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Perry Coniglio (CREDIT: FOX5NY)

Cops: Marine veteran, 81, held hostage in motel for years


According to authorities, an 81-year-old Marine Corps veteran was held hostage in a hotel room for four years in order to steal his benefits checks.

Perry Coniglio was arrested on Thursday in his room adjoining the victim's at a motel, which is about 50 miles north of New York City. The charges against him include grand larceny and imprisonment.

The veteran's name was not released. 

Coniglio, 43, reportedly used force to get the mentally diminished vet to cooperate with him. The vet also had advanced dementia. Police Chief Jack Quinn said the vet received Social Security benefits, pension checks and food stamps.

Coniglio is being held in jail Thursday on $15,000 bail. 

Detective Joseph Cornetta said police have heard from a number of veterans groups who have offered to help the man, while the county Adult Protective Services is working with police to find the man a new residence.

Associated Press contributed to this report

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