Niagara Falls landlord charged with robbing tenant

Posted at 6:54 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 18:54:16-04

A landlord has been arrested and charged for allegedly stealing laptops and other equipment from one of his own tenants.

According to Niagara Falls Police, 87-year-old Fred Bruening stole the two laptops, a cable modem and flash drives after entering a tenant's apartment without permission. Police say the tenant was in the hospital when the thefts occurred.

Bruening was arrested on March 28 and charged with second-degree burglary, fourth-degree criminal mischief and criminal possession of stolen property.

7 Eyewitness News obtained surveillance video from a tenant at 8431 Buffalo Avenue. According to neighbors, who asked to not be identified, it shows Bruening taking items out of a different apartment shortly after the tenant living there had died.

That tenant's son, Adam Miller, said several items were missing from the apartment, including an air conditioning unit, radio and clothes. Miller showed photos of his father's belongings stacked in the middle of the living room after he says Bruening "rifled through" everything.

After losing his father, Miller said dealing with Bruening made it even more difficult to cope.

"It's not so much the belongings that are missing," he said. "Those are material items. We missed out on our opportunity to properly mourn and to properly have some sort of closure in the matter and grieve in private."

Bruening has only been charged related to the stolen laptops, but Niagara Falls Police are looking into the allegations he may have taken items from other tenants as well.