A spate of home break-ins around the Island has led to the arrest of a 27-year-old Pennsylvania man who police said stole more than $85,000 in jewelry and other items.
Damien N. Derose, 27, of Doylestown, Pa., was arraigned on August 19 in Edgartown district court and charged with eight counts of breaking and entering a building in the daytime for a felony, six counts of larceny from a building, four counts of larceny more than $250, one count of malicious destruction of property more than $250 and one count of attempt to commit a crime.
Bail was set at $10,000 in each of nine separate cases, and pretrial hearings continued to Sept. 16. Mr. Derose’s occupation was listed as a musician.
Throughout the weekend of August 16, there were reports of break-ins at eight homes in Edgartown, Chilmark and West Tisbury. Several laptop computers, thousands of dollars in cash, prescription medicines, wallets, iPods, a passport, 100 English pounds and a wide array of jewelry were among the stolen items. About $50,000 in jewelry was taken from one Edgartown home, including a yellow gold diamond ring valued at $15,000.
According to a police report filed in court, the Chilmark police received a call on Sunday, August 18 from a Gosnold’s Way homeowner who allegedly arrived at home to find Mr. Derose in the house and a pillow case full of jewelry on the floor. The homeowner asked who he was and what he was doing at the home, police said. Mr. Derose allegedly said he was looking for a friend’s house and left in a black car with Pennsylvania license plates. Chilmark police chief Brian Cioffi pulled the car over near Blueberry Hill Lane, the report said.
Police said Mr. Derose was cooperative and allegedly stated he had a drug problem and had other items he had stolen in his car and at his parents’ Vineyard Haven residence.
Mr. Derose helped police officers locate a brown leather bag holding two laptop computers and jewelry that was hidden near a pond off Pepperbush Lane, the report said.
Mr. Derose allegedly took pillowcases off pillows in the homes and used the pillowcases to hold the stolen items, police reports said. At several homes, there were no signs of forced entry. In one case, a basement window was broken to gain entry.
Mr. Derose was also charged with possessing a class A drug (heroin) after police allegedly found 29 individual baggies of heroin at the residence, a total of 2.9 grams.