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February 4, 2014 - 8:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Logan R. Evans, 22, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unlawful possession of marijuana and moved from lane unsafely. Evans was arrested following an investigation by officers Stephen Cronmiller and Matthew Lutey into an accident at 1:06 a.m. Saturday in the area of 23 Jackson St., Batavia.

Jacob S. Martino, 29, of Drake Street, Oakfield, was arrested on a warrant for alleged parking on city streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Martino turned himself in on the warrant. He posted bail and was released.

Amanda Marie Bowles, 28, of Williams Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant. Bowles was arrested by Batavia PD and turned over to the Sheriff's Office. Bowles was jailed on $100,000 bail.

January 29, 2014 - 7:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, Oakfield, Pavilion, weather, Alabama.

Oakfield-Alabama schools are closed this morning, due to weather.

Pavilion school is closed, due to plumbing issues.

Pavilion students scheduled to take a regents exam at Pavilion High School are to report to the elementary building at their scheduled test time.

The National Weather Service has a wind chill advisory in effect until 10 a.m. with wind chills expected to be 15 to 25 degrees below zero.

January 24, 2014 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, accidents.

A car accident with injuries is reported in the area of 6673 Albion Road in Oakfield. A patient is said to be feeling dizzy and light-headed. Mercy medics are responding.

January 24, 2014 - 1:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Oakfield.

A one-car rollover accident is reported at 3319 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road. There are injuries. The vehicle is down a small embankment and on its roof and the victims are outside now. Oakfield Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. The location is halfway between Route 63 and South Pearl Road.

UPDATE 1:59 p.m.: The Oakfield assignment is back in service. The patients were sign-offs.

January 20, 2014 - 1:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, Oakfield, byron, Darien, Le Roy, Alabama, corfu, bergen.

James Mitchell, 35, of Le Roy, is charged with petit larceny. Mitchell was arrested following a months-long investigation by the Livingston County Sheriff's Office into reports of stolen co-payments at a doctor's office where Mitchell worked in Avon. The investigation took time, according to LCSO, because of lengthy billing cycles and victims coming forward. Mitchell was allegedly stealing co-pays as patients checked out at their physician's office. The investigation was conducted by Deputy Dan Rittenhouse, Deputy Ross Gerace, Deputy Steph Schroeder and Deputy Mike Yencer.

Kelly M. Zwolinski, 34, of Broadway Road, Darien, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, and resisting arrest. Zwolinski was identified as a suspect in possession of a stolen horse saddle that was taken from a farm in Niagara County and an arrest warrant was issued. When Deputy Kevin McCarthy and Investigator William Ferrando attempted to place Zwolinski under arrest, she allegedly resisted arrest.

Darlene Ann Kingdollar, 51, of South Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with petit larceny. Kingdollar is accused of entering the 7-Eleven store in Oakfield while intoxicated and after she was denied the purchase of alcohol, she allegedly left the store with a can of beer without paying for it.

Bruce J. Brade, 33, of Galloway Road, Batavia, is charged with stalking, 4th, and criminal contempt, 2nd. Brade allegedly violated an order of protection.

Mark J. Price, 37, Township Road, Ashland, Ohio, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear for an alleged traffic violation in Batavia City Court. Price was aprehended during a traffic stop in the Village of Attica. Price was issued an appearance ticket.

Jeffrey A. Pionessa, 32, of Glenwood Drive, Attica, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding in zone. Pionessa was stopped at 2:30 a.m. Sunday on Law Street, Batavia, by Officer Arick Perkins. Pionessa allegedly had a BAC of .11.

A 17-year-old resident of Trumbull Parkway, Batavia is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. The youth is accused of damaging the mobile phone charger of another person by throwing it against a wall and grabbing the arm of the alleged victim and pushing the person's face.

John K. Rolls, 34, of Mill Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of forcible touching. Rolls is accused of forcibly touching a 17-year-old girl on Jan. 7. Rolls is incarcerated in the Genesee county Jail on an unrelated matter and was issued an appearance ticket.

