VAN NUYS — A former tenant accused of stealing expensive furniture and fixtures from the Encino home of former state Sen. Alan Robbins pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of grand theft.
Ted Titmas, 46, of Encino is scheduled to return to Van Nuys Superior Court for a pretrial hearing June 30, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Susan Schwartz.
Robbins leased his home to Titmas in 1992, while he served a federal prison sentence for racketeering and tax evasion, authorities said. But Titmas fell behind on rental payments and eventually filed for bankruptcy.
After being evicted from the million-dollar home, Titmas told Robbins that the furniture had been placed in storage and some of it was auctioned off by mistake.
Upon his return to his home at 16743 Oak View Drive, Robbins reported $92,000 worth of property missing, including expensive Persian and Chinese rugs, a chandelier, stained-glass windows, a hand-carved dining table and 10 chairs, a designer toilet and bidet, two bathtubs and sinks, 10 doors, seven sets of drapes and his prized Senate desk, according to police records.
Most of the property has been recovered, Schwartz said.
Titmas and his attorney, Mari Morsell, said Titmas stored Robbins' furniture for safekeeping while Titmas spent five months and $129,000 remodeling the home.
A second grand-theft charge stems from a 1992 incident in which Titmas refused to return furniture to Valley resident Sanford Lazarus, Schwartz said.
Titmas is free on $30,000 bail, Schwartz said.