Court documents detail how Gronk’s house was robbed — and how the alleged thieves were caught
WRENTHAM — The second of three men wanted for burglarizing the Foxborough home of New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski while he was at the Super Bowl appeared in court Wednesday and was ordered held on $1,000 cash bail.
Eric J. Tyrrell, 28, appeared in Wrentham District Court to face two counts of receiving stolen property worth more than $250.
Tyrrell is accused of selling two 19th-century coins that were stolen from Gronkowski’s home last month when he and his housemates were away at the Super Bowl.
Tyrrell, Anthony V. Almeida, 31, of Randolph, and Shane J. Denn are facing charges for their alleged roles in the burglary of Gronkowski’s home.
It’s unclear whether Gronkowski’s home was specifically targeted because the suspects knew he was out of town, or whether his property was chosen at random. According to documents filed in court, the items that were stolen in the break-in belonged to Gronkowski’s housemates.
Last week, Almeida pleaded not guilty to charges of breaking and entering in the nighttime, two counts of receiving stolen property, and malicious destruction of property in connection with the burglary, police said.
Denn, 26, of Tewksbury, who has also been linked to recent crimes in Wilmington, Tewksbury, and Andover, remains at large.
According to documents filed in court, Gronkowski and his housemates came home Feb. 5 and found that their house had been broken into.
The basement door and an upstairs bedroom door had been forced open, and a basement window had been smashed. One housemate discovered that a watch and bracelet were missing from his room, and another housemate told police that three handguns were taken from his room, along with jewelry, rare coins, and his Social Security card and birth certificate. Gronkowski’s bedroom was locked and secured.
The police report states that Gronkowski had left for Minneapolis on Jan. 29. His housemates said the doors and windows were secure when they left on Feb. 1, but they later realized the house alarm was not on, according to the police report.
Also according to the report, Gronkowski’s property in Foxborough has 16 cameras. Video from the night of Feb. 4 — Super Bowl Sunday — showed an individual walking over to the basement windows and then leaving. Police believe the suspect broke one of the windows to test to see whether a security system was active.
On March 12, police received a call from Doug Davis, the founder and president of the Numismatic Crime Information Center, a nonprofit that tracks stolen coins and currency. Davis told police that he was aware that coins were reported stolen from Gronkowski’s home and he’d posted an alert and received a response — and as it turned out, a coin dealer in Weymouth had them.
The coin dealer in Weymouth confirmed with police that he had purchased two 19th-century coins from Tyrrell on Feb. 23 and 27. (The dealer paid $1,750 for an 1896 coin and $1,800 for an 1879 coin.)
The coin dealer said Tyrrell told him the coins belonged to his father and that he had previously tried to sell them at a pawn shop.
Tyrrell turned himself in to police earlier this week. He is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on April 26.