Public Safety

Former state trooper arrested on more than a dozen charges for allegedly stealing more than $40,000 of items in police custody

Giancarlo DiGenova. Photo courtesy of Vermont State Police

Updated at 4:14 p.m.

A former state trooper under investigation for stealing items from police storage now faces more than a dozen criminal charges — including felony theft and lying to police — after the initial investigation revealed more instances of stealing, according to Vermont State Police.

Giancarlo DiGenova, 44, of Essex, was placed on paid leave in December and resigned in February after state police began investigating him in response to the disappearance of valuables from the temporary evidence storage at the Williston barracks. The missing items — with a total value of over $40,000 — included a gold Rolex men’s watch, diamond earrings, Apple earbuds and a designer wallet, court records show.

While investigating the initial bag of stolen property, police discovered other instances of misconduct by DiGenova, according to a state police press release issued Monday.

Citing court documents, state police wrote that “DiGenova took a bag containing seized cellphones in June 2021 from a secure personal property storage area at the Berlin Barracks, and subsequently attempted to sell two of the devices at an automated kiosk at the University Mall in South Burlington.” DiGenova later marked the cellphones as “destroyed” in the department’s evidence tracking system, according to the release.

DiGenova is also being charged in the theft of ADHD medication belonging to a child while investigating a disturbance in a Bolton residence last May, according to state police. 

In a separate statement released Monday, Col. Matthew Birmingham, director of the Vermont State Police, said he understood Vermonters’ anger and disappointment with DiGenova’s alleged actions.

“Your outrage is appropriate. 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 in the statement. “The former trooper’s actions were uncovered by his peers, who reported him to supervisors.”

“We launched an intensive, lengthy and comprehensive investigation that led to the filing of serious criminal charges. And we have reviewed our policies and procedures, making changes where necessary and increasing the oversight already in place,” Birmingham said.

Prompted by DiGenova’s actions, state police conducted a “complete audit of temporary personal property storage areas” and added surveillance cameras to include more visibility of evidence storage areas, among other changes, Birmingham said. 

In addition to the instances of theft, investigators discovered that DiGenova had performed checks of vehicle identification numbers for a household member’s car registration business, according to the press release. He admitted to performing checks on out-of-state vehicles without ever seeing them, police said, which violates state requirements.

DiGenova faces 13 charges stemming from four separate cases spanning Chittenden and Washington counties, according to state police. He had been a state trooper since 2009, and his assignments included the Williston, Bradford and Middlesex barracks, as well as the Narcotics Investigation Unit. 

DiGenova turned himself in at the Royalton barracks on Monday, police said, and is scheduled to appear in superior court in Burlington on Thursday, and in the Barre court on April 6.

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Ethan Weinstein

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