Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 27, 2014

CRIME: City police probing latest break-in at old nursing home

Niagara Gazette — Falls police say they are investigating yet another burglary in the former St. Mary's Manor Nursing Home on Sixth Street. 

Officers were called to the abandoned property early Friday morning after a passer-by reported a large stack of radiators by the building.

"Someone broke in, we found an open door," said Falls Police Superintendent Bryan DalPorto, who responded to the call with patrol officers. "It appears that they cut a number of radiators out and then threw them down (to the ground) from an upper window."

It's not the first time cops have been called to the six-story, brick building in the 500 block of Sixth Street. The structure has become a haven for burglars looking to strip it of all its metal fixtures, piping and wiring.

John Caso, the city's deputy director of the department of public works, believes whoever was tossing the radiators out of the building was engaging in illegal scrapping.

"Somebody was trying to put some money in their pocket," Caso said.

The building is in a badly deteriorated state. Police said it is riddled with holes in its floors on all levels and even an open elevator shaft. 

"It's really not safe for us to even send officers in there to search," DalPorto said. 

When police responded to a report of burglars in the building in December 2011, they called for assistance from the Niagara County Sheriff's Office K-9 Units in searching the structure.

During the search, Rocky, a 2-1/2-year-old German Shepherd working with Deputy Craig Beiter, went onto the roof of the building looking for suspects. Rocky, who was not on a leash, went onto and then left the roof, twice, before returning a third time. 

On the last trip up, Rocky leapt over a three-foot high retaining wall on the roof and fell 60 feet into the parking lot below. He died at the scene.

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