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Police Blotter for the week of April 26, 2012

Sex offender charged in Brant with DWI

A sex offender wanted in the state of South Carolina for failing to register there was arrested by the Town of Brant Police Department after he was clocked traveling 89 mph in a 55 mph zone on Tuesday, April 24. Officer John Lopez stopped Gary Gilbert, 30, of West Seneca after a short pursuit. When he approached Gilbert, he observed he had slurred speech, an odor of an alcoholic beverage and glassy eyes. Police said Gilbert was uncooperative and gave the officer a false name.

Gilbert was arrested for DWI after he refused to consent to a Breathalyzer test and had been convicted three times prior for driving while impaired. He was also charged with several other vehicle and traffic charges as well as false impersonation.

After checking with the state of South Carolina, Gilbert was found to be a wanted sex offender and Brant Police are in the process of extraditing him to South Carolina for failing to register as a sex offender and leaving the state without permission.

Gilbert appeared before The Hon. Peter Gugino of the Town of Brant and remanded to the Erie County Holding Center awaiting further action by courts in both states. Because Gilbert was belligerent and uncooperative, several officers were called to assist with the arrest.

More purse snatching incidents at Walmart

Town of Hamburg Police are continuing to investigate after a pair of purses were removed from shopping carts at Walmart on Southwestern Boulevard last Wednesday, April 18.

The first incident happened around 4:40 p.m. when a victim said she was in the outdoor living area and heard her name announced over the public address system and asked to go to the customer service desk. When she arrived, they had her purse and officers Michael Prusak and Jason Nappo, who responded to the incident, reported that the victim said $80 was missing, but that the rest of the contents were still intact.

A witness told police that he observed a white female, about 5-feet 8-inches tall, 130 lbs with brown hair, blue jeans and possibly a blue top, approximately 30 to 35 years old, standing near a brick wall to the right of the center entrance. He said as she walked away, he noticed a purse on top of the ledge, so he grabbed it, tried to catch up to her in the center entrance to return to her, thinking it was her purse. He could not find her so he turned the purse into customer service, who then found identification and made the announcement over the public address system.

While patrol was at the store, they discovered that a second purse/cash larceny had occurred.

At around 5:10 p.m., a second victim said that an unknown person reported she was near cake mixes and stepped away from her cart. When she came back, her purse was gone. She then went to the customer service desk to report the incident.

A short time later, the purse was found by a store employee outside sitting on a white Jeep Cherokee. According to the witness, the only thing missing was $35 in cash.

Town of Hamburg Police are advising shoppers to be aware of their surroundings and valuables left in carts and to call police immediately if they lose any property.

Hamburg woman does not pay her taxi fare

A cab driver reported to the Town of Hamburg Police that after he gave a cab ride to Michelle Young, 39, of Hamburg on April 14 from her Lynn Drive home to a South Buffalo location, she was unable to pay the $20 fare that was due.

The driver kept her driver’s license and New York State Benefit Card and told her he would return it to her when she came in and paid the fare. By April 21, Young had not come in to pay the amount owed and the driver signed for a theft of services charge and a warrant was put out for Young.

Officer Chandra Walsh assisted Officer Michael Prusak in taking Young into custody around 9 p.m. on April 21.

She was arraigned before Town of Hamburg Judge Gerald Gorman, who set bail at $500 and she was then transported to the Erie County Holding Center.

Theft reported at McKinley Mall Sears

A 28-year-old Hamburg woman is facing a petit larceny charge after she was observed by a loss prevention officer at Sears Department Store at McKinley Mall exit the store without paying for a dress and infant’s clothing.

Town of Hamburg Police Officer Joshua Eagan responded to the call and charged Joy E. Said with petit larceny.

Graffiti found at school

A custodian at St. Mary’s of the Lake School on Lake Shore Road reported that sometime between noon on April 21 and midnight on April 22, an unknown person or persons spray painted the boiler room entrance door and concrete entrance on the northwest side of the building. A crown was painted with the name Noah in green and orange with other designs on the concrete.

Village of Hamburg PD report graffiti found

Village of Hamburg Police are trying to determine who is responsible for spray painting graffiti on businesses along Main Street, South Buffalo Street and Long Avenue.

The first reported incidents happened on April 13 and 14. Two additional incidents were reported on April 15 and one on April 21.

“We’re still looking,” said Village of Hamburg Captain Michael Melisz.

At this time, there is no estimate of damage and Melisz said it appears it was done by the same person or persons because the same logo was spray painted at the various locations.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Village of Hamburg Police Department at 649-9300.

Thirsty thief does not get away from police

Christopher Taylor, 41, of Buffalo was arrested by Village of Hamburg Police after they said he attempted to walk out of Tops Markets on South Park Avenue with 10, 30-packs of beer and dog food valued at $300. Taylor was arraigned by Village Justice Andrew Flemming, who set bail at $250 cash or $1,000 bond. Taylor was then transported to the Erie County Holding Center.

Backboard smashed with a rock

Village of Hamburg Police are continuing to investigate to try and determine who is responsible for smashing a backboard with a rock on April 1 at the playground at Prospect Street and Highland Avenue. Estimated cost of the damage is $200.

Garage fire occurs on Pleasant Avenue

The Hamburg Fire Department responded and extinguished a garage fire that was spotted around 2:40 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11 to the rear portion of a property at a home on Pleasant Avenue.

