Burglary trial begins today for Stamford career burglar

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Clarence Patty-cake Patterson. Contributed photo.

Clarence ‘Patty-cake’ Patterson. Contributed photo.

A Stamford man whose nursery-rhyme nickname belies his hard-charging criminal ways may be headed for his 30th burglary conviction if Monday’s testimony by a Stamford burglary victim in a jury trial set to begin today is any indicator.

The testimony against Clarence “Patty-cake” Patterson couldn’t have been clearer. When burglary victim Lester Segura took the stand Monday and was quizzed by Patterson’s attorney Michael Skiber in hopes of getting his testimony thrown out at trial, he said he was in the bedroom of his Virgil Street apartment watching television around noon on May 2, 2013 when his dogs began to bark.

He opened his door and looked around the apartment and saw a bald black man in the kitchen. He closed the door then opened it again and asked the man what he was doing there. He closed his door then opened it again and told the man to leave while his girlfriend called police.

When police arrived at the man’s home they may have been a little surprised to find out that Segura cracked the case for them. He told police that he knew who the stranger was and pulled up a picture of from a news site displaying Patty-cake’s mug shot after he was arrested by Darien police for burglarizing a home in that town nine days earlier.

Segura told police that Patterson, who had been freed after posting his court appearance bond for the Darien burglary, was the man that he saw in his kitchen.

That day on Virgil Street the intruder fled empty-handed, but police found he had placed a laptop, an iPad, some other electronic devices and a jar of change next to the back door, which had been forced open, police said.

Skiber may have hoped that Segura would have said that he was steered by police to the web site posting of Patty-cake’s picture, but Segura said over and over again that he found the picture of Patterson himself and was sure that Patterson was the man that he saw in his home that day.

Patterson, 53, of Glenwood Hill St., has burglary convictions stretching from as far away as Tallahassee, Fla.

Before testimony began Monday, Patterson, who Skiber said had worked at a prison law library and is acutely aware of criminal procedure –even in a legal courtroom sense- was urged by Judge Thomas Colin to lower his voice while offering his questions and commentary to Skiber.

After testimony began and Patty-cake kept interrupting Skiber, Colin found it necessary to tell him that he would be better served by waiting for breaks in testimony to talk to his attorney.

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