Pittsfield man gets suspended sentence for series of break-ins


PITTSFIELD -- A city man was given a two-year suspended sentence on Thursday after admitting that he participated in a number of home break-ins in 2012 and 2013 with his former girlfriend.

Christopher Maschino, 22, was accused of driving with his girlfriend to various homes in Pittsfield, Cheshire, Richmond and Lanesborough, stealing jewelry and television sets. His alleged cohort died in December while waiting to face the charges.

Some of the jewelry that was reported missing from local homes was found in Maschino's residence, Berkshire Assistant District Attorney Joseph Yorlano said.

Maschino pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Thursday to eight counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, six counts of larceny, once count of larceny over $250, five counts of receiving stolen property over $250 and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card.

Judge John Agostini gave Maschino a two-year suspended sentence in the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction, and two years' probation.

Maschino's attorney, Michelle Mechta, said that Maschino had been a promising student, graduating from Taconic High School and attending St. John's University.

"The family couldn't afford to send him back" for a second year of studies, she said. He returned home and got caught up in a relationship which resulted in an addiction to heroin and Percoset, which led to the break-ins, she said.

Mechta asked for the charges to be reduced, so that if Maschino did not get into trouble, they would go away.

Agostini declined to do so, but issued a revoke order that would wipe the charges off his record if he successfully completed probation.

"It's one thing to say you've dealt with heroin addiction," Agostini said. "I don't have the confidence that you've dealt with this... It's too early to tell."

To reach Nathan Mayberg:
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