Massachusetts Sex Offender Is In Prison Again After Bar Break-In Caught On Video
KINGSHILL — A convicted sex offender allegedly broke a hole through the wall of a Frederiksted bar in order to steal $400 cash from the register inside, authorities said.
Daniel Eric Cove, 38, was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary, petit larceny, and destruction of property, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.
Cove was also charged in connection with another incident that occurred on February 25. He appeared in court for an advice-of-rights hearing at Superior Court in Estate Kingshill on Monday.
The case began when police responded to a report of a burglary at Tap Deck Bar & Billiards in Frederiksted. The owner of the restaurant said that a man had been caught on surveillance video breaking a hole in the wall and taking cash from the register, according to a sworn police affidavit.
The owner said about $400 had been taken, and nothing else was noticed to be missing
Police found “a big hole in the wall” with debris from the break-in, and watched the surveillance tape that showed an unknown person trying to break into the business at around 2:30 a.m., according to the police report.
The man attempted to break through the windows, before entering a vacant apartment adjacent to the business, and breaking through the wall, police said. The surveillance video did not show the individual’s face, but the person had “what appeared to be a dagger or an arrow tattoo on his right forearm,” and police canvassed the neighborhood and showed people the photo of the man with a dagger tattoo.
People who live in the area told police that it looked like “Danny’s” tattoo, and said “he is a creepy white male (who) is seen frequently in the Frederiksted and Christiansted town area,” court records indicate.
The investigating officer, Mitchel Guzman, said that “for years this officer personally knows Mr. Daniel Cove having a tattoo of an AK-47 rifle on his right forearm,” according to the affidavit. Guzman also said he knows Cove “as a homeless Caucasian adult male that uses illegal drugs” and is “always shoplifting” at both Kmart stores on St. Croix.
Cove has a significant criminal history. He was convicted in Massachusetts on June 23, 2002, of indecent assault and battery on a child under age 14, and sentenced to prison.
Following his release on June 21, 2013, he moved to the Virgin Islands and registered as a Tier 2 sexual offender, but repeatedly failed to comply with the registration requirements of his sex offender status, which are intended to ensure that potentially dangerous individuals are tracked and monitored in the community.
Following his latest arrest in 2019 for failure to register as a sex offender, Cove was granted pretrial release in March 2020. Virgin Islands Justice Department spokeswoman Sandra Goomansingh told the Virgin Islands Daily News that because Cove is homeless, he was required to register weekly because he does not have a stable or permanent address, and “our records show that he has been compliant in registering weekly with the Sex Offender Registry.”
During Cove’s court hearing Monday, Assistant Virgin Islands Attorney General Patricia Lynn Pryor “opposed his release primarily for the public’s safety & protection and because there would be no way to monitor him to assure that he appears in court,” Goomansingh said.
Superior Court Magistrate Judge Miguel Camacho set bail at $50,000 and said Cove must identify a third-party custodian who is willing to notify the court if he violates the conditions of pretrial release.
Cove has not posted bail and remains in jail, according to the court clerk’s office.