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    Mayday from the water closet

    AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File 2016
    A drone was reportedly spotted in Stow some 1,600 feet above the ceiling set by the Federal Aviation Administration.

    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.


    First responders in Marblehead are used to answering all types of calls, but lately, it seems, there’s been a spike in lavatory-related emergencies. On March 23, for example, a woman dialed 911 because her toilet was overflowing and she had “no idea how to stop it.” The police report doesn’t indicate just how the crisis was resolved, but it would appear the waters receded. At 8:45 p.m. May 5, a woman on Ocean Avenue called 911 asking for help in handling a rather embarassing situation: Her husband had stepped into the bathroom but couldn’t step out, unable, as was she, to get the door opened. Firefighters responded, and by 9:05 p.m., the guy had made his exit and was a free man once again.


    A pilot who took off from Minute Man Air Field around 2:30 p.m. May 4 told Stow police that he saw a drone flying approximately 2,000 feet in the air, way above the 400-foot ceiling set by the Federal Aviation Administration. The pilot believed the device was being operated by someone at or near the Stow Community Park on Old Bolton Road. Police logged the complaint and the pilot reported the incident to the FAA. Typically such sightings in Stow occur at much lower altitudes. “This was a first for us,” said Detective Sergeant Michael Sallese.


    At 4:37 p.m. May 5, Peabody police got a call from a man at Stop & Shop supermarket on Howley Street who was upset “because a random male party is trying to teach him how to raise his children.” A police officer at the scene reported that someone had indeed made a comment about the man’s parenting, but the discussion didn’t escalate beyond that, and after their verbal exchange, both the allegedly bad dad and his critic went their separate ways.



    Tailgates have been disappearing from pickup trucks in Freetown. On April 24 police announced that three residents reported that their tailgates had been stolen in a span of six days. Like so many other vehicle parts these days, tailgates can be pretty fancy, with features like back-up cameras, step ladders, and boarding handles, and they can be worth as much as $3,500, according to police. Police said the three thefts occurred in East Freetown, and the thieves targeted Ford “Super Duty” tailgates on newer model trucks. It’s not just tailgates that thieves go after. Close readers of this column know that wheels are common targets, and in a recent case in Norwood, it was a bumper. At 2:24 p.m. May 2, a resident walked into the police station to report that someone stepped out of a blue truck, attempted to remove the bumper from a vehicle on Norwest Drive, and then fled the scene, sans bumper.


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    Hey, kids, watch out: Your folks have new ways to find out if you’ve been naughty or nice. Just before 3 p.m. April 15, a woman walked into the Marblehead police station to report that she’d used the “Find My iPhone” app to track down her son, and located him in a green shed behind a house. She told officers she crept up to the shed to listen, and she could hear kids inside the shed, recognized her son’s voice among them. She didn’t know who her son was with or what he was doing in there, she continued, and she didn’t know who owned the shed, either. Police contacted the property owner and received permission to take a look inside the shed. By the time they arrived, though, it was deserted. Police notified the woman to let her know that her son had, it seemed, fled the shed.

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