Brad Strzelecki, 19, of Hunter Street, Bergen, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Strzelecki was reported at a location on Bank Street at 10:01 a.m. Jan. 13 when he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana by Officer Eric Foels.

Rodeny Lowell McKenzie, 49, of Weaver Street, Buffalo, is charged with petit larceny. McKenzie was located by Transit Police in Buffalo during a check-the-welfare interview and identified as a warrant suspect for allegedly stealing items from Kmart on Dec. 12.

Bryant William Hardtner, 28, of State Street Road, Batavia, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Hardtner is accused of taking a vehicle Sunday without the owner's consent.

Kimberly Diane Ribbeck, 27, of Genesee Street, Corfu, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving a vehicle with obstructed vision and no or inadequate plate light. Ribbeck was stopped at 2:33 a.m. Sunday on Route 77, Pembroke, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Michael Gerald Pernicano, 21, of Lake Road, Holley, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to signal and no plate light. Pernicano was stopped at 2:29 a.m. Saturday on North Byron Road, Byron, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Lena Marie Evans, 26, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic instrument. Evans was arrested for allegedly shoplifting at Kmart by Deputy Andrew Hale.

Carey Anthony Bedell III, 18, of Lehigh Avenue, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bedell was arrested on Clinton Street Road, Byron, at 9:43 p.m. Friday.

Matthew R. Smith, 21, of Basom, is charged with forcible touching. Smith was arrested by State Police for an alleged incident reported at noon Thursday.

Mark A. Allison, 52, of Lockport, is charged with felony DWI and felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Allison was arrested by State Police following the report at 9:29 p.m. Thursday of a two-car accident at 372 Bloomingdale Road, Basom. One person was injured. The driver of the other vehicle was Alexander Shirira, 56, of Buffalo. No other details released.

January 17, 2014 - 5:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield.
Dalton Long

Investigators believe they have found the man responsible a series of thefts from vehicles in the Village of Oakfield over the past 12 months with the arrest of Dalton A. Long, 18, from Caledonia.

Long was allegedly found in possession of numerous items reported stolen to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

The items recovered date back to the first reported theft in the series in January 2013.

Long is charged with grand larceny, 4th, criminal possession of stolen property, 4th, one count of identity theft, 2nd, one count of petit larceny and six counts of criminal possession of stolen property.

Following arraignment in Oakfield Town Court, Long was jailed on $15,000 bail.

The investigation was conducted by Deputy Brian Thompson with assistance from Deputy Bradley Mazure and Youth Officer Timothy Wescott.

The investigation is continuing  and additional charges are pending.

January 16, 2014 - 6:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield.

An accused thief left tracks in the snow in Oakfield today that helped local law enforcement connect him to a series of car break-ins on Coe Avenue, Main Street and Maple Avenue.

Deputy Chris Parker received the original complaint of items missing from a car in Oakfield and was able, with the assistance of Trooper Frank Valetta and Investigator Roger Stone, to follow the footprints to other vehicles that were discovered to also have items missing.

When investigators caught up with the suspect he allegedly had with him several GPS units, a radar detector and numerous power cords.

Some of the items belonged to victims who didn't even know yet that their belongings had been stolen.

Investigators believe all items that were stolen were recovered.

Charged with petit larceny was Jordan Ray Smart, 21, of Gibson Street, Oakfield.

Smart may face additional charges, including numerous charges of petit larceny.

Smart was issued an appearance ticket and released.

The ground this morning was covered with a thin, but fresh layer of snow, which aided Parker, Valetta and Stone in their investigation.

January 15, 2014 - 8:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in county legislature, Oakfield, Ray Cianfrini.

The Ray Cinanfrini era of the Genesee County Legislature has officially begun and the lifelong Oakfield resident certainly has some plans to try and make an impact.

In the top drawer of the desk in his county office Cianfrini keeps a sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece paper filled from top to bottom with ideas he would like to pursue.

