Habitual Breaking and Entering Defendant from New Bedford Sentenced to Lengthy State Prison Term

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office 

Thomas M. Quinn III 

District Attorney

Press Release 

September 28, 2017​​​​​

A 49-year-old New Bedford man, who has served committed sentences at least 10 times in the past, was sentenced to serve seven to nine years in state prison after being convicted Tuesday of breaking into a New Bedford home earlier this year, District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Robert Simmons pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Fall River Superior Court to a two-count indictment charging him with breaking and entering during the daytime to commit a felony and larceny from  a building.

On March 31, 2017 at approximately 9:55 am, off duty New Bedford Police Detective Bryan Oliveira was traveling north on Church Street when he saw the defendant exit the front door of a home Church Street and heard the alarm sound.  The defendant was wearing a white and black jacket, a dark hat, and gloves.  The defendant left the front door open and walked off the porch, holding something in front of his jacket.  An item in a plastic bag fell from the jacket and the defendant picked it up and put it inside his jacket before continuing to walk south on Church Street.  

Detective Oliveira followed the defendant as he walked to Brook Street and saw him enter his residence at 161 Brook Street.  A short time later, the defendant exited his residence wearing a different jacket and a grey colored sweatshirt.  

Detective Oliveria followed the defendant to Colette Street and blocked him with his vehicle.  As Detective Oliveria was exiting his vehicle, the defendant ran east and discarded several items from his pockets onto the sidewalk.  Police tackled defendant and took him into custody.  

Police then went to the area where the defendant was discarding items and found three watches on the ground.  Police also found a large glass heart shaped dish with numerous pairs of earrings inside the defendant’s front right pocket.  In his front left pocket, the defendant had a plastic sandwich bag with gold colored Chuck E. Cheese coins, a gray jewelry case, change, and a folding knife.  

Police later returned to the home on Church Street and observed a basement window had been completely pushed in and the front door to the home was open.  Inside, a bedroom was ransacked and jewelry was scattered on the floor in front of a bureau. Police notified the homeowner and met with her at the residence.  The victim identified the property found in defendant’s possession and the discarded watches as hers. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Morissette an the state prison sentence was handed down by Judge Thomas McGuire.

“This defendant has a history of breaking into homes and stealing from people.  It is a sad commentary that at the age of 49 he continues to engage in this behavior,” District Attorney Quinn said.  “The only alternative is to once again put him in state prison for a long time.”


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications