Police Log for the week of August 16, 2012
The Town of Evans Police Department will conduct the citizen police academy beginning Thursday, Sept. 13 and it will continue each week through Thursday, Nov. 9. The citizen police academy is designed as a way for the public to learn about the police department operations and the duties of Evans Police Department personnel.
The academy will meet once a week at 7 p.m., and classes will be approximately three hours. Some of the topics covered will include patrol functions, detective bureau operations, crime scene investigation, accident investigation, domestic violence, court procedures, sex offenders and marine unit operations.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have never been arrested, be of good moral character and pass a background investigation. Anyone interested in attending may pick up an application at the Town of Evans Police Station, 8787 Erie Road, Angola, NY 14006. Class size will be limited. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, Sept. 7.
Those interested are asked to forward all completed applications to Patrolman LaRosa.
Hamburg woman charged in fatal accident
A 32-year-old Hamburg woman is facing a driving while ability impaired charge on the recommendation of the Erie County District Attorney’s office in connection with a fatal accident June 22 that happened on Sowles Road near Electric Avenue.
Joyce McNelis had a blood alcohol content of .07 percent when she struck Cameron John, 24, of Hamburg, whom police said for an unknown reason was lying on the roadway when he was struck.
McNelis is schedule to appear in court on Aug. 20, and if convicted, could carry a term of imprisonment of no more than 15 days or a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $500 or both.
N. Collins man charged in domestic related burglary
Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard reported that a North Collins man was was arrested last Thursday (Aug. 9) following a domestic incident earlier in the day in Springville.
The Sheriff’s office received a complaint at 8:25 a.m. from a woman reporting her ex-boyfriend, Jason Ovitt, 26, entered her residence without permission. She said he allegedly grabbed her by the throat, and then broke some items in her house. The victim claimed that Ovitt then left the residence and took her cell phone with him.
Ovitt turned himself in to Deputy Timothy Ulinger of the Springville substation. He was charged with burglary in the second degree, a Class C felony; criminal mischief in the third degree, a Class E felony; as well as criminal obstruction of breathing, petit larceny and forcible touching, all of which are Class A misdemeanors.
Ovitt was arraigned by Springville Justice Kelly O’Neal-Adams, and was remanded to the Erie County Holding Center on $650 cash bail.
County Sheriff’s charge Brant woman with DWI
The Erie County Sheriff’s Department charged 32-year-old Anita Parker of Brant with driving while intoxicated over the weekend of Aug. 10-11 on Versailles Plank Road in the Town of Evans.
A field sobriety test showed Parked had a .15 blood alcohol content.
Father, son plead guilty in rebate fraud scheme
U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. said that Clifford Brehm, 76, of Angola, and his son, Michael Brehm, 51, of Lake View, both pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with a large scale rebate fraud scheme before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. Michael Brehm on Aug. 8 and Clifford Brehm on Aug. 13.
Clifford Brehm also pleaded guilty to a felony tax charge. Mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.
The tax charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gretchen L. Wylegala, who handled the case, said the defendants, over the course of several years, each engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain rebates. Rebates typically are offered by companies to entice the purchase of a product, or reward customers for purchasing a product. Normally rebates are limited, sometimes one per household. Rebate offer forms frequently warn that fraudulent submission of rebate forms may be prosecuted as mail fraud. Rebates also generally require the submission of an original cash register receipt as proof of the purchase.
The government’s investigation discovered that Clifford Brehm, joined later by Michael Brehm, used numerous post office boxes, mail box rentals, and home addresses, along with variations of their names, and family member names, to obtain multiple rebates.
Clifford Brehm also utilized a cash register, which was used to produce false receipts. Since 2004, Clifford Brehm submitted over 4,500 rebates to three fulfillment companies, while Michael Brehm submitted over 3,600 since 2006. The rebates were sent to three fulfillment companies, with each defendant obtaining over $65,000.
The pleas are the culmination of a joint investigation on the part of Special Agents of the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge, Robert Bethel, and Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Toni Weirauch.
Sentencing for Michael Brehm is scheduled for Nov. 15 before Judge Arcara. Clifford Brehm will be sentenced on Nov. 19, also before Judge Arcara.
Woman stun guns sister, brother-in-law in Eden
A 51-year-old Erie, Pa. woman is facing multiple charges after she shot her sister and brother-in-law with a stun gun just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7 in Eden.
Eden Police Sergeant Shawn Bishop was called to the Sisson Highway address where Nancy A. Konzel had fled the scene following the incident. According to Bishop, neither person shot by the stun gun received medial assistance and he said it appeared they were not hurt.
Konzel was later stopped by members of the Town of Evans Police Department on Eden Evans-Center Road and was charged with two counts of attempted assault, which is a Class D felony, as well as two counts of possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
She was arraigned before Town of Eden Justice Melissa Zittel, and was remanded to the Erie County Holding Center. Bail was set at $5,000.
Eden Police searching for stolen vehicle
Town of Eden Police are investigating a grand larceny case in which a 2007 Yamaha Rhino was stolen from the Eden Corn Festival grounds after 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5.
