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Apr 29 - May 07, 2014

This Week in Stupid Crime

By Mike Hudson

April 29, 2014

If anybody doubts that crack can destroy, see these before and after pics.

Dope busted for dope

So there he was, Thomas Michael Campbell, just sitting in the living room of his 1919 Walnut Ave. residence minding his own business when, all of a sudden, the cops come knocking at his door. And they had a search warrant, signed by City Court Judge Diane Vitello.

Campbell's loveable pet pit bull went ballistic and officers called in animal control to remove the dog and make the search less dangerous for all involved.

The search turned up a quantity of a green plant-like substance and a bagful of a chunky, powdery, off-white material. Subsequent field tests revealed these substances to be marijuana and crack cocaine, respectively, and Campbell was placed under arrest.

It was the late, great Whitney Houston who once observed that "crack is whack," and Campbell might have done well heeding the dead diva's advice, since penalties are much stiffer for selling that drug than they are for marijuana, which is legal in some of the more progressive states and likely to be legal everywhere in the near future.

But no. The 27-year-old Campbell knew better than Houston, who was once married to Bobby Brown and knew her way around that glass tube with the piece of window screen in it.

He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a weapon, as officers also discovered a 200,000 volt stun gun in the residence. His poor dog remains at the pound despite having done nothing illegal.



Another auto burglary

Will they ever learn? One unlucky Niagara Falls resident parked his car in an alley off of Pierce Avenue one night last week, only to return in the morning and find that someone had stolen a new pair of Addidas sneakers, a motorcycle helmet, a nice bracelet and a Bulova watch from the vehicle.

Turned out he'd left his car unlocked after parking it in one of the city's highest crime districts. Together, the stolen items were valued at $1,150, providing an expensive but valuable lesson as to why cars are equipped with locks in the first place.


Library heist goes bad

Of all the places in the crime infested cesspool we lovingly call Niagara Falls, the one place you might think you'd be safe is the Earl Brydges Public Library at 1425 Main Street.

Sure, the roof leaks and the heat doesn't always work in the winter time and the air conditioning system hardly ever works in the summertime but still, the library seems as unlikely a place for larceny at St. Mary of the Cataract Church. Alas, events have proven otherwise.

One afternoon last week, a woman was sitting in front of a computer terminal at a table in the library's excellent computer center. Next to her, her purse sat on the table. Before she knew what was happening, a black male wearing a white T-shirt and grey slacks attempted to steal the purse. The plucky lady grabbed her bag and a tussle ensued, ending when the would-be purse snatcher walked briskly away and out the east side exit of that repository of knowledge and wisdom. The woman reported the incident at the library's front desk, and the intrepid librarian on duty called the cops, who arrived posthaste.

While one officer interviewed the intended victim, others looked for the suspect nearby in their patrol cars. They picked up Anthony Brinson Jr., 58, who generally matched the description, but was wearing a striped shirt rather than the white T-shirt with the black design over the left breast described by the victim. Brinson was brought to the library for possible identification by the victim and a library employee who had witnessed the would be purse snatcher exit the building.

They weren't sure at first, but once cops had Brinson remove the striped shirt he was wearing, there was the white T-shirt with the black design over the left breast! Police then viewed video surveillance footage of the attempted theft and saw that Brinson had been carrying the striped shirt in his hand at the time he attempted to steal the purse.

It turns out that Brinson, who didn't even have a library card, learned something on his library visit. He was then taken to the city hoosegow, conveniently located just up Main Street from the library, and booked on a charge of attempted petty theft. Perhaps he'll do some reading while serving his sentence for committing what we believe to be the stupidest crime of the week.





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