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.
‘FLY FREE HOOTIE’
At 6:20 a.m. Sept. 23, Norfolk Animal Control Officer Hilary Cohen responded to a report of a barred owl stuck in netting. “This owl was so entangled that there was no way to get him free without stressing him out further,” Cohen wrote on Facebook, “and I really needed 4 extra sets of go-go-gadget hands to help untangle him.” Cohen brought the owl to Tufts Wildlife Clinic and a week later, on the morning of Sept. 30, the owl was healthy enough to return to his old stomping grounds. Cohen posted a video of the owl’s release on Facebook. “Thank you Tufts Wildlife Center for all of your support with all wildlife even though he was super ‘feisty’ while in your care,” she wrote. “It’s always a great feeling in those rare opportunities when we are able to help wildlife in need. ... Fly free hootie!”
SUSPICIOUS WHITE VAN
At 11:55 a.m. Oct. 11, Bridgewater police received a call from someone on Woodland Drive who reported that a suspicious white van had been parked there for an hour and no one had come out of the vehicle. The caller went to investigate and found that the only occupant inside the van was an inflatable doll in the passenger seat. Police tweeted that they spoke to the registered owner of the van, who had been out walking in the area.
At 3:06 p.m. Oct. 7, Medfield police received a call about suspicious activity at the Memorial School on Adams Street. The caller told police that a man was “walking around blessing parents and kids” and “was concerned about the strange behavior.”
At 9:12 a.m. Sept. 14, Norwood police received a 911 call that hung up. Police called back and confirmed the call was an innocent mistake: The caller reported she dropped her phone in between the seats while driving and it accidentally activated the emergency dial button.
ALLEGED CATALYTIC CONVERTER THIEF GETS CAUGHT
Catalytic converters have become a hot item to steal. They’re the part of a vehicle’s exhaust system that’s often targeted because they contain precious metals that can be sold for big bucks on the black market. One recent example of this came to the attention of local law enforcement at 4:46 a.m. Sept. 22, when Burlington police heard from the owner of a used car dealership and garage who saw surveillance video footage of what appeared to be people trying to break into vehicles on his property. Police responded to the business and interrupted their alleged attempt to steal catalytic converters from two vehicles on the property. Suspects fled in a vehicle, but one individual got out and tried to get away on foot. That suspect, later identified as a 44-year-old New Hampshire man, was arrested and charged with two counts of malicious destruction of property over $1,200, breaking and entering a motor vehicle at night, and attempting to commit a crime. “This incident is a good example of cooperation between police and a local business owner helping to prevent a more serious crime and additional damage to property,” Chief Thomas Browne said. “I’d like to commend this business owner and thank him for his quick response.” In order to prevent your catalytic converter from getting stolen, police recommend that you park your vehicle in a garage or an otherwise secure, well-lit area, and make sure there’s video surveillance where you park. You can also add a motion sensor light to deter thieves, and install an anti-theft security device that will make it difficult to remove the catalytic converter. And of course, always lock your vehicle and set the alarm.