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Ridgeway Man Accused of Stealing Paintings | Crime

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Ridgeway Man Accused of Stealing Paintings
Ridgeway Man Accused of Stealing Paintings


Democrat and Chronicle

A Ridgeway, Orleans County, man was arrested Wednesday and accused of possessing two stolen paintings.

The paintings, Boat Landing at Silver Lake and Early Snow (1882) by Lemuel Wiles, had been taken from the Perry Public Library in September 2008, according to State Police in Farmington, Ontario County. According to the website of the library's Stowell-Wiles Art Gallery, the paintings were taken Sept. 26-27, 2008.

Michael A. Ortiz, 40, of Ridge Road was charged with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He was arraigned before state Supreme Court Justice Joseph Valentino and ordered held without bail.

New York State Police recovered the paintings and other items, which troopers said may also have been stolen from western New York sites since 2008, from a storage unit in Brockport. State Police said in a news release that they and other agencies have conducted a lengthy investigation into the thefts of valuable items from museums, historical societies and libraries over the past several years.

Wiles, who was born in Perry, Wyoming County, in 1826, was a landscape artist and teacher.


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