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Fort Covington man admits stealing $1,000 worth of merchandise from Wal-Mart

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MASSENA - A 23-year-old Fort Covington man charged with attempting to shoplift more than $1,000 worth of merchandise from Wal-Mart and then trying to break into a Sunmount residence in an effort to hide from police has pleaded guilty to a reduced count.

Steven P. Thompson of 1705 Salmon St., Fort Covington, pleaded guilty after the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office had filed a prosecutor’s information for a misdemeanor petit larceny count to replace the felony charged that had been lodged following his arrest on Sept. 26.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for the petit larceny conviction for May 21.

Village police had charged Thompson with a felony count of fourth-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal trespass. He was taken into custody at 1:54 p.m. Sept. 26 after an approximately 10-minute pursuit in the Stephenville Road area before he was found trying to hide in the cat tails in a swampy area between state Route 37 and Stephenville Road.

Police said Wal-Mart’s asset protection staff stopped Thompson when he walked past the store’s last point of sale without paying for $1,021.62 worth of merchandise in his cart. Those items reportedly included area rugs, strawberry Twizzlers, an eight pack of Mountain Dew, a magic glove and two 32-inch Vizio televisions.

Thompson reportedly took off running through the Wal-Mart and Home Depot parking lots and then into the back lawns of homes in the Stephenville Road area before attempting to enter the IRA home through a locked back door. He then entered the garage at the residence, where he was confronted by a maintenance man, and fled again. Police said at one time he entered the wooded area near the Department of Public Work’s building.

He was taken into custody a short time later by village police with assistance from Massena-based state police.

The Fort Covington man told police he had placed several items, including the two televisions, in his cart before he looked in his pockets and realized he had no money.

“I then left my cart in the underwear section and went to the front door by the customer service section. While by the front door, I was checking to see if the electronic beepers would actually beep if I tried to steal the TVs. I decided if I was stealing the TVs I might as well steal everything in the cart,” he said.

In other recent village court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Eric J. Sisto, 21, of 499 Frye Road, Fort Covington, had all of his village charges and traffic violations traffic transferred to Massena Justice Gerald P. Sharlow’s town court.

The Fort Covington man told police he refused to stop for police and drove at speeds of over 100 miles per hour with his 8-month pregnant girlfriend in the front seat and the couple’s 15-month-old child in the back seat from Main Street in Massena to Cook Road in Akwesasne Thursday afternoon because he was aware there was a warrant out for his arrest and feared he would still be in jail when his baby is born next month.

The chase ended when he struck a St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police vehicle when he was trying to get onto Cook Road to get onto the so-called Canadian side of the transborder reservation. A second tribal police sport utility vehicle was then able to maneuver the 2005 Mercury Marquis being operated by Sisto into the ditch.

Massena-based state police charged Sisto with two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, unlawfully fleeing a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief and endangering the welfare of a child. He had appeared Monday before Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and was sent back to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail reduced to $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond after waiving a preliminary hearing. His bail had initially been set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond following his arrest Thursday.

■ Jamie Terrance, 45, of Massena was granted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal on charges pending in village court as part of a global plea agreement. Terrance is expected to be sentenced to probation for five years Monday during an appearance in St. Lawrence County Court.

Terrance had been charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and second-degree harassment after making threats to engage in allegedly violent behavior when a representative of the landlord’s association was serving him an eviction notice at 120 Maple St. on Dec. 4, 2010. The incident occurred with a village police officer on site.

■ Janelle E. Mossow, 25, of 110 Smith Road, Brasher Iron Works, was fined $25 and a $125 surcharge for a disorderly conduct conviction. Village police had charged Mossow with disorderly conduct at 2:15 a.m. Feb. 27 at the Hotel Nadeau on Andrews Street. Police said they responded to a complaint of an unruly patron who was refusing to comply with an employee’s order that she leave the premises. Police said when they arrived Mossow repeatedly approached a police officer in an aggressive manner and failed to comply with orders to alter her behavior.

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