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Man makes home in house for sale
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MONROE - A homeless Monroe man faces a breaking-and-entering charge after police say he made himself at home in an unoccupied house for sale in the 800 block of 22nd Avenue.

John Perry Reese, 21, stood mute Monday in Green County Circuit Court to a Class A misdemeanor count of illegal entry into a building. The court entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

A real estate agent went to show the house last week and was surprised to find "clothes, cigarette butts and cooked noodles in an upstairs bedroom" - items that had not been there a few days before, according to police reports filed with the criminal complaint.

Police traced the break-in to Reese with the help of Stop-N-Go receipts they found in the bedroom and a neighbor's description of a young man she saw coming and going in the area. Reports indicate Reese is homeless and has had previous contact with police for setting up a tent in a construction area of a business.

When investigating officers stopped by the house Friday, they found the front door open. The door handle pulled off when they tried to turn the knob.

One officer noted "a large section of carpet padding had been tucked into the closet, appearing to be a possible makeshift bed." A pair of wet socks hung in the closet, a toothbrush and toothpaste sat by the bathroom sink, and the toilet had recently been used.

Police found a cup of cigarette butts of various brands in the closet and speculated that "whoever was staying in the room was likely collecting cigarette butts from around town to smoke the remnants of the old butts."

Reese was arrested and jailed Saturday. Police say that when confronted, he admitted to staying in the house a couple of nights.

He signed a $1,000 signature bond and is ordered no contact with the house. A pre-trial conference is scheduled Oct. 20.