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Thieves thwarted by stick shift: Another caught stealing pajamas 2 days in a row

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Potential car thieves were stopped in their tracks because none of them knew how to drive a manual transmission. The attempted carjacking took place Tuesday night in Springfield, Ma., according to MassLive on Jan. 15.

This follows a similarly odd news story that emerged from the same Massachusetts city earlier this week, as a 42-year-old Springfield man was arraigned on charges he robbed the same store of pajamas two days in a row.

In the first case, a delivery driver was robbed of a food order on Dawes Street, and was about to lose his car as well until the three thieves realized none of them knew how to drive a stick shift, police said.

The delivery man told investigators he arrived at the delivery destination at around 10:15 p.m., and called the number on the order to say he had arrived.

Moments later he was rushed by three men, one of whom was carrying a knife. The trio demanded the food and his car keys, said Sgt. John Delaney of the Springfield Police Department.

The three jumped into the car to take off but couldn't figure out how to drive it. The men allegedly argued for a moment before abandoning the vehicle and running off with the food.

The only description provided by police was very limited. The suspects were described as black men in dark clothing and baseball caps.
That incident remains under investigation.

In the pajama caper case, police arrested Hector Alicea Monday on an arrest warrant and charged him with larceny. Springfield cops found him hiding in a closet in his home, Sgt. Delaney told The Republican.

Alicea was first apprehended on Jan. 6 when Detective Michael Carney was stopped at a red light and saw him running across the street carrying a bundle, and looking behind him as he ran.

Carney became suspicious and stopped him, finding him in possession of six pairs of micro-fleece pajama pants that had apparently just been stolen from a nearby Walgreens.

The suspect complained of severe stomach pain and was brought to the hospital for treatment. Delaney said that instead of arresting him, Carney filed a criminal complaint against him in District Court.

But the following morning, Carney received a phone call from the same Walgreens manager, who said Alicea came into the store again and shoplifted 11 more pairs of the same pajamas.

"It appears that Mr. Alicea was feeling much better and did not learn his lesson", Delaney said.