Whether any of them are ever brought forward, pan out or receive the support of the other eight members of the county's legislative body, only time will tell.

"I think this job is going to be a challenge," Cianfrini said. "We have a group of legislators who are dedicated. We have some new members who are young and energetic. I'm excited, but I'm also a little scared. Whatever happens, I'm going to give it everything I've got to ensure the county is in as good of shape, if not better, than when I took over."

Cianfrini, who served seven years as the mayor in Oakfield before being elected to the Legislature in 2007, replaces Mary Pat Hancock, who held the chair for 13 years.

Hancock's former office has been cleared of its mementos, photos and paintings. The walls are now bare. Since taking over the job, Cianfrini said, he simply hasn't had time to deal with decorations.

"I used to say I was a full-time attorney and a part-time legislator," Cianfrini said. "I think the roles have been reversed right now."

The job will be daunting, no doubt, in a time when state government is more and more burdensome, infrastructure is aging and the county struggles to find ways to grow its economic base, there's nothing easy about leading a whole county.

Cianfrini is an unabashed booster of Genesee County, but he's also more than aware of the problems we face.

"I don't like the idea that we might lose industry," Cianfrini said. "I hope we're able to maintain the high level of active, large employers we have. Agriculture, of course is a big industry for us and we have the two new yogurt plants, so I'm hoping our dairies will be around for a long time. If anything scares me, I would hope crime does not seep into Genesee County. I know we have crime, but I hope we don't get the overflow of crime that seems more prevelent in the larger cities around us. And I worry about whether our children will have a place to find jobs locally."

That focus on jobs and industry is one reason Cianfrini appointed himself as the Legislature's representative on the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board.

While Cianfrini has gained a reputation as something of a GCEDC critic at a time when many local residents worried about seeming excesses in the agency, Cianfrini said his position about the IDA is often misunderstood.

"My criticism in the past has been focused on their operations, their internal operations, in particular their compensation for employees," Cianfrini said. "I've never criticized the GCEDC in their performance. I think they do a bang-up job. I think they're intelligent and hard-working people. I'm not in there with an agenda. I'm not there to impose on them any of my particular feelings. I'm there to learn more about the GCEDC. I'm there to help, if I can."

Top on Cianfrini's agenda is assisting the development of the STAMP (Science, Technology & Advanced Manufacturing Park) project in Alabama, which is part of his district.

"I'm a huge supporter of STAMP," Cianfrini said. "It's a transformational project that's going to be a tremendous economic boost for Genesee County."

It's in the county's best interest, Cianfrini believes, for GCEDC to succeed in attracting new business and growing local industries and he's supportive of those goals.

"I know this may sound crazy, but I'm going to be there rooting for them to achieve their goals and create new opportunities for economic development."

At the same time, he said, he's mindful of his responsibility to provide both oversight and communication about GCEDC activities for the rest of the Legislature.

"I am there as the only representative of the county Legislature, so I will scrutinize what goes on. If there's issues that I think need to be addressed, I'll bring those back to the Legislature," Cianfrini said. "I did not put myself on the board soley for the purpose of changing the way in which they do business. I'm there to learn. I'm there to offer any assistance I can, but if there's something I don't think is right, I'll be, as most people know, the first person to bring that to the attention of the Legislature."

The 68-year-old Cianfrini graduated from Oakfield-Alabama High School in 1963. His undergrad degree is from the University at Albany and he was drafted into the Army after his first year in law school. Following a two-year hitch, Cianfrini completed his law degree in 1972 and moved back to Oakfield.

He has practiced law in Oakfield for 42 years.

He's married. His wife, Karen, is a nurse at UMMC. They have three children.

Their oldest son, Michael, 39, is also an attorney. He and his wife, Melissa, worked for big law firms in Pittsburgh, but decided they wanted to move to Oakfield to practice law and joined Cianfrini's law firm more than 10 years ago. Late in 2013, Michael Cianfrini was appointed deputy county clerk. Melissa Cianfrini is in her third year as an assistant district attorney.

