’s noticed several unauthorized withdrawals from her bank account. She is also receiving calls from an alleged officer with the New York State Attorney General’s Office. The caller threatens to arrest the woman if she doesn’t “handle the matter immediately over the phone.”

Patrol made several arrests after investigating three reports of criminal mischief at area churches. A group of suspicious males was observed going door to door asking for gas, or money to pay for gas, to get back to Jamestown. Patrol located two of the individuals on Main Street, who gave conflicting stories and were arrested. Additionally, their truck had two front bald tires and a fictitious vehicle inspection sticker. A bag that contained two cans of Enfamil and a Logitec camera were found inside the vehicle. Further investigation revealed that those items were reported missing from the Baptist Church School building on Center Road, where two other suspects were said to be involved. One of the men arrested was in possession of a stolen cellphone. The owner had reported it missing from her vehicle the next day.

Total calls received: 59

Wednesday, Nov. 30

Patrol was notified of an erratic driver traveling on Langner Road onto Ridge Road. Upon stopping the vehicle, patrol observed two saws and four catalytic converters partially concealed in the rear of the suspect’s vehicle. Further investigation revealed that the converters had been illegally taken from the lot of an Orchard Park business.

The driver side door on a woman’s vehicle had been pried open sometime overnight. The woman realized the damage to the vehicle, which belongs to her mother, when she awoke the next morning.

The interior controls for both the wiper blades and turn signals were found damaged in a vehicle that was parked and left unlocked on Edson Street.

Both the exterior and interior of a man’s vehicle were found damaged while parked overnight on Fields Avenue. This included a broken turn-signal control.

A woman attempted to steal two flat-screen TVs, one video game and three cans of baby formula from Kmart on Orchard Park Road. The suspect was under surveillance by store security when she attempted to run out of the store while pushing a cart that contained the said items. She was arrested in the store’s parking lot. The items had a total estimated value of $900.

A female resident reportedly received at least 15 harassing phone calls from an unknown caller in a matter of a couple of days. The caller would only breathe into the phone when the woman answered without saying anything. The most recent call went to voicemail; the caller left a message that stated, “You better watch your back, girl.” Police believe that it is a male attempting to disguise his voice as a female’s.

A UVC car stereo was allegedly stolen from a man’s vehicle on Duerstein Street.

Total calls received: 75

Friday, Dec. 2

A woman’s gold change purse was allegedly removed from her grocery cart while shopping at Tops on Harlem Road. She told police that two females approached her in the dog food aisle and engaged in seemingly purposeless conversation. She believes it was at that time that her change purse, which contained roughly $30, was stolen.

Patrol stopped a fleeing suspect from Market in the Square in the Southgate Plaza, who attempted to steal $12 worth of goods.

Total calls received: 46

Saturday, Dec. 3

A Davis Drive resident reported that her prescription medication was removed from her purse. The purse was left in her vehicle, which was unlocked.

Total calls received: 67

Sunday, Dec. 4

A landscape light valued at roughly $80 was allegedly stolen from a West Willowdale Drive residence.

Total calls received: 58

(Editor’s note: The Bee’s police blotter is a sampling of unusual, sometimes humorous calls received by the police department. It is not intended to be a complete record of all incidents reported. Residents can report incidents to the West Seneca Police Department by calling its anonymous tip line at 675-8423.)

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