Police & Fire

Puzo’s Pizzeria and Ristorante Burglary Suspects Arrested


FAIRFIELD, NJ — A 51-year-old Clifton man and his 15-year-old accomplice were arrested at Puzo’s Pizzeria and Ristorante in Fairfield related to an incident that occurred on Aug. 25 for burglary and other related charges. According to police, the two actors were accused of stealing cash from within the restaurant.

At approximately 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 25, police said the owner’s alarm company notified him of an alarm activation at the restaurant was notified of an alarm activation by his alarm company.

After remotely viewing surveillance cameras and seeing nothing out of the ordinary, the owner cancelled the police department’s response to the building, according to police. After that, police said the two actors then entered the restaurant and ultimately stole cash from within. The burglary was discovered the next day when employees arrived to open the business.

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An investigation conducted by Detective Ian Rasmussen indicated that the actors forced open the rear door, but apparently did not immediately enter. After waiting, they entered the business and eventually stole an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.

According to police, the pair was in fact captured on the business’ surveillance camera system. Fairfield investigators then sent copies of the surveillance photos to various police agencies within the state. Detectives from both the Clifton and Bloomfield Police Departments recognized the pair and positively identified them.

Warrants were issued for an arrest of the adult male, identified as Brian Barone. He was taken into custody after leaving his Clifton residence on Aug. 30 by the Clifton Police Department and turned over to Fairfield.

Further investigation revealed that Barone is employed as an electrician by a Passaic business and very often is sent out to do service calls at such stores as Staples, K-Mart and Trader Joes. According to police, it was reported that after completing these calls, he would then seek out other business in the area of these stores to burglarize. Police said that the pair has now also been linked to commercial burglaries in both Yorktown and Mamaroneck, NY.

In addition to the burglary charge, Barone was also charged with theft, possession of burglar tools, employing a juvenile in the commission of a crime, and conspiracy. He was eventually transported to the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark pending a bail hearing in the superior court.

The juvenile was charged with burglary and conspiracy and will be referred to the Family Court for adjudication of the case.

“This has been and still is a great cooperative effort between various law enforcement agencies resulting in the arrest of a serial commercial burglar and his young accomplice,” said Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna. “The investigation is still ongoing and we are hoping that it will result in clearing other open burglary cases in both this state and others.”

The chief noted that the charges against the pair are merely allegations and that both are presumed innocent until they either plead guilty or are found guilty in a court of law.

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