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.
NERO’S LAW PUT TO USE
The Westborough Fire Department became the second department in the state to transport an injured police K-9 under Nero’s Law, the department announced last month. It happened on Dec. 19, after first responders were dispatched to Interstate 495 south in Hopkinton for a report of a crash. Westborough firefighters/EMTs were the first to arrive at the scene after State Police Trooper Kenneth Hanchett and his K-9 partner Orry were injured when their cruiser was struck from behind by another vehicle while they were working a road detail. Hanchett was taken by ambulance to a local hospital while K-9 Orry was taken in another ambulance to Tufts University’s veterinary hospital in North Grafton. K-9 Orry’s ride to the hospital was made possible thanks to Nero’s Law, which permits ambulance operators to treat and transport injured police dogs. The legislation was sponsored by state Representative Steven Xiarhos and Senator Mark Montigny, named the law in honor of K-9 Nero. Nero is the retired partner of the late Yarmouth Police Sergeant Sean Gannon. Gannon and Nero were both shot in the line of duty on April 12, 2018. Nero survived the shooting. Hanchett and K-9 Orry were both treated and released from their respective hospitals on Dec. 20. “We are honored to be involved in one of the very first uses of this law and are humbled to play a small part in representing and paying tribute to the memory of Sgt. Gannon,” Westborough Fire Chief Patrick Purcell said in a statement. “We are also happy to hear that Trooper Hanchett and K-9 Orry are doing well in their recovery.”
At 8:02 p.m. on Dec. 16, Stow police received a call from a man on Harvard Road who reported finding a freshly buried chicken carcass while digging in his yard. According to the log entry, the man was advised by police that although his discovery seemed “very strange,” it did not constitute a crime. The man called police back at 8:27 p.m. to report that his neighbor recently lost three chickens to a fox, and foxes do have a penchant for burying carcasses so they can eat them later.
DON’T FALL FOR THE ‘GRANDPARENT SCAM’
On Dec. 22, a woman in Merrimac got a phone call from someone claiming to be her grandson. The caller told her he was in jail and needed $18,000 in bail money, and had her speak to a second person on the phone who claimed to be his attorney. The grandmother followed the caller’s instructions and gave $18,000 in cash to a person who showed up at her property later in the day. After she contacted her grandson later, she learned he was not in jail and she had been scammed. Police said this kind of scam has been reported in other communities recently, including Raynham, Chelmsford, and Groveland. “This is a common and brazen scam that targets grandparents and seeks to play on their love for their grandchildren,” Merrimac Police Chief Eric M. Shears said in a statement. “We want to educate our community about these kinds of scams even as we seek to make an arrest in this case.” Detective Stephen Beaulieu is leading the investigation in Merrimac. “Those of us at the Merrimac Police Department take it personally when residents fall victim to crime. We are doing everything in our power to identify a suspect and bring some measure of justice to the family involved in this,” Beaulieu said in a statement. “Please don’t hesitate to call Merrimac Police if you or a family member have received a call like this.” To avoid becoming a victim, police recommend that if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a relative, resist the urge to send any money and take the time to verify the person’s identity by asking them questions a stranger wouldn’t be able to answer. Check their story out by speaking to someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if they’ve told you to keep it a secret. Incidents of fraud should be reported to police and to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.