Every day, police officers respond to reports of all sorts of events and non-events, 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.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell crew team recently spotted something unusual in the Merrimack River: a partially submerged car. The coach notified police, and officers and firefighters from Tyngsborough responded to the scene near Pawtucket Boulevard to find a white 2010 Mini Cooper, subsequently found to have been reported stolen in Hampton Falls, N.H., the day before. A tow company helped pull the vehicle out of the water. According to police, no one was in the car but its key was still in the ignition “on” position and some of the electronics were still on. The case was still being investigated by Tyngsborough police and New Hampshire State Police as of April 24.
At 12:44 p.m. April 19, Melrose police received a call about a man chasing a woman at the intersection of Beverly and Porter streets. An officer spoke with the duo and determined they were co-workers and were simply joking around.
At 4:08 p.m. April 23, Norwood police received a 911 call reporting every parent’s worst nightmare: A 3-year-old had gone missing. But while sending units to the home to investigate, police received the good news: The little girl had been found hiding behind a bush in the yard.
At 1:30 a.m. April 6, a Beverly police officer noticed a car stopped at the intersection of Brimbal Avenue and Colon Street. It was blocking traffic in one direction, with its hazard lights flashing. When the officer asked the driver whether she was having car trouble, she replied it was working just fine. Her reason for stopping? She said she was playing Pokemon Go, an augmented reality game people play on their cellphone, and was “trying to catch a Pokemon.” The officer advised her it wasn’t safe to stop like that and sent her on her way.
At 7:56 p.m. April 21, Peabody police received a call from a woman reporting she was locked inside Harmony Grove Cemetery. She told police she’d been teaching her daughter to drive and somehow ended up getting locked inside. An officer was dispatched to let her out of the cemetery.
Wild turkeys are everywhere. Their breeding season starts in March and continues through May, so the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is urging people to be extra careful, because turkeys have a tendency to show up on roadways this time of year and startle humans.
And elsewhere, too. A resident of Cross Street in Stow called police on April 1 to say he was concerned about two turkeys that had been hanging out in his yard for about nine hours. People referred the matter to an animal control officer.
Two days later, police in Wakefield received several calls about wild turkeys causing traffic problems on North Avenue. The first calls came in before noon, and they didn’t stop there. At 7:18 p.m., a caller reported a turkey chasing cars on North Avenue, resulting in traffic backing up again. Police responded and said the birds eventually made their way off the roadway.
On April 15 at 6:54 p.m., Milford police received a report of a “non-aggressive” turkey running around a pizza parlor on Prospect Street and apparently trying to get into other businesses in the plaza. Looking for a nice Chianti to go with the thin pie, maybe?
According to MassWildlife, turkeys often mistake their own reflection as another turkey and have been known to peck at windows, car mirrors, and other shiny surfaces. “If a turkey is pecking at a shiny object, cover or disguise the object,” the agency says. A police officer who responded to the plaza reported that the turkey went back into the woods on its own.Emily Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.