, Salem, MA

February 20, 2013

Man gets 4-6 years for home break-in


---- — PEABODY — A Lynn man with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced Friday to four to six years in state prison, after admitting to breaking into a Peabody home last year.

Thomas Amenkowicz, 42, pleaded guilty to breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony, larceny, and receiving stolen property. He received the sentence under a plea agreement accepted by Salem Superior Court Judge Howard Whitehead.

On May 22, Amenkowicz went into a home on Sunset Drive in Peabody and stole numerous pieces of jewelry.

Neighbors noticed suspicious activity, wrote down the license plate number of a Chevrolet Lumina sedan and gave officers a description of the suspect, prosecutor Michael Patten told the judge.

Police traced the car to Amenkowicz’s girlfriend and subsequently searched the Essex Avenue apartment where they were living, turning up items from the Sunset Drive burglary, as well as a break-in on May 16 on Lynnfield Street.

Under the terms of the plea agreement negotiated between Patten and defense lawyer Meredith Reeves, Amenkowicz will serve the prison term on the breaking-and-entering charge, followed by three years of probation for the counts of larceny and receiving stolen property.

Though prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of being a common and notorious thief, the case was only the latest entry on a 15-page criminal record that stretches back more than a decade and includes prior burglary charges and convictions in Beverly and Wenham.

In 2001, he was sentenced to one to three years in state prison for a 2000 burglary in Beverly, according to a Salem News account.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.