Assemblyman Benedetto burglar sentenced to 4 1/2 years

An east Bronx man convicted of burglarizing a local state assemblyman’s apartment will be spending the next four and half years behind bars.

Michael Herrera, 32, will also have to spend five years under post-release supervision after he’s served his prison term, officials said.

One legal misstep, and he’ll be back behind bars, they said.

Burglary spree

Herrera, suspected of a rash of burglaries in County Club and nearby neighborhoods, was sentenced on Monday, March 31 by Bronx state Supreme Court Justice Denis Boyle on his guilty plea to attempted burglary in the second degree. He had been jailed since his arrest in January 2013.

That charge involved his entering Assemblyman Michael Benedetto’s Bruckner Blvd. apartment through an unlocked window near a fire escape in the early evening hours of Oct. 5, 2012 and stealing several pieces of women’s jewelry and some cash totaling close to $3,000.

Herrera was finally arrested for the Bronx burglary Jan. 28, 2013 after a burglary-related arrest in Queens, police said, and was remanded to jail pending trial.

Open window

A Bronx grand jury subsequently returned an 11 count indictment against him on Feb. 3, 2013, charging him with several counts of burglary, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal trespass.

He pleaded guilty March 13 of this year before Judge Boyle to only one burglary count, involving the breakin at Benedetto’s apartment.

After Herrera’s guilty plea, Benedetto told the Times Reporter that when he returned home that evening he noticed the bedroom window next to the fire escape, which had been closed, was open, then discovered all the jewelry missing.

He said he felt embarrassed for not locking the window.

“It’s never a good feeling to see that someone has broken into your home and stolen your possessions,” said Benedetto, “especially some things that had good memories.”

Confession

In a signed confession, Herrera told the arresting officer, Detective Bobby Rogers of the 45th Precinct detective squad, that he was sorry, stating “I am a very hard working man. But because I don’t want to justify the wrong that I did I am just going to say that its just hard out in New York City keeping a job… [I] made a big mistake that now changed my life.”

Reach Editor Bob Kappstatter at (718) 742–3395. E-mail him at bkappstatter@cnglocal.com.

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