South

BLOTTER TALES

Fit to be caught

Southborough Police Department

A video camera captured this man taking a rowing machine out of a CrossFit gym in Southborough June 5, police say, and a suspect was later arrested.

Every day, police officers respond to reports of all sorts of events and non-events, most of which never make the news. Here is a sampling of lesser-known — but no less noteworthy — incidents from police log books (a.k.a. blotters) in our suburbs.

ROW, ROW, ROW, RUN IN

On the evening of June 5, the owner of a CrossFit gym in Watertown told police that someone had stolen a rowing machine that was worth $1,000 from the fitness center. And it wasn’t an isolated incident, either: Police soon found out that similar thefts had recently been reported at other CrossFit locations in Southborough, Sudbury, and Natick. As it turned out, police say, earlier on the day of the Watertown incident someone had entered Pennant CrossFit on Southville Road in Southborough and taken off with a Concept2 Model E rowing machine. Surveillance video from the Southborough gym showed a heavyset man in a baseball cap and shorts casually rolling the rowing machine out the front door at around 3:45 a.m. Upon further investigation, Southborough police identified the suspect as a 39-year-old man from Danvers andcharged him with two counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime and two counts of larceny from a building. Similar charges are expected to be filed against the suspect by police departments in other towns.

GOOD CATCH! NOW, BYE BYE BIRDIE

At 10:24 a.m. July 23, a Salem police officer was dispatched to check on a report of a bird trapped in a home on Federal Street. Upon arrival, the officer spoke to a resident and was guided to the bird’s location. “The bird was dancing on top of a ledge above an open door leading to the backyard,” the officer stated in the log entry. “I was able to grab the bird with my hands and set it free, and it flew away.”

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

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At 4:40 p.m. July 29, Peabody police got a call that a pair of domesticated rabbits were running loose in a parking lot on Foster Street. One of the creatures was caught and taken to a nearby pet grooming salon, where the staff promised to watch it. Its companion, however, managed to escape the arm of the law and remained a fugitive. The log entry states: “The other bunny got away and officers could not catch it.” Elmer Fudd knew the type. Clearly, it was a wily wabbit.

A CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE SLITHERY KIND

Sticking with the animal beat for a moment longer: At about 2:45 p.m. June 6, Beverly police responded to a report of a large snake inside a home on Dodge Street. Two officers responded, one an animal control specialist, and they encountered a reptile, all right: an Eastern milk snake, which they succesfully removed from the house. As for its size, the police log entry is silent, but there’s probably no reason to doubt the initial report. That particular species usually grows between two to three feet in length as an adult, and some specimens have reached up to 52 inches.

FRUIT FREE-FOR-ALL

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At 11:05 p.m. July 17, Bridgewater police responded to a call reporting that a man and woman dressed in black took watermelons from a grocery store and subsequently smashed them. The pair were tracked down and ultimately agreed to make restitution to the supermarket for the ruined produce, according to police.

MOTHER, I’D RATHER DO IT MYSELF

At 1:05 a.m. July 16, Stow police responded to a home on Packard Road when a resident there reported that someone had come into his room, taken his car keys, and was now going through his car. But the caller then called police back to say he’d figured out who the culprit was — his own mother! Officers arriving at the scene confirmed that was indeed the case. Given no indications of further police action, this one probably gets filed as a communication breakdown.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.
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