Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stash of Stolen Artifacts Worth More Than $500,000 Found in Halifax-Area Home

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stash of Stolen Artifacts Worth More Than $500,000 Found in Halifax-Area Home

Article excerpt

Stolen artifacts found in Nova Scotia home

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HALIFAX - RCMP officers are painstakingly cataloguing about 1,000 antiques, rare books, historical documents and paintings they allege were pilfered over two decades and hoarded in a suburban Halifax home.

Cpl. Scott MacRae said officers found a trove of artifacts worth well over $500,000 on Friday when they searched a large, two-storey home in Fall River that had been turned into a veritable museum.

"When we first arrived, it was almost set up to be on display," MacRae said Wednesday.

"Lots of the items were from antique dealers, so there's historic value. There's value to personal collections, universities and just people in general in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada."

John Mark Tillmann, 51, is due in provincial court Thursday on charges of possession of stolen property. He remains in custody.

MacRae said another 200 items believed to be connected to the same case were found this week in Halifax, but he wouldn't elaborate.

He said the investigation began when officers pulled over a car last July and allegedly found a letter dated 1758 from British Gen. James Wolfe to his uncle in Dublin, apparently taken from Dalhousie University's archives years ago.

Dalhousie archivist Mike Moosberger said staff noticed the letter was missing after completing an inventory in 2009, but no one knew for sure whether it had been stolen or merely misplaced.

"It's certainly a relief to know it wasn't destroyed or isn't lost to the tides of time," he said. "We feel happy that at some point it will be returned to us and be part of the collection again. …

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