Daughter Christy Connor is an epidemiologist in San Diego. She and her husband have three children.

The Cianfrini's youngest son, Steve, 33, served eight years in the Army as a combat helicopter pilot, with an 18-month tour in Iraq, where his helicopter was once shot down, and a tour that included heavy combant in Iraq. In search of a more tranquil life, Steve left the Army not long ago and took a job in Grand Rapids, Mich., as a postal carrier.

Not too many months ago, when asked about the anticipated vacancy in the Legislature's chair, Cianfrini demurred, expressed little interest.

That changed, he said, when Annie Lawrence, the more senior Republican on the Legislature, made it clear to her colleagues that she didn't want the job. 

Cianfrini decided he was up for the challenge and that he could make the time to do the job right.

"The way I look at it, there was county government for 200 years before I came in and there will be county government, hopefully, for 200 years after I leave," Cianfrini said. "I just want to make sure while I'm here at the helm that government runs efficiently at the lowest cost."

The job is important, Cianfrini said, because Genesee County is important.

"I just love Genesee County," Cianfrini said. "I think anybody who has been born here has difficulty giving it up. We have two major metro areas around us. If we want to go to a football game, if we want to go to the opera, or to a show or shopping, we have it. The beauty is, we've got the serenity of Genesee County. It's a beautiful area. It's a great place to raise children. I think the school systems are excellent. Why give that up to go someplace where you don't know what you're getting into?"

To help make this an even better place to live, there are some ideas Cianfrini would like to pursue.

For example, he thinks the Legislature should take a look at public safety in county-run buildings.  He wants to, maybe, propose opening up the County Park in Bethany to bow hunters during bow season. That would generate revenue for the county and also help deal with the exploding deer population in the park. Perhaps, he said, the county government should go paperless, with Legislators carrying around iPads instead of binders and folders. He would like to look at a public-private partnership to build more hangars at the Genesee County Airport.

That's just a part of the list he keeps in the top drawer of his desk.

He also anticipates working out an agreement with the GCEDC that would lessen the burden on taxpayers to help support the agency.

Last year, the county supplemented GCEDC's revenue (which comes mostly from fees paid by businesses that use the agency's services) with a $215,000 expenditure. 

Steve Hyde, CEO of GCEDC, has always argued that the county government needs "skin in the game" to prove to site locators that economic development is supported in Genesee County, and that the money helps GCEDC balance its books.

Cianfrini has another approach he would like to try and be thinks just might fly.

"I've talked with GCEDC and they're willing to talk now about the possibility of working out a formula that might minimize the county's contribution," Cianfrini said. "At times when their cash flow is good, we don't pay as much taxpayer money to support them, but on the other hand, when maybe money is tight, or revenue is drying up, maybe we increase our contribution rather than have a fixed amount. They seem willing to talk about adjusting that payment."

Now that Cianfrini has a more comprehensive responsibility in Genesee County than just representing one district, or just chairing one committee, he's working hard to get to know the rest of the county's business, learning as much as he can as quickly as he can about all of the county's departments.

He sees his role as a facilitator to develop and implement policy, and that means he needs to really understand the nuts and bolts of county government.

"I kind of look at it like this," Cianfrini said. "From a team perspecitve, we're like a football team. The people are the owners of the team. The taxpayers are the owners. The Legislature, we are kind of the board of directors to set the policy for the team. Jay Gsell, our county manager, is kind of the general manager of the team. Our department heads, they're the coaches. They're the ones working with the players. The players are the employees. I'm seeing my job as the chairman of the Legislature as one to help move policy along and to maybe offer some fresh ideas."

Asked if he thinks his new job makes him one of the more powerful people in Genesee County, Cianfrini said, no, not really.

"I think I can influence certain things, what things will come before the Legislature," Cianfrini said. "I think I can influence the direction we may be going in. If that means power, so be it, but I don't think of it as a powerful job. I don't want power. I don't seek power. I want efficiency and I want results. That's where I'm coming from."

