Damien Derose made a bad decision when he decided to rob another home on Martha’s Vineyard some two to three days after moving into his parents’ residential rental there. The 29-year-old from Doylestown was caught by two homeowners in their master bedroom, and ultimately apprehended by local police, who pursued him across the island, say law enforcement officials.
What proved to be Derose’s undoing, however, was an item found in his stash along with multiple bags of heroin: a suitcase with an intact name tag from a home he had purportedly robbed in Solebury during 2013, according to Detective-Corporal Roy Ferrari of the Solebury Township Police. Ferrari had been trying to solve the outstanding burglaries, and when a police officer from another state called asking about the name-tagged luggage, Ferrari joined forces with other investigating jurisdictions to insure Bucks County victims received restitution.
Aside from eight robberies Derose was charged with in Martha’s Vineyard, he was indicted this week for several in New Jersey, and allegedly committed 13 burglaries in Solebury, Buckingham and Doylestown.
Law enforcement officials obtained Derose’s iPhone after his arrest, but were unable to access its data. Ferrari realized that the device may have synched up at some point with Derose’s laptop, and searched it for forensic evidence. It turned out to be a treasure trove, with a browser history that included searches for information on disabling home burglar alarms and addresses of previously publicized robberies.
At the end of the day, more than $250,000 in restitution was obtained for Bucks County victims.
Ferrari is quick to avoid credit, pointing to determined efforts and effective coordination by Delaware Township police and Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III.
Kearns, Chief of Detectives John J. Kuczynski, and Delaware Township Police Chief Philip C. Cane announced Feb. 2 the indictment of Derose, charging him with multiple counts of burglary and theft relating to burglaries that occurred in Delaware and Kingwood townships in 2013.
Said Kearns, “A joint investigation conducted by the Chilmark Police in Massachusetts, the Delaware Township Police in New Jersey, the Solebury Township Police in Pennsylvania, the New Jersey State Police Kingwood Station, and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office resulted in Mr. Derose being charged with three Hunterdon County burglaries, as well as additional burglaries in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. I would like to commend the collaborative effort of the multiple agencies that worked to apprehend and charge Mr. Derose.”
For Solebury’s Detective Ferrari, a defining moment came when he discovered a woman’s name hand-written inside an old book discovered among the allegedly stolen items. He was able to return the book to its local owner, who hadn’t realized it was stolen, but was touched by its return. “Sometimes these items have an emotional or sentimental value that exceeds their monetary worth,” observed Ferrari. “Being able to reunite them with their owners — that’s what it’s all about.”