MANATEE -- A judge ordered a 24-year-old Bradenton man to stay in jail after he was arrested for being in a pawn shop, a violation of his probation.
Thomas Grieco was arrested at 10:45 p.m. Thursday and charged with violation of probation. He is also facing other pending charges.
Grieco appeared before Manatee County Judge Mark Singer in a first appearance hearing Friday afternoon.
Singer found probable cause for the violation, saying that the video surveillance clearly showed him in the Abba Pawn Shop on Nov. 15. As a condition of his probation, which he was placed on Jan. 21, he was ordered not to be there.
Grieco pleaded to the judge to set bond, normally not allowed in violation of felony probation.
"I was here and just spoke with you yesterday, I was not out for three hours," Grieco said. "I am really trying to rehabilitate myself."
Grieco told Singer that he has been trying to turn his life around after struggling with the loss of his father and brother.
"I made mistakes, I have," Grieco said. "I'm going to lose everything."
Grieco's family was in the courtroom. His grandmother sobbed as she listened to testimony.
Assistant State Attorney Darlene Ragoonanan requested he be held with no bond. She shared a criminal history that includes 33 arrests on burglary and other charges, several failures to appear in court, contempt of court and violations of probation.
"Every time he has been on probation, I believe he has violated," Ragoonanan said.
Manatee County Sheriff's Office Lt. Patrick Cassella testified regarding an ongoing investigation in which Grieco faces more charges. Cassella told the judge how detectives listened to Grieco's jail calls with his uncle and discovered Grieco had stolen a weed whacker and edger that belonged to a lawn service company his uncle had done work for.
Detectives confirmed the items were stolen and charges were pending, Cassella said.
"Every time he's out we have to do surveillance on him," Cassella said. "It's a constant. He is a menace to society."
With the imminent charges, Singer ordered that Grieco remain in jail.
Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.