Former Vermont State Police trooper pleads not guilty to stealing from police storage room
A former Vermont State Police trooper accused of stealing thousands of dollars of property seized by law enforcement pleaded not guilty to twenty charges in Chittenden County Superior Court on Thursday, according to court records.
Giancarlo DiGenova, of Essex, faces multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including grand larceny, sale of stolen property, neglect of duty, and fraud.
According to Vermont State Police, DiGenova, 44, used his authority as a state trooper to gain access to property storage rooms and, police say, stole items from the storage areas several times over the course of a year and a half.
DiGenova was initially placed on paid leave in December after a bag containing $40,000 worth of property disappeared from the property storage room at the Williston barracks, where DiGenova was assigned. The missing property included a $14,000 Rolex watch, diamond stud earrings, and wireless headphones. Police say DiGenova accessed the storage room multiple times on the day the bag disappeared. A fellow trooper also told supervisors that DiGenova showed him a Rolex watch that DiGenova claimed to have bought on eBay, police said in a press release.
Police recovered the Rolex watch from the home of a relative of DiGenova’s in Massachusetts, but haven’t found any of the other items.
During the investigation into the missing watch, police say they discovered other instances of property disappearing from storage areas that DiGenova allegedly accessed. According to VSP, DiGenova took cell phones that had been seized in June 2021 and tried to sell them at an automated kiosk at the University Mall in South Burlington. DiGenova allegedly marked the phones as “destroyed” in the state police evidence system, police say.
In another instance of alleged misconduct, police say DiGenova stole ADHD medication from a juvenile in May 2022. Police say DiGenova also used his state email account to perform checks of vehicle identification numbers on behalf of a family member’s car registration business.
DiGenova had been a trooper since 2009 until he resigned from the state police in February.
Col. Matthew Birmingham, director of the Vermont State Police, said in a written statement on Tuesday that DiGenova’s actions “represent an extraordinary betrayal of the public’s trust.”
“I know all Vermonters are angered and disappointed. So am I. Your outrage is appropriate,” Birmingham said in the prepared statement. “But I also want you to know that the system worked as well as it can when someone is determined to commit crimes by abusing their power and trust.”
Birmingham said that the agency completed an audit of all temporary personal property storage areas and didn’t find any more concerns, aside from “minor administrative issues.”
During a press conference on Tuesday, Public Safety Commissioner Jennifer Morrison said the incident demonstrated that there’s a culture of accountability at the Vermont State Police.
“The minute it became clear that there was missing property from those barracks, an individual came forward and said, ‘Hey, I saw that guy with a Rolex,’” Morrison said. “So that speaks for itself.”
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