FALL RIVER — A 47-year-old Fall River man who broke into a home in the Highlands section of Fall River last June was sentenced to serve four to six years in state prison yesterday, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today.

Charles Colbourne pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with breaking and entering during the day to commit a felony and larceny from a building.

On Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at approximately 11:15am, Fall River Police were dispatched to a home on Highland Avenue for a reported Breaking and entering.  A neighbor heard a sound coming from his next door neighbor’s yard and observed a male walking away from the north side of the house toward Highland Avenue.  He then reviewed video from his home camera system and saw the suspect raise a window on the side of the house. The suspect appeared to be a white male wearing a blue shirt, jean or cargo shorts, high boots and a backwards hat.  Police searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect.  Police observed that a screen on the north side of the home had been torn horizontally and the window was partially raised.  Police observed that the south door of the home appeared to have been forced in, with the bolt locking plate having been broken.  The victim arrived at the residence and determined that cash, watches and a bracelet were missing from the home.

A short time later, police spoke with another neighbor, who said he saw a suspicious male walking around the Winter/Maple Street area around 9:30-10:00am.  The man rang his side entrance doorbell and asked for directions.  Despite giving the man directions, the neighbor told police he saw the man was still looking around the neighborhood. The neighbor’s description of the man matched the description of the man who had broken into the Highland Avenue home.  Police processed the neighbor’s doorbell and were able to lift a latent fingerprint from the surface of the doorbell.  That latent fingerprint was entered into AFIS, which produced the defendant as a candidate.

During the investigation, police learned that the defendant had pawned a Scrimshaw bracelet, a Tag Heuer watch and a Raymond Weil Watch at Pawtucket Pawnbrokers within one hour of the crime. The transaction was captured on the store surveillance video.  The defendant was wearing similar clothing, including blue shirt, backwards baseball cap and shorts, as was seen on the neighbor’s surveillance video.  The victims identified the pawned property as theirs.  On June 14, 2018, police located the defendant and arrested him.

During a sentencing hearing before Judge Raffi Yessayan, Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Morrissette argued that based on the defendant’s lengthy criminal rap sheet, which included conviction for more than a dozen crimes, the defendant should be sentenced to serve six to eight years in state prison. The defense, however, requested a more lenient three to four year state prison term.  Judge Yessayan sentenced the defendant to serve four to six years in state prison, to be followed by three years of supervised probation.

“The defendant is a career criminal who has a history of breaking into people's homes and stealing their property. He is still breaking into homes in broad daylight  at 47 years old,” District Attorney Quinn said.  “Fortunately, most of the property was recovered. The only solution is to keep the defendant in custody for as long as possible to protect the public and their homes.”

— Bristol County District Attorney's Office