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Murder Suspect Has History of Run-ins with the Law

3:43 PM, Oct 17, 2013   |    comments
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Hamburg, NY -- The morning of Larry Wells' murder saw a rush of police activity at the Hamburg Toys-R-Us, and murder suspect Bernard Grucza was there.

Photos taken by a Buffalo News photographer show the 38-year-old at the scene of the murder on the morning of June 29. In the photos, Grucza is the man in the white t-shirt and jeans.

We also found the same man in our video from that Saturday.

In the video, you can see Grucza standing with investigators and even hugging someone outside of the store.

Police confirm Grucza worked for Toys-R-Us and was no stranger to the murder investigation.

"He was the regional manager. We talked to him on a regular basis about the investigation," says Hamburg Police Captain Kevin Trask.

Police say they think Grucza was part of the loss prevention team at the store.

Grucza also has a criminal past. In addition to his second degree murder charge, the Erie County Sheriff's Department tells us Grucza was arrested June 8 at his Kettle Run home in Elma just three weeks before Wells' murder. They also say Grucza was charged in that domestic incident with harassment and illegal possession of a 9 mm handgun. They also confirm there had been a series of domestic calls at that address in the past.

The Sheriff's Department says Grucza's wife took out an order of protection against him following that June arrest.

"He was always on the radar, but it was a matter really of having too much information to pour through until it finally got it focused on him," says Trask.

Police have not released Grucza's mug shot to the media. Grucza is being held without bail.

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