Solebury Police Detective Roy G. Ferrari, 66, was arraigned Thursday before Judge Maggie Snow in Doylestown on theft and evidence tampering charges related to an alleged July 4 incident.
Ferrari, who had served as a New Hope police officer prior to joining the Solebury department some three decades ago, was arrested by Officer Mark J. Zielinski. Ferrari was well known in Solebury, having investigated and solved several high-profile crimes over the years.
Court records indicate Solebury Police were contacted on Sept. 3 by the owners of a Solebury Township property, who said their trail camera had recorded a man taking a 4′ Stanley level from the site.
Charles and Morgan Ehne said they had purchased the property in 2014, and were prepping it for construction.
Law enforcement officials reviewed the images and recognized the alleged thief as Ferrari.
They asked Ferrari to view the photos on the trail camera, and Ferrari said he only saw one of the property owners and surveyors on the images. On Sept. 18, Ferrari drafted a Solebury Township police report that failed to identify any of the images. Officials say Ferrari then deleted the trail camera footage so it could be returned to the owners.
Ferrari was interviewed Sept. 21, and admitted taking the level. Ferrari said he took it “during a moment of weakness, citing a momentary lapse in judgment.”
The stolen level was located in a shed in Ferrari’s backyard.
Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said, “The fact that he did this while he was supposed to be protecting the lives and property of the community is particularly troublesome.”
In response to questions, Solebury Police issued the following statement.
“Today Detective Roy Ferrari, a member of the Solebury Police Department, was arraigned in Magisterial District Court on the following charges: Theft of Property lost, mislaid or delivered, Theft by unlawful taking or disposition, Tampering with public records or information and Tampering with or fabrication of physical evidence. Detective Ferrari has subsequently resigned from the police department.
“The Solebury township police department received information with regard to an incident involving Ferrari which occurred in July of 2015. The Department immediately contacted detectives from the Bucks County District Attorney’s office. An investigation was conducted which culminated in Ferrari’s arrest.
“The Solebury Township Police Department and the Township Administration takes a zero tolerance stance toward any misconduct involving our officers. By handling this investigation swiftly and properly, we hope to ensure the general public that we do not condone the alleged behavior and it will not be tolerated at any level. We will always hold our officers to the highest standards to maintain trust and accountability within the community that we serve.”