January 9, 2014 - 2:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, elba, Oakfield, fire, Alabama.

A house fire is reported at 2884 E. Shelby Road, between Burns and Crane roads. Fire is "in the wall with flames seen." Oakfield Fire Department is responding, along with mutual aid from Alabama, Town of Batavia and Elba.

UPDATE 2:17 p.m.: Upon arriving, the fire chief reports no fire seen.

UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: The chief is holding everything to equipment already in route. Cancelling Town of Batavia.

UPDATE 2:29 p.m.: Alabama and Elba units returning, in service.

January 8, 2014 - 7:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, bergen.

Evan Ryan Kotarski, 22, of Oak Street, Oakfield, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, driving under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol, unlawful possession of marijuana, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, speed not reasonable and prudent and failure to keep right. Kotarski is allegedly the driver of a vehicle involved in a one-car accident at 11:45 p.m. Sunday on South Pearl Street Road, Oakfield. Kotarski's car reportedly spun out and struck a fire hydrant and a utility pole. Kotarski allegedly fled from the scene, but was located a short distance away.

Tyler Pasquale Schroder, 21, of Lewiston Road, Oakfield, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged failure to pay the fine on a petit larceny charge. Schroeder was arrested following his release from the Wyoming County Jail on an unrelated matter and taken to Elba Town Court for his alleged failure to pay the fine on a petit larceny charge. He was jailed on $600 bail.

Oscar Enrique Martinez, 31, of Federal Drive, Batavia, was arrested as an alleged fugitive from justice. Martinez was being held at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia and was awaiting deportation. Martinez reportedly has 15 aliases and was being held under the name of Andres Luna-Nogroto. He was identified as by Manatee County, Fla., officials as a subject wanted for alleged sexual battery. Martinez was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and ordered held without bail pending an extradition hearing.

Carlos Enrique Reyes, 39, of 1259 Lyell Ave., Rochester, was arrested on a warrant for alleged criminal contempt. Reyes was arrested upon his release from the Monroe County Jail, where he was held on an unrelated matter, for alleged failure to appear in Bergen Town Court. Reyes was arraigned and released on condition that he submit to a DNA test and return to court on Jan. 15.

Robert L. Kaufman, 52, of Akron Road, Akron, is charged with trespass and stalking in the 4th degree. Kaufman was arrested following a complaint of harassment reported at 12:40 p.m. Jan. 5 at an undisclosed location in the City of Batavia. Kaufman was jailed on $2,500 bail. No further details released by Batavia PD.

Juan A. Roman, 36, of Portland Avenue, Rochester, is charged with harassment, 2nd, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal contempt, 1st. Roman was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at a location on Ellicott Street. Roman was arraigned and ordered held without bail. No other details released by Batavia PD.

January 1, 2014 - 10:25am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, Oakfield, fire, Alabama, east pembroke.

A possible chimney fire is reported at 6842 Fisher Road, Oakfield. Flames were seen shooting from the chimney, but no flames or smoke are showing now, says a firefighter. The residence has been evacuated. Oakfield fire is on scene. Mutual aid response was cancelled but units are asked to stand by in their quarters from Alabama, Elba and East Pembroke.

UPDATE 10:41 a.m.: Oakfield fire back in service.

December 21, 2013 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Oakfield, fire, Alabama.

A house fire with light smoke showing is reported at 32 S. Main St. in Oakfield. Mercy medics are on scene and Oakfield Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from the Town of Batavia and the city's Fast Team. Alabama is asked to fill in at the Oakfield hall.

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Alabama is asked to reroute and go to the scene.

UPDATE 1:38 p.m.: National Grid is called to the scene. No ETA.

UPDATE 1:41 p.m.: A thermal imaging camera is requested.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: Elba Fire Police are called to shut down traffic at Orchard and Main, and at Main and South Pearl. The fire is knocked down. They are checking for extensions.

December 19, 2013 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, accidents.

