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Convicted Leonia ‘business suit burglar’ will be here awhile before he’s deported

Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia

CVP EXCLUSIVE: An illegal Colombian immigrant has a ways to go before he’s deported for burglarizing Leonia homes in a business suit.

Carlos Becerra, 43, of Queens — who was arrested after being caught on home surveillance video — has 103 more days to serve of 364-day Bergen County Jail sentence handed down yesterday, having spent 261 behind bars so far.


Carolina Gomez (STORY / PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia)

He then will be shipped to Middlesex County to resolve similar burglary charges there.

Once that’s done, he’ll be deported, authorities said.

Asked whether he he had anything to say, Becerra, through a Spanish interpreter, said: “Just that I’m very sorry to have harmed these people.”

Becerra’s girlfriend and accomplice in the Leonia break-ins, Carolina Gomez, sat a few rows behind Becerra. Gomez, 37, received probation.

Becerra, who was ordered to pay the two Leonia victims $1,900 in restitution, had the town on edge during the two break-ins and a burglary attempt last summer.

Dressed in a three-piece suit, Becerra told residents who answered their doors that he was a Verizon salesman.

Leonia police cracked the case with help from a Cottage Place home surveillance video. Becerra can be seen peering through a kitchen window, breaking the lock with a tool, entering the home and looking both directions while speaking to Gomez on a cell phone.

The video was published on CLIFFVIEW PILOT and Telemundo, where a viewer recognized Becerra.

Becerra was arrested in early August in Gomez’s Queens apartment by Leonia Detective Sgt. Chris Garris and Detective Michael Jennings, along with members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force.

Carlos Becerra (STORY / PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia)

They recovered the grey suit, gloves and sunglasses, as well as a pry tool used in the break-ins and some of the proceeds, Police Chief Thomas Rowe said at the time.

“We were very fortunate to have excellent video, which had audio,” Rowe said. “We had some hard, solid work by members of the department. And there was the assistance of the media in getting the video out.”

Last month, Becerra pleaded guilty to the Cottage Place burglary and another the same day on Hillside Avenue. Gomez had been parked in a white 2012 Chevy Equinox SUV near the two burglaries, police said.

He also tried but failed to get into a Van Orden Avenue home a week and a half later, they said.

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