This shopper skipped the checkout lane

Police say this man stole thousands of dollars worth of items from the Burlington Coat Factory in Westborough, including a jacket from the store’s loss prevention office.
Police say this man stole thousands of dollars worth of items from the Burlington Coat Factory in Westborough, including a jacket from the store’s loss prevention office.(Westborough Police Department)

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.


We’ve seen some shoplifters try to get away with lots of things, but this one takes the cake. On Jan. 14 at the Burlington Coat Factory in Westborough, a man was recorded on store surveillance video cutting security tags off of several pieces of merchandise, police said. He then went into the store’s loss prevention office, took a loss prevention officer’s jacket, and allegedly helped himself to five Telxon barcode scanning devices that belong to the store. (The scanners are worth approximately $1,500 each, according to police.) With the help of detectives from Conyers, Ga., local police said they were able to identify the suspect and obtain an arrest warrant. Images of the suspect are posted on the Westborough Police Department Facebook page, and anyone who witnessed what happened is urged to contact Westborough detectives at 508-475-4846.



At 9:29 p.m. Jan. 25, Bridgewater police received a call that a man was seen stripping on Main Street. A police cruiser was sent to the area.After speaking to those involved, an officer reported that no crime had been committed. It turned out that the man had ketchup smeared on his shirt, and he was trying to get it off.


At 2:01 p.m. Jan. 25, a woman contacted Maynard police to report that while she was walking along the Assabet River Rail Trail, she noticed a rocket in the air. It was coming from the direction of Crow Island, a privately owned airport in Stow. Stow police dispatch spoke with the owner of the airstrip and he said a rocket club from MIT had been at Crow Island. About 30 minutes later, Stow police received a call that someone was filming a small white vehicle “speeding back and forth” about 5 miles inland on White Pond Road. Stow police responded to the scene and spoke to those involved. According the log entry, the officer reported MIT students were “conducting tests with a parachute attached to the vehicle.” Police advised them to make sure they did not exceed the speed limit.



At 4:46 Jan. 26, Marblehead police received a 911 call from a home on Creesy Street, but the caller hung up before speaking to the dispatcher. The dispatcher called the number back, and the person who answered said his phone dialed 911 by mistake. Police were sent to the house to confirm that the call was indeed accidental, but when the officer arrived, no one answered the door. Sure enough, the dispatcher received a call from a woman at the residence who said someone wouldn’t stop ringing her doorbell. “I explained that her son dialed 911 and we needed to confirm the misdial. After five times of explaining the reason she needed to answer the door, she finally answered,” the log entry states. The resident spoke to the officer who was patiently waiting at her doorstep, and she confirmed that yes, the 911 call was made accidentally, and no, there was no emergency.


At 6:19 p.m. Jan. 23, Winthrop police received a call about a suspicious man in his 30s wearing black clothing who was “pacing back and forth for about an hour” in front of a residence on Buchanan Street. Officers responding to the call caught up with him at Jefferson Street and found out he was just a resident who “was looking for a WiFi signal while waiting for a ride.”


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