A car vs. pole accident is reported in the area of Judge and Hutton roads. Oakfield Fire Department is responding. Unknown injuries.

UPDATE 3:14 p.m.: There are no injuries, but help with traffic control will be needed.

UPDATE 3:39 p.m.: The Oakfield assignment is back in service. National Grid has an ETA of about 20 minutes to repair the pole.

December 13, 2013 - 9:29pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in accident, Oakfield.

A one-car rollover accident has been reported near 3238 Maltby Road in Oakfield.

Both occupants are out of the vehicle.

Medics are responding non-emergency.

UPDATE 9:35 p.m.: Mercy medic is on location.

UPDATE 9:48 p.m.: Mercy medic back in service with a patient refusal.

December 13, 2013 - 12:55am
posted by Alecia Kaus in Oakfield, book drive.

Alea Williams wanted to do something for all the sick children in the hospital for Christmas this year. A fifth-grade student at Oakfield Alabama, Alea decided to start a book drive around Thanksgiving. 

The drive is called Books for Cancer and Alea was motivated to begin the drive after meeting Austin Heineman, whose dad is friends with her mom. A  2012 Pembroke High School graduate, Austin has been fighting a rare juvenile cancer since 2011.

Alea's mom and dad, Dawn and Chad Williams, helped her make donation boxes and her teachers helped her distribute fliers at school. After only a few short weeks, Alea was able to collect five boxes full of books, crayons, coloring books and coloring supplies. Donation boxes were set up at Jagged Edges Salon, The Farm, Center Stage Dance, AAkron Rule, and at Alea's school.

Today, Alea and her family collected the donation boxes and brought them to Roswell Cancer Institute in Buffalo. The pediatric Christmas Party takes place Dec. 16 and Alea wanted the children there to enjoy a new book in time for Christmas.

The book drive will continue throught Dec. 18 and books will still be accepted at the above locations until then.

Alea with her mom and dad, Dawn and Chad Williams, picking up a donation box.

December 7, 2013 - 10:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield.

The annual community Christmas tree display is set up in Oakfield.

Donna Bartolf with the tree from her community group, Oakfield Community Jolly Seniors.

NOTE: I would have made the tree lighting in Elba tonight if not for the fire in Le Roy.

December 6, 2013 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Oakfield, Orleans County.

Four men accused of burglaries in Albion, Medina and Lockport are also potential suspects in a series of burglaries in Oakfield in September and October.

The Orleans County District Attorney's Office announced the arrests today, according to Orleans Hub.

None of the suspects have been charged yet in Genesee County.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster congratulated the job done by law enforcement in Orleans County, but said the local cases are under review by Genesee County District Attorney's Office. Local charges may yet be filed.

From Orleans Hub:

Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni said the four were persons of interest in the crimes before their arrests. Police from Albion, Medina Lockport and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department were in daily communication, sharing information and gathering evidence.

“Criminals don’t follow jurisdictional lines and neither do we,” Nenni said at a news conference at the Village Hall. “We became one big sheriff’s department or police department.”

The arrestees are:

  • Jonathan Banks, 21, of 4886 S. Townline Road, Medina, faces 10 counts of second-degree burglary, one count of attempted burglary and attempted robbery in the second degree, six counts of grand larceny, seven counts of petit larceny, three counts of attempted petit larceny, and four counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief. He is held in Niagara County Jail on $160,000 bail.
  • Isaiah Bonk, of 531 E. Center St., Medina, faces nine counts of second-degree burglary, one count of attempted burglary in the second-degree, six counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, seven counts of petit larceny, three counts of attempted petit larceny, and four counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree. He is held in Orleans County Jail on $50,000 bail.
  • Jasper Lloyd, 20, of 107 E. Bank St., Albion, was charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, two counts of grand larceny and one count of criminal mischief in the fourth degree. He is in Orleans County Jail on $50,000 bail.
  • Thomas Shingleton, 36, of 177 Bates Road, Medina, has been charged with one count of attempted burglary in the second degree and one count of attempted petit larceny. He is in Orleans County Jail on $20,000 bail.
November 28, 2013 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield.

