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Colombian national indicted as Leonia business-suit burglar

Photo Credit: Courtesy LEONIA PD
Photo Credit: Courtesy LEONIA PD
Photo Credit: LEONIA PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A grand jury in Hackensack today returned an indictment against an illegal Colombian immigrant who Leonia police said was the business-suited burglar caught on video breaking into a home.
Also named in the indictment is his alleged accomplice.

Carlos Becerra, 43, was wearing a suit, gloves and sunglasses when he committed two burglaries in Leonia on July 18 — on Cottage Place and Hillside Avenue — and an attempted break-in on July 30 on Van Orden Avenue, authorities said.

Carolina Gomez (ALL IMAGES: Courtesy LEONIA PD)

He was arrested in early August by Leonia Detective Sgt. Chris Garris and Detective Michael Jennings, along with members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, in Queens and remained held on $35,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail tonight.

The INS also has issued a detainer for possible deportation proceedings.

Also arrested was 37-year-old Carolina Gomez, who authorities said was parked in a white 2012 Chevy Equinox SUV near the two burglaries, serving as a lookout.

“We were very fortunate to have excellent video, which had audio,” Police Chief Thomas Rowe said at the time. “We had some hard, solid work by members of the department.

“And there was the assistance of the media in getting the video out.”

A TV viewer recognized Becerra and contacted police, Rowe said.

The suit (ALL IMAGES: Courtesy LEONIA PD)

The investigators hit Gomez’s Flushing apartment in the early-morning hours and found both suspects there, he said.

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

Becerra, who had an outstanding criminal warrant from Edison for burglary and theft, is charged in the indictment with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft and one of attempted burglary.

Gomez — who has a young child — faces similar charges.

Leonia has long been a target for burglars and other thieves — and not those just from New Jersey. In this case, the houses struck were just off Grand Avenue, which has quick, easy access to highway escape routes that are minutes — if not seconds — from the George Washington Bridge.

This is why authorities urge residents to have strong locks, alarm systems and surveillance cameras.

They also urge citizens to look out for one another, and to immediately call police if and when they see anything suspicious.


CLIFFVIEW PILOT
had the original scoop and was first with the arrests and all developments in the case (including today’s):

YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST: A business-suited, briefcase-carrying burglar was caught on surveillance video breaking into a Leonia home yesterday. READ MORE….

*      *      *      *      *      *

YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST: Leonia police this afternoon released a surveillance photo of an extended van believed connected to a business-suited, briefcase-carrying burglar who was caught on surveillance video breaking into a home yesterday. READ MORE….

*      *      *      *      *      *

YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST: An afternoon business suit burglar caught on surveillance video a week and a half ago struck again in Leonia today — this time wearing beige and carrying papers instead of a briefcase. READ MORE….

*      *      *      *      *      *

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Thanks in part to a Telemundo viewer who recognized him, Leonia police said they’ve caught the business-suited burglary captured on surveillance video breaking into a home, as well as an alleged lookout he was talking with on a cellphone. READ MORE….

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