Edgartown burglar pleads guilty, gets jail
Brian D. Gromoshak, 28, pled guilty to breaking into a building and stealing jewelry and other items, as part of a plea agreement in Edgartown District Court on Friday. Edgartown Police arrested Mr. Gromoshak, who was living in Oak Bluffs, on March 16, in connection with a series of break-ins at Edgartown homes and a business.
He was sentenced to two years in a House of Correction, with one year to be served, and the rest suspended for four years of supervised probation. If the case had gone to trial, prosecutors would have presented evidence that some of the stolen items were found hidden in Mr. Gromoshak's home when police executed a search warrant. Also seized in that search were boots that matched the footprints police found outside several homes burglarized shortly after a snowfall.
Among the homes burglarized were residences on Norcross Drive, Meetinghouse Way, Schoolhouse Road, and Upper Main Street. According to the police report that described one of the first robberies discovered, the burglars followed a similar but strange pattern.
"Every drawer, cabinet, closet, etc. in every room had been opened or disturbed, including the microwave oven," Edgartown police wrote in their report, "yet several electronics, to include laptop computers, monitors, televisions, stereo, and tools were not stolen."
Under conditions of the sentence, Mr. Gromoshak is to have no contact with the owners of the properties nor trespass on those properties. He is to be back in court on June 22, for a hearing on restitution to the owners of the stolen property.
Another condition of the sentence is that Mr. Gromoshak is to have no contact with two co-defendants in the case, Henry T. Parent, age 17, of Edgartown, and Stephen Sullivan, age 19, of West Tisbury. Mr. Parent and Mr. Sullivan are due back in court on May 22, to face charges in the case.
According to the police report, Mr. Parent told investigators that he owed money to Mr. Gromoshak for the purchase of marijuana. He said he had worked off some of the debt by helping Mr. Gromoshak with his custodial job at the Edgartown School, but still owed him money. Mr. Parent told police that Mr. Gromoshak agreed to forgive the debt if Mr. Parent helped him rob the homes.
Also according to the police report, Mr. Gromoshak was arrested at the Edgartown School, where he did evening custodial work under a contract the school holds with Sparkle Cleaning of Edgartown.
According to prosecutors, Mr. Gromoshak has a lengthy criminal record in Florida.
Martha's Vineyard Schools check all potential employees through a national criminal database before they are hired. According to minutes of a school committee meeting in May 2007, Sparkle Cleaning was awarded a contract after an open bidding process. The Edgartown School contracted for cleaning services to save money. The contract saved the school $24,000 in benefit costs it would have had to pay if the schools hired the custodians directly, according to the meeting minutes.