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BLOTTER TALES

Getting strung along by an online seller

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Every day, police officers respond to reports of all sorts of events and nonevents, 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.

NOT WHAT I ORDERED

On May 24, Brookline police officers took a report from a person who ordered camera equipment from eBay and received bags of pasta instead. The victim tried to contact the seller on eBay but received no response, and was working with eBay to get a refund for the purchase.

COUCH SURFING

At 6:44 a.m. May 23, Saugus police received a call from a man on Essex Street who reported that some people showed up in a maroon sedan and made themselves at home on a couch that had been left outside for trash pickup. The caller said the individuals were drinking coffee on the sofa. Officers Robert Lemoine and Christopher Palumbo were dispatched to check out the situation and reported that the couch surfers were moving along when they arrived at the scene.

CHILD’S PLAY

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At 1:15 p.m. May 20, Saugus police heard from a resident of Tuscan Avenue who reported that someone left a headless doll and threatening note on his front steps. According to the log entry, an officer viewed video footage from a security camera and it appeared that neighborhood children were involved. Police spoke to the young pranksters and reported back that peace has been restored.

HOT AND BOTHERED

At 4:11 p.m. May 29, a resident of Plymouth Street in Bridgewater told police that a neighbor’s side door had been open since 10 a.m. that morning. Police checked the building and determined that the former residents had been evicted and apparently turned the heat on high and left the door open.

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NOT WHAT IT SEEMS

At 7:44 p.m. April 10, Wilmington police received a call from someone who said a deer was struck in the area of Aldrich Road and had apparently been killed. According to the log entry, officers responded and found not an animal, but “a large cardboard box” over the town line in Billerica.

NOT WHAT IT SEEMS, PART TWO

At 6:32 p.m. May 28, a Bridgewater K-9 officer checked out a “possible suspicious male party” who was spotted in a fenced-off area at the new Mitchell Elementary School. He was described as wearing red flannel. Police later tweeted that the suspicious-looking character wasn’t a person at all — it was a fire hydrant with black-spotted fabric wrapped around it.

CHINESE FOOD INTERCEPTED

Just after midnight on April 12, a man working for a Chinese restaurant in Waltham made a delivery in Watertown that did not go as planned. The delivery driver told police that as he pulled up to the address on Madison Avenue, he was approached by a man who said the food was for him. The man told the driver that he was going to run and get money to pay for the food, and the driver waited patiently for him to come back with the cash. But he never returned. Police were told that the $38.83 order had been made over the phone.

DOGGED PURSUIT

At 8:19 a.m. March 9, Wakefield police received a call from someone who wanted to speak to an officer about an “ongoing neighbor dispute” involving dog waste.

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At 11:05 a.m. April 4, Peabody police received a report that someone “threw a bag of dog poop” at a neighbor. According to the log entry, police determined that the incident actually happened in Salem and told the person to report it to the Salem Police Department.

At 1:29 p.m. April 21, Peabody police got a call from a resident who said he had video and still shots of his neighbor’s dog in his yard, walking down the street, and defecating in another neighbor’s yard. The man was advised to e-mail the evidence to police.


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