Pajama burglars caught in the act

March 30, 2011 2:25:08 PM PDT
Two suspected burglars in New Jersey are under arrest, and pajama pants may have helped lead to their arrest.

An off-duty fire chief spotted them and knew they were up to.

"You can't make this stuff up," said Deputy Chief Henry Cholewczynski, of the Clifton Fire Department.

After 30 years as a Clifton Firefighter Deputy Chief Henry Cholewczynski has seen it all, at least until Monday afternoon.

He was sitting in his kitchen paying bills when a car pulled up in front of his neighbor's house and a young woman got out.

"What caught my eye, she had bright white gloves on, she looked like Minnie Mouse, white pants on his red hearts all over and a bright red shirt, she stuck out like a sore thumb," Cholewczynski said.

It was the pants that made the chief take a second look.

He watched in amazement as Valarie Tomassini and Francisco Villafane proceeded to break into his neighbor's house through the back door.

He grabbed his fire radio, switched to the police channel and put out a call.

"This is Deputy 2. We have a burglary in progress. Send every car you've got they are popping the back door!" Cholewczynski said.

Within minutes, the house was surrounded.

The pair were arrested and caught by police red handed.

"Jewelry, coins, cash, whatever they could get their hands on," said Captain Robert Rowan, of the Clifton Police Department.

Captain Robert Rowan says Villafane confessed, but Tomassini wanted a lawyer.

She did however make one statement.

"She told us she made a New Year's resolution not to use heroin anymore and to switch to crack cocaine instead," Rowan said.

Like the chief said, you can't make this stuff up.

"Know your neighborhood, know your neighbors, and hope for criminals who look like rodeo clowns," Cholewczynski said.

This pair had been busy.

Police tell Eyewitness News they are being charged with burglaries in Bloomfield, Little Falls, and Totowa.

Several other towns are taking a look at them as well.

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