A Pennsylvania man charged with stealing more than $85,000 worth of jewelry and other items during a series of August home break-ins was sentenced last week to serve 18 months in a house of correction.
Damien N. Derose, 28, of Doylestown, Pa., pleaded guilty Sept. 27 in Edgartown district court to eight counts of breaking and entering a building in the daytime for a felony, six counts of larceny from a building, one count of attempt to commit a crime, one count of larceny more than $250 and one count of malicious destruction of property more than $250.
He was ordered to two and a half years in a house of correction, with 18 months to serve and about 42 days of jail credit given. The balance was suspended for four years and he was placed on probation for four years.
Mr. Derose was ordered to pay $2,875 in restitution, a $90 victim/witness assessment fee and a $65 monthly probation services fee. He was also ordered to remain drug and alcohol-free with screens, to attend an inpatient drug treatment program upon release from jail, and to write a letter of apology to victims via probation.
He also pleaded guilty to possessing a class A drug (heroin), sentenced to six months in a house of correction concurrent with the other counts.
Three charges of larceny more than $250 were dismissed upon request of the commonwealth.
According to police reports filed in court, Mr. Derose was arrested after a series of break-ins at eight homes in Edgartown, Chilmark and West Tisbury over the weekend of August 16. Laptop computers, thousands of dollars in cash, wallets, prescription medicines and a wide array of jewelry were among the stolen items. About $50,000 in jewelry, including a $15,000 yellow gold diamond ring, were taken from one Edgartown home. Edgartown Det. Sgt. Chris Dolby said that in the two Edgartown cases, all of the stolen items were recovered and returned to the owners.
Police said a Chilmark homeowner arrived home August 18 to find Mr. Derose in the house and a pillow case of jewelry on the floor. Police reports said Mr. Derose allegedly used the pillowcases to hold the stolen items. At several homes, there were no signs of forced entry, though in one case, a basement window was broken to gain access to the house. Police allegedly found 29 individual Baggies of heroin at his residence, a total of 2.9 grams.