Following an investigation, Fall River Police on Thursday executed a search warrant and arrested two men suspected of breaking into small businesses in the south end of the city.

Multiple city police units executed a search at 239 Glasgow St., Apartment 12, including the Major Crimes Unit, Vice & Intelligence Unit, Emergency Services Unit, Crime Scene Unit, and Uniform Division, according to a release from the department.

Placed into custody were Michael Oliveira, 46, listed as homeless, and Andrew Mendonca, 31, a resident of the 239 Glasgow St. apartment.

Police allege that over the past two weeks, the suspects targeted many small businesses. Interim Fall River Police Chief Charles J. Cullen said that one of the suspects, presumably Oliveira, was "directly responsible for 14 breaks over the last two weeks."

The arrests came after "countless hours of surveillance operations" by detectives and round-the-clock business checks by patrol officers, the statement from police spokesman Sergeant Joseph Galvao said. He added that police collected evidence at the scene of Thursday's raid.

Oliveira is charged with 14 counts of breaking and entering into a building in the nighttime to commit a felony; 12 counts of larceny from a building; four counts of vandalizing property; three counts of receiving a stolen motor vehicle, subsequent offense; breaking into a depository, and attempting to break into a depository.

Mendonca is charged with two counts of breaking into a building in the nighttime to commit a felony and two counts of larceny from a building.

Police previously released video surveillance stills from a March 19 incident where police say an officer accidentally discharged his gun as two suspects fled from them near Exit 8 of Rt. 24. At the time, police said that since March 15, nine small convenience stores and restaurants had already been targeted. They said they learned that stolen vehicles were used to commit the crimes.

Cullen on Friday thanked Det. Capt. Michael Duarte, commander of the Major Crimes Division, for leading the investigation. He praised his staff for their teamwork and said the investigation was aided by a grant landed with help from state Rep. Carole Fiola.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app