Island Car Thief Sentenced To Nine Months In Prison

David Creed •

An island resident arraigned this summer following several car break-ins and thefts pleaded guilty to numerous charges and was ordered to serve nine months of prison time by District Court Judge James Sullivan.

Igor Leandro Ramos Goncalves, 21, of Nantucket, was in court on Monday for eight open criminal cases. He pleaded guilty to several charges occurring from January to October of 2022 including four charges of breaking and entering (these charges were amended down from breaking and entering a vehicle in the nighttime with the intent to commit a felony to a misdemeanor breaking and entering charge), larceny of a motor vehicle, using a motor vehicle without authority, larceny under $1,200, receiving stolen property less than $1,200, and receiving stolen property.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Degan requested that Judge Sullivan order Goncalves to serve nine months in prison and one year of probation. Degan said that while he and prosecutors appreciated Goncalves admitting guilt to the criminal offenses, he felt the sentence would be a sufficient punishment given that Goncalves’ actions impacted several community members.

Goncalves’ attorney Susan Wentzel argued against the prosecution’s request for probation, telling Sullivan that Goncalves was “young and foolish” and after working on island as a painter, plans to never return to the island again following the conclusion of this case because he “doesn’t feel too welcome” on Nantucket.

Wentzel also argued that his punishment be less severe since all stolen items were returned and no one was harmed physically by her client’s actions.

Sullivan’s decision was to incarcerate Goncalves in the Barnstable House of Corrections for nine months and place him on six months of probation following his release. Goncalves has already been held for about 110 days since October of 2022, so he will have approximately six more months to serve with the possibility of being released on parole in 45 days.

Following the end of Goncalves’ jail time, he will be on probation and could face further consequences if he violates any of his probation terms.

According to the statement of facts read aloud at the courthouse by assistant district attorney Degan, Goncalves accumulated eight criminal cases in a 10-month span for charges ranging from stealing cars from strangers to breaking into vehicles and stealing items. In one instance, he attempted to sell one of the stolen vehicles to a third-party.

According to a May 29, 2022 police report, officers tracked Goncalves down after receiving a report of a stolen motor vehicle and when questioned by police, Goncalves admitted to stealing the car and that he had attempted to sell it for $3,600 to a third-party buyer.

On July 18, 2022, officers were involved in a car chase down Old South Road after Goncalves stole a motor vehicle from an island resident on Orange Street while the victim was on their lunch break. Goncalves proceeded to drive over 70 miles per hour down Old South Road, which has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour. This incident took place just hours after Goncalves was in court for three pretrial hearings on separate charges.

In an Oct. 12, 2022 incident, police were investigating a Cow Pond Lane motor vehicle break-in. When Goncalves was questioned, he admitted to breaking into the car and revealed that he and his friend were involved in the larceny the previous night and that this was not the only crime they committed.

“We broke into many vehicles last night,” Goncalves told police regarding the incident.

Goncalves also pleaded guilty to multiple charges where police found stolen items in his bedroom that matched the reported stolen items from victims such as a Bluetooth travel projector.

Many of the break-ins took place off of Old South Road on Greglen Avenue, Amelia Drive, Lovers Lane, Fairgrounds Road, and Allen's Lane. Other items stolen included a vape, grinder, marijuana, apair of Jordan sneakers, a $30 black fanny pack, and $50 in cash. Cape and Islands assistant district attorney Michael Giardino said during the Oct. 13 arraignment that Goncalves told police that he and his partner in the theft Jhan Barbosa "made a plan to break into a bunch of vehicles and steal weed and money." Immigration detainers were placed on both individuals.

As part of the plea, Goncalves had several charges dismissed including minor motor vehicle offenses such as driving without a valid license as well as charges of possessing a class E drug, two charges of breaking and entering a vehicle in the nighttime with the intent to commit a felony, a charge of larceny under $1,200, a negligent operation of a motor vehicle charge, and a receiving stolen property charge.

All fees and assessments relating to Goncalves probation were waived by Sullivan and he was transported to the Barnstable House of Corrections on Monday following his pleas.

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