LOCKPORT – Two brothers who were kicked out of their Niagara Falls home and spent some nights sleeping in the woods were arraigned this week in Niagara County Court, charged with a string of residential burglaries in the city’s LaSalle area.
Mark A. Pardee, 21, pleaded not guilty Thursday to three burglaries. His brother Justin S. Pardee, 18, appeared Wednesday before County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas and denied charges in an indictment that accused him of four burglaries, two with his brother and two by himself.
Also arraigned Wednesday was Aaron M. Adamec, 19, of 70th Street, who was arrested June 26 while allegedly burglarizing a home on Laughlin Drive. He also is charged with trying to break into two homes on Witkop Avenue the same day.
Although he isn’t named in the indictment, charges are pending against Darren J. Holland, 17, of 87th Street, who was caught along with Adamec at the Laughlin Drive home. A female accomplice also is to be charged, Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Scalzo said.
Scalzo told Farkas that the Pardee brothers were booted from their LaSalle home after their mother accused them of stealing from her. The brothers’ indictment includes a petit larceny charge for those thefts, which allegedly occurred in May and June.
Scalzo told the judge that an investigation showed the brothers spent some nights in the woods when they couldn’t stay with friends.
The Pardees also are accused of multiple counts of second-degree burglary, fourth-degree grand larceny and criminal mischief. Each burglary count carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence.
The brothers allegedly teamed up for house burglaries June 18 on Mang Avenue and June 20 on 74th Street.
Justin Pardee was accused of acting alone in burglaries March 5 on Caravelle Drive and June 12 on 97th Street. Mark Pardee was charged with a solo break-in June 7 on Pasadena Avenue.
The prosecutor said Justin Pardee had confessed to one of the burglaries, and his fingerprints were found at the scene of another.
Scalzo told Farkas that more charges may be coming against Justin Pardee. “We believe he’s responsible for other burglaries,” the prosecutor said.
When police arrested Justin Pardee on July 1, they accused him of being involved in break-ins March 12 on 97th Street and on 86th Street June 16, in addition to two others named in the indictment.
Farkas set bail at $100,000 for Justin Pardee and $50,000 each for Mark Pardee and Adamec.
In another burglary case before Farkas Thursday, Elbert J. Lewis Jr. admitted to breaking into a Chinese restaurant in Niagara Falls on Christmas Eve 2008, a crime to which he was tied by DNA in blood left near some broken glass.
Lewis, 43, of Frontier Avenue in the Falls, had to give a DNA sample for the state database after he was convicted of breaking into a cellphone store in the Falls in 2010.
That sample matched DNA left behind at the Great Wall Restaurant, 8233 Niagara Falls Blvd., and at Niagara Chiropractic, Pine Avenue and 15th Street, in a 2009 burglary.
Lewis also accepted a plea offer to attempted third-degree burglary to settle all the cases, and Farkas scheduled sentencing for Oct. 24. The maximum sentence Lewis could receive is four years in prison.