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Island man is convicted in burglary

Arrested while awaiting sentencing in another case

Updated: 10/06/07 7:40 AM

Michael T. Czora was convicted Friday of charges that he tried to steal a power washer and air compressor from a Grand Island home while awaiting sentencing in another case.


Still facing trial in two other Grand Island larcenies, Czora, 34, of Grand Island, faces from 3 to 15 years in prison when sentenced Dec. 7 on his conviction for second-degree burglary. The jury verdict was announced to State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang after 14 hours of deliberations over two days, following a trial that lasted a week.

Czora, who served a brief jail term in 1999 after being convicted of molesting a North Buffalo teenage girl in 1997, did not testify. (See Buffalo News correction below)

On Monday, an East River Road woman identified Czora as the person who broke into her garage and was about to load a power washer and air compressor onto his truck as she returned home and confronted him about 10:15 a.m. Jan. 26, 2006. She said she recalled the tattoo of a Playboy bunny on his neck.

Initially, she said, she let him drive off — without the power washer and compressor — after he told her he was an employee of a local company and accidentally drove to the wrong address.

However, the woman — still suspicious how Czora broke into her garage — alerted police, who arrested Czora on Stony Point Road about 40 minutes later.

At the time, prosecutor Jaime C. Gallagher said, Czora was free on bail and awaiting sentencing by Erie County Judge Shirley Troutman on his November 2005 guilty plea to stolen property charges linked to a stolen credit card.

Corrections - Updated: 10/17/07 7:02 AM

Michael T. Czora, who faces a prison term for a daylight break-in at a Grand Island home, pleaded guilty eight years ago to an attempted sexual misconduct charge involving an 18-year-old North Buffalo woman. A report on his plea in Saturday’s News incorrectly said he was convicted of molesting the woman in 1997.