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The Week in Stupid Crime

Out-of-Towner Gets Thieves’ Welcome

Some bonehead whose name was redacted from the police report in order to spare him the humiliation left $25,650 worth of valuables in his brand new Toyota Sienna earlier this month after he parked it in the city lot at 101 Niagara St. adjacent to the Sheraton Hotel.

He was from New Jersey, and was apparently unaware that leaving a bunch of Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton luggage, a set of Halloway golf clubs, a nice pair of Versace shoes, a professional quality video camera with accessories and a laptop computer lying in plain sight in a van parked in an unattended city lot here wasn’t too bright.

When he went down to get something out of the vehicle at around 11 p.m., he discovered the rear hatch window and one of the side windows had been smashed out, and all his stuff was gone.

Welcome to Niagara Falls, Pilgrim!

The cops and the hotel employees all felt really sorry for the guy and helped him clean up the shattered glass then taped plastic garbage bags over the gaping holes where his windows used to be.

Mayor Paul Dyster likes to boast about his crime fighting prowess, but we understand the cops carry around boxes of plastic garbage bags to tape over the busted out windows of automobiles, homes and businesses throughout the city.


Driver Unaware His Truck Had Been Shot

Many if not most Niagara Falls residents are familiar with finding shell casings littering their yards, sidewalks and streets, particularly during the May melt following one of our brutal winters.

While shootings often occur for a reason, no matter how stupid, they sometimes occur for no reason at all, as one driver discovered last week.

The 36-year-old victim was driving near the intersection of Lockport and Ontario in the city’s notorious North End (the North End being every bit as notorious as the South and East Ends) when he heard something strike the side of his company-owned box truck.-

Not being from Niagara Falls, he figured it was a rock that had been kicked up and went along on his merry way but, when he made his next delivery stop and entered the rear of the truck, he noticed a bullet hole in the left side of the cargo area.

He called the cops, who determined that the hole was made by a small caliber weapon.

The victim went home, presumably to tell his wife and kids or his friends about being shot at in broad daylight at 1 o’clock in the afternoon here in Niagara Falls, and to thank the Lord for not having actually been shot himself.

And we here in the city should also be thankful. After all, the city has no West End, which would be just as dangerous as the South, North and East Ends were it not for the divine intervention provided by the mighty Niagara River.


Wal-Mart Superstore Popular With Female Shoplifters

The Wal-Mart Superstore over at 1540 Military Road seems to be a magnet for women with criminal intent. On just one afternoon last week, cops busted four female shoplifters in separate incidents, and their names were Ginger, Danni, Jackie and Whitney, like chicks from some 70s television program!

What is it about that place? One wonders. On any given day, the minimum wage "loss prevention specialists" employed by Wal-Mart follow around the shifty and shady, often striking loss prevention gold when they see some babe stuffing cosmetics or tampons or mouthwash into her purse and walking past official "points of purchase" and into the warm midday sun.

Whitney King, a 19-year-old weighing just 90 pounds, stole $65.78 worth of stuff while Danni Sledge took a total of $86.24 in merchandise.

Ginger Hettenberg, 55, took a measly $27.16 in swag, while Jackie Zurbuch, 39, tried to return stolen goods at the customer service desk. Needless to say, she didn’t have a receipt.

All were busted and booked at the city’s insanely expensive Public Safety Building.

Somebody should do a show about the real housewives of Niagara Falls, wearing their pajamas as they walk the streets and trying to rob made in China merchandise from Wal-Mart.

You gotta love it.


Watch Out for ‘Melchisedec’

Details are sketchy, but the long arm of Niagara Falls law enforcement finally caught up with one of the most oddly named individuals ever to visit the Cataract City.

What we know about Melchisedec Rodriguez, 26, is that he is a man, 5’ 9" and weighing 205 pounds. City police describe his build as "medium" and, in Niagara Falls, we guess it is. He has brown hair and brown eyes, doesn’t wear glasses, is single and his race is listed as "white."

Police said he "appeared normal" when he was arrested last week on domestic related charges of criminal contempt and false impersonation, and that’s about it.

If you come across this Melchisedec Rodriguez person while dodging bullets, taping plastic garbage bags to your car windows or shoplifting from the Wal-Mart in Niagara Falls, we’d advise you to give him a wide berth.

There’s something that just doesn’t seem quite right about him.


Pear Brandy Thief Caught on Video

The first thing you should know about Gabor Szucs, 53, of 458 Tenth St., is that he apparently loves his Schlederer Pear Brandy.

He’s a large man, police said, and frequents the Supermarket of Wines and Liquors out on Niagara Falls Blvd. Or at least he did frequent it.

He was picked up last week on shoplifting charges after the store manager told police that 17 bottles of the sweet liqueur had gone missing over the past year, when the store first began carrying the Schlederer.

Gabor Szucs was a frequent customer and, being a large man, rather stuck out. Employees noticed him always acting suspiciously when in the brandy section and began keeping an eye on him.

What Szucs was caught on the store’s video surveillance cameras doing was taking one of the boxes the store provides for its customers to carry their booze around in and laying the Schlederer Pear Brandy bottle down on its side, then covering it up with other bottles of wine and liquor in an upright manner.

At the checkout counter, he’d take the upright bottles from the box and pay for them using his credit card but never removing the coveted pear brandy from the box.

Talk about a guilty pleasure!

Those 17 bottles had a retail value of $662.83, and with the videos in hand, cops issued a warrant for Szucs’ arrest.

Case closed.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

SEP 24, 2013