Westhampton case of flatware theft goes to trial
NORTHAMPTON — Prosecutors say a “very distinctive cheese scoop” and other evidence link a Chicopee man to a 2011 theft of more than $200,000 worth of antiques and other valuables from a Westhampton home, though the suspect’s attorney questioned whether the state has enough evidence to connect his client to the crime.
Peter J. Dowers, 23, has pleaded not guilty to charges of felony daytime breaking and entering, larceny over $250 and receiving stolen property over $250. His jury trial in Hampshire Superior Court began Wednesday and is expected to last two days.
Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jayme Parent told jurors that Dowers allegedly broke into a Westhampton home June 4, 2011, and stole sterling silver flatware and other valuables.
When the homeowners returned they found drawers throughout the house opened and ransacked, and a ladder propped up outside a second-floor window that had its screen forcibly removed, Parent said in her opening statement.
A search of Dowers’ home found some of the missing items including a “cheese scoop” and a gold watch engraved with the name of one of the robbery victims.
According to court files, Dowers was linked to the crimes after police found some of the silver flatware at a precious metals dealership in Holyoke.
According to court files, an accomplice told police he sold the items to the dealer on Dowers’ behalf.
In his opening statement, Dowers’ attorney, John Drake of Northampton, asked the jury to carefully consider whether the state has enough evidence to prove Dowers was responsible for the alleged thefts.
Judge Bertha Josephson is presiding over the trial.
Bob Dunn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.