Police said the Erie County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene to try and investigate the cause of the fire, which caused an undetermined amount of damage.

Dunkirk woman charged with DWI in Hamburg

A 58-year-old Dunkirk woman is facing driving while intoxicated charges in the Village of Hamburg after Officer Bill Travis initially spotted her vehicle disabled on Lake Street around 8 p.m.

May Wronski was asked to perform several field sobriety tests, which Village of Hamburg Captain Michael Melisz said she either “performed poorly or failed.”

According to Melisz, she recorded a .21 blood alcohol content while taking a Data Master test.

Wronski was charged with driving while intoxicated, felony driving while intoxicated (for having a prior conviction within the last 10 years as she was convicted in 2003) and aggravated driving while intoxicated (for having a blood alcohol content of .18 or higher).

Drug related charges in Evans

While Town of Evans Police Officers Gregory Szarowicz and Jeffrey Mayer were checking the area for a robbery suspect shortly before 11 p.m. on Sunday (April 22), a witness observed a vehicle believed to be involved with suspicious activity in the area.

Police were able to locate the vehicle and talked to the driver, 24-year-old Steven Vail of Angola. While officers were talking to Vail, they located a prescription pill bottle on the drivers seat near the folding center console in plain view.

The bottle contained 39 Xanax pills and 2 1/2 Lortab pills. The Xanax was prescribed to someone else, according to police.

Vail was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Robbery suspect caught

A property owner on Erie Road reported that a white male, approximately 17 to 24 years old, came in and robbed the establishment.

The witness said the suspect did display a knife. The suspect fled eastbound on Route 5 towards the direction of the town hall.

Patrolman Gregory Szarowicz reported that a black pickup was seen in the area by a listed witness, but police were unable to locate a suspect.

On Tuesday, April 24, Town of Evans Police charged Steven Vail, 24, of Angola, with first degree robbery and petit larceny. He appeared before Town Justice Dennis Glascott, who set bail at $10,000 cash or $15,000 bond.

Akron fan faces numerous charges in Evans

A 43-year-old Akron man is facing several charges after Town of Evans Patrolman Joseph LaRosa and Jeffrey Mayer initially observed him changing lanes from the left passing lane to the left without signaling on Lake Shore Road near Lake Street at 2:36 a.m. on Sunday, April 22.

Police said Anthony J. Ford drove to the left of the double yellow line (no passing) lanes.

After officers stopped Ford, when they approached the vehicle, they observed two partially full and open bottles of beer in cup holders. The offender performed and failed several field sobriety tests.

While taking a breath screening test, police said Ford had a blood alcohol content of .20 percent.

As police were doing a computer check, it showed that Ford was convicted of driving while intoxicated in the Town of Pembroke on Dec. 7, 2006.

Ford then submitted to a Data Master test, and that showed a blood alcohol content of .19 percent.

Ford was then charged with illegal signal from a parked position, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or 1 percent or more with a prior conviction within the last 10 years, driving while intoxicated with a previous conviction within the last 10 years, aggravated driving while intoxicated for driving with a blood alcohol content of .18 or higher, driving to the left of pavement markings, operating a motor vehicle without an inspection certificate and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on the highway.

Vehicle fire extinguished on Southwestern Blvd.

At around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, the Town of Evans Police Department responded to a call of a vehicle on fire on Southwestern Boulevard.

When officers arrived, the victim told police he lost power and pulled over to the side of the road. When he opened the hood, he observed smoke coming from the right side of the engine compartment.

Upon the arrival of police, the vehicle was engulfed in flames. The fire was extinguished by Evans Center Fire Department and the North Evans Fire Department.

Two DWI incidents in the Town of Evans

• A 31-year-old Evans man is facing multiple charges, including driving while intoxicated, after Town of Evans Lieutenant Michael Masullo and Patrolman Joseph LaRosa initially observed the vehicle traveling 43 mph in a 30 mph zone just after 5 p.m. on April 17.

Officers observed the vehicle cross over the white fog line on two occasions and said there was no object in the road that would cause the movement. The vehicle did not signal on either occasion.

Officers then stopped Jason J. Jurain on Lake Shore Road and when they approached him, they observed he had slurred speech and poor motor coordination.

When asked if had been drinking or on any medication that would impair his ability to drive, he answered “no sir” to both questions.

Jurain was asked to perform field sobriety tests and failed them. He was given an Alco Sensor test and recorded a .14 blood alcohol content.

He was charged with illegal signal of less than 100 feet, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or 1 percent with a prior conviction in the last 10 years, driving while intoxicated with a previous conviction in the last 10 years, moving from lane unsafely and speeding.

• Daniel Patton, 36, of Hamburg, was charged with driving while intoxicated and other offenses after Patrolmen Patrick Atler and Joseph LaRosa observed him traveling east on Erie Road at 3:33 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, when he tossed a cigarette butt out of the window. He the crossed the fog line twice and then lane dividing lines twice, when officers stopped him.

Patton admitted to having four drinks and police said he had red glassy eyes, slurred speech and an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from him. He took and failed several field sobriety tests and refused to take a Data Master test. Patton was additionally charged with failure to keep right in four or more lanes, refusal to take a breathalyzer test and throwing or depositing refuse on the highway.
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