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Antique fireplace tiles stolen from home

August 13, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
If Gabriel Marinescu's suspicions are correct, the thieves first broke into his 1920s Spanish-style home through the window Monday morning.By the time he got home at noon, the fireplace was missing several pieces of tile.

"They broke off about 10 inches by 10 inches ... and there were a bunch of tools here," Marinescu said.

Marinescu said he had a feeling they would come back for more. Indeed, he said the entire fireplace had been stripped of its original hand-glazed ceramic tiles by Tuesday afternoon.

"[The tiles are] very valuable, and you can see they're not your normal tile," Marinescu said. "They're very thick."

Marinescu found a picture of the vintage tile designs in his fireplace on the CalTiles Company Web site. Antique tile dealers said the Mayan motif design dates back to the mid-1920s and is worth $8,000 to $10,000.

Marinescu is convinced the thieves knew what they were taking.

"They robbed me of something I loved," Marinescu said. "I love this house. I worked very hard for it, and that's where I'm at."


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