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More charges pending in case of trash man accused of burglary

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More charges are pending against an Ogdensburg trash collector accused of burglarizing two of his customers’ homes to get drug money.

Ogdensburg Police Detective Sgt. Robert H. Wescott said Friday that Melvin H. Perry, 45, owner of Perry’s Trash Removal, is facing charges of petit larceny and criminal trespass. Both charges stem from complaints that police received on Wednesday.

Mr. Perry was arrested Monday and charged with two counts each of felony second-degree burglary and felony fourth-degree grand larceny. Police said that Mr. Perry entered customers’ unlocked homes on June 26 and July 23 and took a wallet and cash.

Mr. Perry, who lives at 720 Jay St., pleaded not guilty to all charges. Because he has prior felony convictions, he was ordered held without bail in St. Lawrence County jail, Canton. His case will heard by a St. Lawrence County grand jury after he waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Ogdensburg City Court.

Following Mr. Perry’s arrest, police asked his customers to call them if they had any concerns about his business conduct with them.

“We’ve had some people come forward,” Mr. Wescott said, adding that most of their stories “did not rise to the level of criminality” in substance.

“Basically begging for money,” Mr. Westcott said.

Lawrence G. Mitchell, of 1004 Congress St., told police Wednesday that Mr. Perry once came to his house, begged for money and had to be escorted out. That resulted in the criminal trespass complaint.

Also on Wednesday, Francine Naccarato, of 215 Franklin St., reported the theft of $75.

According to court records, Mr. Perry on June 26 at 6 p.m. took a woman’s wallet from a chair inside the home of Michael and Gloria McLear, 1011 New York Ave.

Moments later, he met an apparently unsuspecting Mr. McLear in the driveway, handed him a recycling pamphlet, left and eventually threw the wallet over the Lafayette Street bridge and into the Oswegatchie River, court documents state.

On July 23 at 11:30 p.m., Mr. Perry allegedly appeared in the living room of the home of Betty Bice, 81, of 224 Harrison Ave. He asked her for $50 yet accepted $30 from the woman who, according to court records, was moved to comply “through fear and intimidation.”

In his statement to police, Mr. Perry explained his motivations.

“The money was for drugs,” he said. “I was wrong. I never should have done it.”

Mr. Perry is represented by the St. Lawrence County Conflict Public Defender’s Office.

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