An owner and employe of a Georgetown restaurant were arrested yesterday in connection with what D.C. police allege was a "major fencing operation" in which $50,000 in stolen goods were fenced each month, some of it at the restaurant.
The men were identified as Nikolas Tsimbidis of Alexandria, whom police said is one of the owners of the Ikaros Restaurant at 3130 M St. NW, and Panagiotis (Pete) A. Karamalis of Annandale, a restaurant employe. The two were charged in arrest warrants with interstate transportation of stolen property, according to D.C. Police Assistant Chief Isaac Fulwood, commander of the Field Operations Division.
Inspector Edward Spurlock, head of the D.C. police repeat offenders unit, said investigators had identified a portion of the stolen property they had confiscated as having been taken in as many as 40 commercial and residential burglaries in the District and Virginia. He said the goods included some weapons and a great deal of office equipment, such as computers, typewriters, cameras and videocassette recorders. Some of it had been stolen in Georgetown burglaries, he said.
Police officials alleged that the fencing scheme had been going on for at least six months and that the restaurant was one location used to buy and store stolen goods.
Police officials said said authorities would execute search warrants at locations in suburban Virginia yesterday and last night in an attempt to locate more stolen property. A third suspect in the case also was being sought, they said.
Spurlock said police here began their investigation after receiving information from Fairfax County police, who cooperated in the case.
Steve Tsandes, who identified himself as the owner of Ikaros, said in a telephone interview that Tsimbidis was managing the restaurant and owns a 10 percent interest.
Tsandes said he knew nothing of the police allegations and added that the restaurant will remain open.