Social climber charged with stealing heirlooms from grieving Grosse Pointe family

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A social climber with sticky fingers is accused of stealing from the home of a well-known interior designer. But he didn't break in -- police say he made friends with his target and then waited for an invitation.

Tripp Kennedy lost his father, DJ Kennedy, to cancer in February. DJ was a well-known interior designer in Grosse Pointe Farms. Recently, while going through his belongings, his loved ones realized items were missing. Paintings were literally gone from the walls.

Tripp's mother suspected his best friend, 26-year-old Matthew Moore.

"I'm here, you know, my dad just died and you really have the nerve to do this," says Tripp. "There's a line somewhere.

"Two of these went missing and were in the police report," Tripp says, showing FOX 2's Amy Lange some collectible figurines. "And then when he gave it back, we got four back, which we weren't expecting. The watch he confessed to taking off of the boat in 2011."The Rolex watch was only the beginning.

"Who knows how much more," Tripp says. "We're still missing one or two more of these figurines, some more artwork, a pair of crystal candlesticks, a smaller tray."

It was this tray that they say disappeared in late March after a visit from Moore that proved what the Kennedy family had been suspecting. They went to police and shortly after they say Moore confessed. That's when police executed a search warrant and returned family heirlooms, including two paintings Moore allegedly stole on St. Patrick's Day - less than a month after DJ Kennedy passed away.

"He was really like a brother and we talked every day," Tripp says. "We had a good time together and we shared a lot in common, but it was all an ulterior motive.

"Clearly everything that he's made up about himself is a lie and what's there left once you strip it all down?"

Charges have been issued for Moore for larceny up to $20,000, and receiving and concealing stolen property. His attorney declined comment. Police say they're investigating other allegations.

"Our case is really the tip of the iceberg, I feel," Tripp says.

Another family tells FOX 2 they have a case against Moore. Grosse Pointe Farms Police say he'll be arraigned on this first case next Wednesday.

Anyone with additional information is asked to come forward in Grosse Pointe Farms.