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A 50-year-old New Bedford career criminal who stole a vehicle while out on bail for breaking into another vehicle was sentenced to serve three years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced Tuesday.

Michael Furtado pleaded guilty last Friday in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with breaking and entering into a motor vehicle, larceny over $1,200 and receiving a stolen motor vehicle.

The first incident occurred on October 14, 2017, when the defendant broke into a woman's vehicle near the intersection of Pleasant and William streets. At around 10:15 a.m. on that date, a New Bedford Police Officer on routine patrol was flagged down by the victim's boyfriend.  The officer caught up with the defendant about a block away and found him to be in possession of the victim's identification, electronics, her checkbook, cash, and other items.

Then, on September 30, 2018, while out on bail from the first arrest, the defendant was arrested for stealing a motor vehicle. On that date, New Bedford Police responded to a report of a stolen vehicle. The car's Lo-Jack system was activated and it was tracked to Fairhaven where the defendant was apprehended while inside the vehicle.

Due to the fact that the defendant has a 17-page criminal record which included a 15-20 year state prison sentence for a breaking and entering case from 1991, Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Veenstra argued he should be sentenced to serve a seven-to-12-year state prison term.

Judge Raffi Yessayan, however, sentenced the defendant to three years in state prison, which will be followed by two years of supervised probation.

"The defendant is a career thief who continues to commit crimes. In this case he stole a car while out on release, which is particularly irritating. We feel he should have received a longer sentence based on his record," District Attorney Quinn said.