EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 20, 2013

Police: Robber caught after leaving hand print on door

By Mike LaBella

---- — HAVERHILL — Police said an unemployed homeless heroin addict robbed cash from the Walgreens in Monument Square on Thursday, and was caught later in the day with pills in his pockets.

During questioning at the police station, he told police he was high on heroin and didn’t remember robbing the Walgreens because he blacks out when he’s high, police said.

Police said the robbery happened at noon when a man walked into the Walgreens at 310 Main St. holding a “razor” type of knife and demanded cash. Police said the man pushed two store clerks aside, reached into a cash register and made off with an undetermined amount of money.

Police said that on his way out of the store, the man pressed one of his hands against the store’s sliding glass doors, leaving a hand print. Officers brought a copy of the prints to the state police crime lab in Danvers, where they proved to be a match to Andrew Desisto, 26, of Haverhill, police said.

At 6:25 p.m., police located Desisto on Primrose Street. According to a police report on file in Haverhill District Court, he was carrying a folding box cutter knife along with drugs and $43 cash.

During questioning at the police station, Desisto told detectives he’s been a heroin addict for 10 years, that he uses drugs daily and that he blacks out when using drugs and doesn’t remember much of the day, police said. He also told police he didn’t remember robbing the Walgreens, they said. According to the police report, when detectives showed Desisto a video surveillance photo of him robbing the Walgreens, he said that unless he had a twin that was him in the photo.

Police charged Desisto with armed robbery, two counts of assault and battery, and five counts of possession of Class E drugs with intent to distribute.

Desisto was arraigned yesterday in Haverhill District Court on the charges of armed robbery and assault and battery. He was held without bail on those charges pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for next Friday, according to the Essex District Attorney’s Office. He was also ordered held on $10,000 cash bail on the drug charges and a probable cause hearing was scheduled for next Friday as well.