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Hopkinton police say would-be burglar skipped sentencing

WAKEFIELD — A Westerly man convicted on multiple felony charges, including threatening the lives of Hopkinton police officers and their families, failed to appear for his sentencing Monday in Washington County Superior Court.

Michael Gaccione, 37, whose last known address was on Canal Street in Westerly, was found guilty of four of seven felony counts after a trial before Judge Melanie Wilk Thunberg in January. Hopkinton police have posted Gaccione’s photo and information on Facebook asking that anyone with information about his whereabouts contact their local police.

Gaccione has a lengthy criminal record dating to the 1990s, including convictions on various domestic violence and theft charges.

Gaccione and his alleged accomplice, Rose Roberts, 38, who was living with him at the time, faced numerous charges related to what police said were attempts to break into homes in the Woodville-Alton Road area of Ashaway last February. He was charged with conspiracy to attempt breaking and entering, two counts of breaking and entering at different locations, and three counts of making threats to public officials. He was also charged with malicious injury to property, a misdemeanor.

Gaccione was found guilty of two of the attempted break-ins in Ashaway, one count of conspiracy, and the threats to the public officials — four Hopkinton officers.

Police Chief David S. Palmer said the couple knocked on the door of a residence and, believing no one was home, tried to gain entrance by ripping a screen window. Gaccione was confronted by the homeowner, screamed that he was looking for somebody, and fled in a car driven by Roberts, the police said.

Shortly afterward, Hopkinton officer David Whewell said he noticed the same vehicle in front of another home where he was familiar with the homeowners. Police said Gaccione tried to open the door to that house. Whewell simultaneously received a radio report of the previous break-in and arrested the pair. Officers said Gaccione repeatedly threatened them at the police station, and he was later was charged with disorderly conduct during his arraignment by a justice of the peace.

Gaccione, a thin, long-haired man, has been boisterous in his court appearances in Wakefield, drawing the attention of sheriffs, judges and others in the courtroom. Once, when he balked at being sent to prison, he lifted his handcuffed arms and the pants he was holding onto fell down.

Appearing in 4th Division District Court during one of his arraignments, Gaccione, whose mother and girlfriend were among those in the courtroom, admonished a Westerly lieutenant for ruining his Valentine’s Day dinner by barging in, along with a Hopkinton officer, to arrest him. Gaccione complained to Judge Madeline Quirk that he had gotten arrested many times in Westerly and had never been charged with threatening police officers.

In February 2013, Gaccione pleaded no contest to a Westerly police charge of receiving stolen goods. He was sentenced to serve a prison term of four months, with one year suspended and one year of probation.

Meanwhile, he is scheduled to be in Superior Court on Thursday for a pretrial hearing on felony charges of simple domestic assault-third offense, and resisting arrest. In that case, he was charged by Westerly police on Sept. 25, 2013; he did not enter a plea.

The Rhode Island Judiciary website shows no disposition of charges for Rose Roberts.

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