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Man with 35+ year record of breaking into buildings, sentenced in convenience store break-in and robbery



A 55-year-old Rhode Island man with an extensive criminal rap sheet dating back to the 1980s was sentenced to serve four to six years in state prison this week after pleading guilty to charges related to a May 2020 break-in and robbery at a Seekonk convenience store, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Dennis Bautista, formerly of Warwick and Cranston, pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon to indictments charging him with Breaking and Entering During the Daytime with the Intent to Commit a Felony, and Larceny from a Building.

On May 20, 2020 at approximately 5:30am Seekonk Police were dispatched to Quick Stop Mini Mart for an alarm call. The glass door of the business was smashed, the trash was knocked over and the cash register and a box of coins was reported missing.

Exterior store surveillance at 5:16 a.m. clearly depicts a dark Toyota Camry with Rhode Island plates pulled up in the front of store. A male wearing a light colored mask, blue pants, black sneakers, blue shirt, dark zip up sweatshirt and dark knit hat exited the car, retrieved a tire iron from the trunk, smashed the glass door, kicked in the rest of the glass and entered the store. The suspect was then seen exiting the store with the cash register, which he put in the rear of the car. He then re-entered the store and exited again with a box. He then got back into the Camry and drove toward Providence.

The defendant was tracked to an apartment complex in Cranston, RI known as Arlington Manor. Surveillance video from inside the complex showed the suspect leaving a friend’s apartment at 4:29 a.m. on the morning of the crime, wearing the same clothing as the suspect was wearing during the robbery.

After being positively identified as the culprit, the defendant was arrested without incident.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Veenstra and the state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Raffi Yessayan.

At the time of his arrest, the defendant had been out of prison for just over six months. He was on probation for a larceny and breaking and entering case. In addition to convictions in the mid-2010s in Taunton and Wrentham District Courts, the defendant also has a 14-page criminal record in Rhode Island, which includes numerous jail and prison sentences for property/theft related offenses.

“The defendant has a criminal history of more than 35 years for stealing and breaking into buildings. He was on probation for the same crime when he broke into the business in Seekonk. The defendant is a career criminal who needs to be kept off the streets to protect the public,” District Attorney Quinn said.

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