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Massena man jailed on grand larceny charges

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MASSENA — A 34-year-old Massena man was jailed on $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond bail Friday after being charged with fourth-degree grand larceny.

Johnnie M. Eldridge, 52 Maple St., along with a 16-year-old and 17-year-old, are accused of stealing a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix belonging to Ricky J. Allen from in front of his Center Street property.

St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department deputies said the investigation is continuing.

Eldridge, in the statement he provided police, said the two teens bumped into him near Mr. Allen’s property and gave him the car keys, which they said had been left in the vehicle. Eldridge then drove the teens to Ogdensburg, where they bought $8 worth of gas at Stewart’s.

Eldridge said in his statement that one of the teenagers had handed him the car keys and asked him to take them for a ride.

“A while after we got in the car they told me the car was stolen. I thought I should turn around and take the car back,” his statement read.

After stopping at Stewart’s, Eldridge said he began driving back toward Potsdam.

“When I realized we were going the wrong way, I made a U turn and started driving back towards Ogdensburg. Then something happened to the steering on the car, and I drove into the cables on the shoulder of the road. After we got in the accident we got out of the car and started walking down the road. Then we got stopped by the police,” he said.

One of the teens alleges that Eldridge had been drinking alcohol and swerving on the road prior to the accident.

The car then went off the road and struck a guard rail and utility pole shortly before 4 a.m.

The trio then allegedly fled the scene on foot and were stopped by deputies in the town of Morristown.

Eldridge was arraigned by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow shortly before 6 p.m. Friday and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility.

Eldridge’s assigned attorney, Effie Kyriakopoulos, requested that her client be released under probation supervision but the request was denied.

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