More than 100 runners and walkers turned out in 19-degree weather this morning for Oakfield's annual Turkey Trot 5K.

The winner was Gabriel Bender (bottom photo).

November 27, 2013 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Mark Maltese Robert Grant

In a statement admitting to all three robberies in Batavia and Oakfield over the past week, suspect Mark J. Maltese said the $550 he said he got in the three heists all went to buy crack cocaine, which he said he smoked as soon as he bought it.

Maltese signed a sworn statement in which he he acknowledges his right to remain silent and consult an attorney before talking with police.

"I have been struggling with a major addiction to crack cocaine for about the past six or eight months," Maltese said. "This addiction has consumed me and the majority of my money goes to buy crack to feed by addiction. My crack use got way out of control and I didn't know how to stop or slow down with smoking it. I became desperate for money so that I could get more crack cocaine, so I turned to robbing places to get the money I needed for crack. Every bit of the proceeds from the three robberies went to buy crack for me to smoke. I was out of control with my addiction and didn't know where to turn."

Maltese was arrested early this morning after Batavia police, with back-up from Sheriff's deputies and state troopers, responded to a report of a break-in at the Rent-a-Center at 4152 W. Main St., Batavia.

A worker at a nearby business heard the glass break and called 9-1-1. He took a picture of the suspect's vehicle and was able to provide police with a direction of travel.

The suspect vehicle was located, according to police, at a location on Colonial Boulevard.

A person at that address told police that Maltese and Robert C. Grant carried a large-screen TV into the basement.

In a press conferance at Batavia PD headquarters this morning, Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster, Sheriff's Office, said a birthday party was being held at the residence on Colonial Boulevard.

Chief Shawn Heubusch
during press conference

During the subsequent investigation, law enforcement reportedly uncovered evidence that tied Maltese to three recent robberies early Thursday morning at the Best Western on Park Road, early Friday morning at the 7-Eleven in Oakfield, and early Sunday morning at the Days Inn on Noonan Drive, Batavia.

In the first two robberies the suspect displayed what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun. At the robbery Sunday, the suspect threatened the Days Inn clerk with a shotgun.

On Friday, while a deputy was pulled over to the side of the road in the area of the bridge over the Tonawanda Creek in Bushville, a person on a bicycle approached and said, "Look what I found," according to Brewster.

It was a silver BB gun and upon comparison with the gun seen in the video of the 7-Eleven heist, investigators determined it was a likely match.

In his statement to Investigator Ron Welker, Maltese admits to using a silver BB gun in the first two robberies. He said he disposed of the gun after the Oakfield robbery in the area of the bridge on Route 5 near the Willow Bend Inn.

Maltese, 43, of 29 Dellinger Ave., Batavia, was charged in City of Batavia, in the Town of Oakfield and the Town of Batavia with robbery in the second degree.

Both Maltese and Grant, 52, of 2444 Angling Road, Pembroke, were charged with burglary, 2nd, in connection with the alleged break-in at Rent-a-Center, where they allegedly tried to make off with a two large screen TVs and a fake fireplace.

Justice Tom Williams set bail in the Town of Batavia case for Maltese at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond. 

According to Maltese's statement, he drove his girlfriend's green Toyota Camry to the Best Western on Park Road and entered wearing jeans, a black hoodie with "Army" on it, black gloves, a black knit cap, black and red Nike sneakers and a red bandana covering his face. 

He said he walked up to the clerk and pulled out his BB gun and said, "Gimme all your money."

The clerk said, "are you kidding me?" and repeated the question several times. Maltese said he told her he was serious. "This is a robbery."

In her statement to police, the clerk said the suspect told her, "I will shoot you if you don't give me all the money."

The clerk retrieved the money from the cash drawer, he said, and gave it to him and he fled the hotel returning to his residence on Dellinger.

