Police arrest suspect after Christmas Eve burglary in Northfield, N.J.

Police say an image from a home surveillance camera led them to the suspect.

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Friday, December 30, 2022
Police arrest burglary suspect after Christmas Eve break-in
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Police in Atlantic County have arrested a man accused of burglarizing a home and attempting to break into another on Christmas Eve.

NORTHFIELD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Police in Atlantic County, New Jersey have arrested a man accused of burglarizing a home and attempting to break into another on Christmas Eve.

Police say an image from a home surveillance camera led them to the suspect.

Pat Gorsky-Bent was at a party on Christmas Eve when she started getting alerts from her doorbell camera.

Someone was outside her house in Northfield.

"My Ring doorbell kept going off, and I knew where I was at - everybody I would've been expecting, company-wise, were there," she said.

The camera captured the man's face and also showed him peeking into her windows.

"When I got home, my back gates were open. So I knew he was in the backyard," said Gorsky-Bent.

That photo helped police catch up with Thomas DiStefano, 68, of Pleasantville. He had no comment when Northfield police arrested him on Thursday in connection with the attempted break-in.

Gorsky-Bent was relieved.

"For the whole week, I couldn't even sleep at night. Just going away, just to go to get something at the store and coming in, or coming in late at night. It was a nightmare," she said.

Police say DiStefano committed at least two crimes on Christmas Eve, actually breaking into another home.

They say the break-in happened at a home on Shore Road in Linwood.

"He did a job in Linwood where he broke a back window in and left a blood trail," said Northfield Police Captain Steve Steinecke.

It's unclear what was taken.

Northfield police say they've seen an increase in residential burglaries lately, and that's not uncommon around the holidays.

They're encouraging people to be careful.

"People putting out packages outside, you know, like TV boxes and things like that kind of telegraph what you got for Christmas and somebody like him might want to take that," said Steinecke.

According to Linwood police, DiStefano was released on a summons on Thursday after his arrest.

Police are investigating if DiStefano may be responsible for more break-ins or attempts.

Anyone with information should contact police.