Anyone with information is asked to call Town of Eden Sergeant Shawn Bishop at 992-9211.
Hamburg PD looking for burglary suspect
Town of Hamburg Patrolmen Joshua Eagan and Nicholas Borowski responded to a rear entry door alarm at Brooks Pharmacy on Lake Shore Road at 10:52 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 13.
When officers arrived they found the rear door pried open. Police cleared the building and found no suspects inside.
An employee reported nothing appeared to be missing from the store.
Two DNA swabs were obtained as was a long metal rod, which police believe was used to pry open the inside wood door. It was unknown exactly what was used to pry open the metal outside door.
There were video surveillance cameras on the rear of the building, but a witness who reviewed the tapes said due to the darkness behind the building, she was unable to see anything.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Town of Hamburg Police at 648-5118, ext. 2614.
Police search for those who sprayed graffiti
Town of Hamburg Police are searching for the person or persons responsible for spraying graffiti on an outdoor building under a pavilion on Lakeview Road. The graffiti was discovered at about 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12.
The person who reported finding the graffiti told Town of Hamburg Patrolman Joshua Eagan she rode her bicycle past the pavilion around 5 p.m. and did not notice any spray paint at that time. When she drove back past it, she noticed the spray paint and two young white males sitting under the pavilion. The witness told police she confronted the two males, who denied any involvement.
She said the males allowed her to look through their backpacks, but she did not find any spray paint. Police said the witness could only describe the youth as white males and “nerdy looking” and told police what she thought was their first names.
Eden PD charged three men with DWI
Town of Eden Police recently charged three men with driving while intoxicated.
• Donald J. Suchan, Jr., 20, was charged with driving while intoxicated by Patroman Tim McDonald on July 30 following a car accident on Farrior Road.
Police said he flipped his car into a ditch and was taken to Erie County Medical Center with minor abrasions.
He was charged with driving while intoxicated and failure to use a designated lane. He is scheduled to appear in Eden Town Court on Aug. 21.
• Officer Nicholas Blaise charged Nicholas A. Coleman, 28, of Blasdell, with felony driving while intoxicated, failure to dim lights and aggravated driving while intoxicated (having a .18 or higher blood alcohol content) at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7 on Route 62. He is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 28.
• Patrick Brown, 21, of Lansing, N.Y., is facing multiple charges after Eden Patrolman Ryan Young initially caught Brown driving 85 mph in a 45 mph zone on Schintzius Road on Aug. 12.
Brown was charged with failure to keep right and aggravated driving while intoxicated (for having a blood alcohol content of .18 or higher). He is scheduled to appear in Eden Town Court on Sept. 4.
Two men charged in series of vehicle burglaries
Shortly before 4 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, Town of Hamburg Patrolmen were dispatched to a Kathaleen Street address on a report of a vehicle just broken into. Patrolman Kevin Gleason showed up within minutes where Patrolmen David Jasinski, Jonathan Wright and Lieutenant Nicholas Budney were canvassing the streets and looking for a suspect that a witness said was wearing a black baseball hat and black shirt running from the scene.
When officers turned onto Kathaleen from Marilyn Street, they noticed a black Lexus 330 with the passenger seat in the reclining position. Police looked inside and saw Stephen Johnston, 26, of Buffalo appearing to sleep. Police said Johnston was sweating profusely. He was wearing a black t-shirt and next to the drivers seat was a black baseball hat. Officers then called for backup.
Police “woke” Johnston up and asked him what he was doing in the area. He told officers he had fallen asleep two hours ago and his friend who owns the car, Michael J. Welsch, 28, of Hamburg, had stopped there after a night of drinking and was at an unknown named friends house.
An officer observed some electronic wires and a GPS in plain view in the backseat. Johnston was then asked to put his seat back into the upright position, where several more electronic devices were discovered.
When he was asked who the devices belonged to, Johnston told police they belonged to he and Welsch.
The witness told police she was also missing change from the middle console. Johnston was removed from the vehicle and confronted again about the electronics in the vehicle. As he was being patted down, police discovered a pocket full of change in his front pocket.
After being questioned again about his whereabouts, he admitted to police he went through several vehicles in the area with Welsch.
Welsch was contacted by Town of Hamburg Police and he said he would volunteer to come to the station, but was located a short time later by Budney.
The victim positively identified Welsch as the subject going through her vehicle.
Both suspects voluntarily gave statements that they broke into several vehicles in the Kathaleen Street, Manor Lane and Marilyn Lane areas.
Johnston and Welsch were each charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, petit larceny and trespassing.
Anyone who is missing items from their vehicles who live in that vicinity is asked by the Town of Hamburg Police to contact them at 648-5118, ext. 2614.
Giving alcohol to minors leads to arrest
Town of Eden Police Sergeant Shawn Bishop received a call on Aug. 4 that a pair of minors were sold alcohol.
Brian D. Morrison, 21, of Eden was charged with two counts of giving/selling alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
According to police, Morrison admitted to them he provided the two minors with alcohol.
He is scheduled to appear in Eden Town Court on Aug. 28.