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.
DONATION BIN DIVING
About 4:15 a.m. Feb. 1, Hamilton Police Officer Andrew Neill investigated some suspiciou activity that was unfolding in the parking lot of the Hamilton Convenience Store on Bay Road. According to a Facebook post by police, Neill had noticed a U-Haul van parked beside a row of clothing donation bins and the van’s side doors were open. As Neill pulled up behind the van, the doors suddenly closed, the interior lights turned off, and the van attempted to drive away. Neill spoke to the men in the van and asked them what was going on. They said they’d been in Beverly and were on their way home to Brockton when they decided to donate a bag of clothes in Hamilton. But that didn’t seem feasible because the van was completely packed with “hundreds of trash bags of donated clothes,” according to police. The driver of the van was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle without a license, impeded operation, breaking and entering of a depository, larceny over $1,200, and conspiracy, and the two passengers were going to be summonsed into court at a later date, police said. Police said this isn’t the first time that donation bins have been ransacked under the cover of darkness.
FIT TO BE TIED
On Jan. 29 police in Braintree tweeted a photo of a white Nissan Sentra carrying several 8-foot long pieces of wood that were way too big to fit inside the vehicle. Police pulled the car over after it got off Route 3 and shared a photo of the wood sticking out of the windows. “In today’s edition of ‘What could go wrong,’ this motorist was stopped after getting off Rt3 with four 8’ 2x4s dangling out their Nissan,” police wrote. “The operator was cited for having an unsecured load and had to make alternative arrangements for getting their wood home. #diyprojects.”
At 2:42 p.m. Jan. 15, a man told Bridgewater police that he got a phone call from someone pretending to be from the electric company but it turned out to be a scam. Unfortunately he fell for it and ended up getting conned out of $500. Police asked the man to stop by the station so they could take a report, but he had to decline their invitation for the time being, and for a good reason. He told police that he was so mad about what happened “that he began drinking and could not drive,” police tweeted.
WHEN $880,000 DISAPPEARS
At 7:30 a.m. Dec. 23, Wellesley police spoke with a woman who said that on Dec. 18 she noticed a popup alert on her computer that gave her a phone number to call. She called the number as instructed, and spoke with two individuals who claimed to be from a company offering to provide her network firewall protection, technical support, anti-virus protection, and computer cleanup services for $649.99, according to Police Lieutenant Marie Cleary. The woman sent a payment by scanning and e-mailing a personal check, but then had second thoughts and canceled the check because she didn’t feel comfortable with sending it electronically. She said she received several e-mails from the customer service department and finally agreed to pay them in the form of Walmart gift cards. On Dec. 20, she purchased the gift cards and gave the card information to a man over the phone. The next day, she went online and discovered that her checking account was overdrawn by $880,000. Officer Scott Wagner advised her to contact her bank and let them know what happened. The bank froze all of her accounts and issued new accounts, and her account balance was restored to what it had been prior to the scam. The incident is under investigation.
Did you know some cellphones have a feature that will automatically send out your location and an SOS message to your emergency contacts if the power button is pressed repeatedly? But sometimes people press the button accidentally. That’s apparently what happened on Feb. 4, and it gave a man in Stow a good scare. Around 12:49 p.m., Stow police got a call from the man, who said he received an alarming text message from his wife saying “SOS I need help” with a map that showed her location as being at a hair salon in Hudson. While police responded and tried to figure out what was going on, the man called back and said that he’d made contact with his wife at the salon, and she was fine. Police spoke to her to make sure that was the case, and indeed, it was.