Repairman for Buffalo business accused of stealing
An East Canal Road woman had $7,000 worth of jewelry stolen from her last month, but she didn’t even know about the theft until she received a recent phone call from Amherst police.
According to the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, the victim on March 15 had a message on her answering machine asking her to contact Amherst Police Detective Herb Leising.
When she called the detective, he asked her if she had recently had work done inside of her residence by Zenner and Ritter Home Services.
The victim said she did have an employee from Zenner and Ritter inside her residence on Feb. 20 to repair an electrical circuit breaker from a generator that they had installed.
She was then was advised by Leising to check for any missing jewelry or china because the employee that was inside her residence was caught stealing from a home in Amherst while on a service call.
The victim discovered that she was missing a Swarovski crystal necklace valued at $1,000; a 7 carat gold ring valued at $5,000 that her husband gave her and a sapphire ring worth $1,000.
Leising told a sheriff’s deputy that Richard A. Donovan Jr. was caught stealing china from a china cabinet during the Amherst service call. The detective added he is in the process of tracking all the service calls that Donovan was on while working for Buffalo-based Zenner and Ritter.
Leising added that he spoke to the owner of a pawn shop in Erie County and learned that Donovan did pawn jewelry on the day that he did services at the East Canal Road residence.
Leising was able to recover some of the jewelry that Donovan pawned and that he was going to have the victim come in and see if any of the jewelry belonged to her.
The Niagara County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Bureau is planning its own investigation.
• ARREST: A reported homeless man was arrested after causing a disturbance at a local homeless shelter at 9:40 p.m. Friday in the 1500 block of Buffalo Avenue. James Hayes, 41, of no known permanent address, was charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice after he was allegedly intoxicated and yelling and cursing at employees and other clients at the shelter. After several minutes of aggressive behavior, he was reportedly taken into custody. Once at the station, he allegedly became combative during the booking process and attempted to fight police officers. He was reportedly subjected to a Taser and taken to the hospital for injuries. But he reportedly refused treatment and was again transported back to the police station.
• ARREST: A Falls woman was arrested following a shoplifting incident at 4:28 a.m. Saturday from a store in the 7200 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard. Nicole Franquie, 42, 421 20th Street, was charged with petit larceny after a store employee told police she took $51.18 of unspecified merchandise from store shelves and tried to conceal it in her jacket and leave without paying. When confronted by police, she reportedly told officers she didn’t know why she attempted to take the merchandise.
Town of Niagara
• THEFT: Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Fashion Outlet of Niagara Falls Saturday night for the theft of a purse. A Canadian woman said the purse was sitting on a table in the food court about 6:30 p.m. when it was taken. It contained $20 and her driver’s license and passport. A deputy issued the woman a form as proof her driver’s license had been taken.
• RECOVERED PROPERTY: Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a Lake Street home Friday by a woman who said she found a pistol while going through her deceased parents’ belongings. A deputy examined the pistol and could not identify it but deemed it to be unserviceable and nonfunctioning. The gun was taken by the deputy who informed the woman she could retrieve it when she obtained a pistol permit.
• THEFT: Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a Culpepper Drive resident suspected in the theft of two 18-packs of Budweiser beer from a store on the corner of Ward Road and Niagara Falls Boulevard about 1:15 a.m. Sunday. A store clerk said a man came into the store, grabbed the two 18-packs and left without paying for them. The clerk was able to get the license plate of the vehicle the suspect left in and deputies tracked the car to the suspect’s father who reported his son was spending the night with a friend. Deputies eventually found the car parked on Trails End but the suspect, his friend and two girls had fled on foot. A search of the area came up empty. The suspect’s car was towed by police.
Town of Lockport
• DWI: Gary S. Diel, 4540 Van Dusen Road, was charged with DWI and driving at a speed not reasonable and prudent late Thursday. Diel’s vehicle collided with a tree in the 6200 block of Old Niagara Road about 11:15 p.m., according to the sheriff’s report. Diel was sent to Eastern Niagara Hospital, Newfane, for treatment of cuts on his face and neck. At the hospital, the deputy determined Diel showed signs of alcohol intoxication and levied the charges.
• CONTRABAND: Pierce L. Abrams, 22, last address Printup Road, Sanborn, was charged with second-degree promoting prison contraband Friday at Niagara County Jail. Abrams, a new inmate, was being processed and a pouch was taken from him that contained cigarette tobacco mixed with an unknown green leafy substance, the arrest report said.
• CONTRABAND: Tierra D. Bradberry, 24, 1013 Fairfield Ave., Niagara Falls, was charged with second-degree promoting prison contraband and endangering the welfare of a child Friday at Niagara County Jail. Bradberry, a visitor, was seen taking an uninflated balloon from the pocket of a 4-year-old girl in her company. The balloon held cigarette tobacco, the arrest report said.