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February 8, 2013

Man agrees to restitution in silver theft

IPSWICH — An Ipswich man charged with stealing antique silver items from a Manchester home has had his case dismissed after agreeing to pay restitution to the Cape Ann family.

Chris Tzortzis, 29, of 50 Mile Lane, Ipswich, agreed to pay $868 to the victim, according to district attorney’s office.

Tzortzis had been scheduled to go to trial until the agreement was reached this week, according to Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for the office of Essex County Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.

The 19 items stolen from the Manchester home included 19th-century silver serving pieces, bowls, utensils and cups, as well as a calling card holder, all of them from Germany and some engraved with the initials of the owner’s ancestor. They disappeared from a hutch in the owner’s home in the fall of 2011.

After noticing the missing items, the owner told Manchester Patrolman Zak Johnson and Detective Richard Newton that she had been having work done in the home and listed several contractors, including Rainbow Painting of Ipswich.

The owner of that business, Andrew Tzortzis, had been working there with his son, Chris Tzortzis, and another relative in September and October 2011, and Ipswich police Detective Peter Dziadose recognized Chris Tzortzis’ name from a 2008 investigation involving items missing from homes that were being pawned.

Police found records of some of the silver pieces pawned at JGM Numismatics and Investments in Beverly, but by then it was too late. The items, with both great sentimental and monetary value to the family, had been melted down.

Andrew Mathey, 27, of 36 N. Main St., Ipswich, admitted last week to fencing the stolen items for his friend at JGM, which is now closed. He received a continuation without a finding for a year, over the objection of a prosecutor, on two counts of receiving stolen property.

In addition to submitting to a drug evaluation and recommended treatment during the next year, Mathey will be required to pay $2,467 in restitution to the woman.

That may be far less than what the pieces were worth, said a prosecutor, who noted that the items had not been appraised since the 1970s.

Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527, by email at jphelps@gloucestertimes.com, or on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.

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