He said he "went up into the attic to figure out what I was going to do next. I then took the money that I got from the robbery which was around $300 and went and spent the entire amount on crack cocaine, and smoked all of it that same night."

Sheriff Gary Maha
during press conference

For the 7-Eleven robbery, Maltese said he wore jeans, a brown hoodie "with some design on it," black gloves, a knit hat, black and red Nike sneakers and a purple bandana covering his face.

He demanded the money in the drawer, got it and left.

He said he spent the entire $50 take on crack cocaine and smoked it all that night.

After the robbery he disposed of the BB gun.

For the Days Inn job, Maltese said he wore jeans, a black hoodie with "New York" on it, black gloves, a knit Sabres hat, black and red Nike sneakers and a black bandana covering his face.

He said he pointed a loaded shotgun at the clerk.

In a statement, the Days Inn clerk said he was frightened during the robbery.

"He said if I pushed any buttons or called anybody, he would shoot me," the clerk said. "I gave him the two drawers. A cash drawer and the change drawer. He pulled the money out the drawers and took the coin holder, too. He then left. He told me as he was backing out the door, that if I called anybody he would come back and shoot me. What scared me was that I actually looked at him."

Maltese said he got away with about $200 and immediately purchased crack cocaine and smoked it all that night.

In his statement, he said Investigator Welker showed him the Nike sneakers, the silver BB gun and a metal coin tray, all of which Maltese said he identified as associated with his robberies.

He said he destroyed the rest of the clothes he wore on those three nights.

Sheriff Gary Maha said the arrest of Maltese demonstrates how closely local law enforcement agencies work together to solve crimes and credited both the investigation that had taken place prior to this morning's Rent-a-Center break-in and the willingness of a witness to contact police and provide detailed information.

Brewster also praised this morning's witness.

"That witness was crucial in identify that vehicle and leading to the arrest of these suspects," Brewster said.

The use of fire arms in robberies create all kinds of dangers for victims, police officers and suspects, Brewster said. A police officer who sees a suspect with a BB gun is likely to believe it's a loaded handgun, he noted.

"We think the danger factor was very high in this case," Brewster said.

The admission by Maltese that his alleged robbery spree was driven by a need to feed a crack cocaine habit and that he had moved up, in a manner of speaking, from using a BB gun to a shotgun, tends to make his timely capture all that more critical, Chief Shawn Heubusch said.

"Any time you have somebody who is addicted to narcotics or doing these types of crimes to feed a habit, it tends to escalate," Heubusch said. "There is a pattern of starting with smaller crimes and getting more serious. It's very concerning. Of course, I can't predict what he would have done next."

Investigators are still trying to determine if Grant or maybe even another person was involved in the robberies, Maha said.

It's possible, according to investigators, the robbery suspect did not drive himself to and from the commission of the crimes.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.

Top Photo: Maltese following arraignment in Town of Batavia Court.

Below are photos submitted by Joanne Shriver, owner of Expert Mitigation Services, the company called in to board up the broken window at Rent-a-Center this morning.

November 27, 2013 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

A burglary at the Batavia Rent-a-Center overnight led police to a suspect in a string of recent robberies in Batavia and Oakfield.

Taken into custody and charged in the robberies was Mark J. Maltese, 44, of 29 Dellinger Ave., Batavia. Maltese and Robert C. Grant, 52, of 2444 Angling Road, Pembroke, are accused of breaking into the Rent-A-Center this morning.

A witness spotted the alleged Rent-A-Center burglary and provided detailed descriptions of the vehicle and followed the vehicle to a residence on Colonial Boulevard where the suspects reportedly joined a birthday party in progress.

The vehicle reportedly matches the description of a vehicle seen leaving the scene of the Days Inn robbery on Sunday morning.

Police said items were recovered this morning tying Maltese to the burglaries at the 7-Eleven, the Best Western and the Days Inn. At this time, Grant is not a suspect in those robberies and there are no other named suspects, but police said the investigation remains open.

The suspects were taken into custody without incident.

UPDATE: For follow-up story, click here.

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