NEW BEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - A New Bedford man has been sentenced to 4-6 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to using a hypodermic needle to rob a pharmacy clerk around one year ago, the Bristol County District Attorney’s office announced on Thursday.

Steven Vieira, 44, entered the Walgreens pharmacy on Cove Road in New Bedford on May 2, 2020, and approached a clerk, handing her a note that said he had HIV before pointing a hypodermic needle at the woman and demanding cash. Once the clerk handed him the cash, Vieira fled the scene on foot, according to the DA’s office.

Vieira was arrested after New Bedford police identified him using surveillance footage from Walgreen’s pharmacy.

According to the DA’s office, Vieira has a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for armed robbery, destruction of property damage, receiving stolen property, illegal gun charges, and breaking and entering.

“The defendant has a significant criminal history including a prior armed robbery conviction. He needs to be kept off the street to protect the public,” Bristol County District Attorney said on Thursday.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox