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    Emergency? Only by kid standards

    Shutterstock / Hemarat Studio
    New-fangled or old, the phone can be for some an invitation to trouble.

    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.


    It’s reassuring to know that when an emergency strikes, help is only a 911 phone call away. Police dispatchers, though, are reminded almost daily that some people define “emergency” rather loosely. Case in point: At 7:13 p.m. April 16, police received a 911 call from a home in Stow, and when dispatch answered, the caller hung up. When police called the number back, a woman answered and said no one had called 911 from that number, but she could be heard asking a child if he had done so. Police followed up, going to the home to and speaking to the woman and children there. Soon, they learned that a call had indeed been made — and not by accident. One of the children, it turned out, was sufficiently angry with another there to begin, at least, to call in the cops.


    In addition to summoning police, the phone, of course, can be a weapon in the hands of those with larceny in mind, particularly scam artists. Take the old I’m-in-jail-and-need-bail-money trick: A crook calls a senior citizen and pretends to be a child or grandchild asking that money be wired to secure release from jail. Reports of such incidents crop with up with enough frequency on police logs to suggest they’re not going away any time soon. One Marblehead woman very recently found herself a target, but proved to be too smart to fall for it. It happened May 16, when a man claiming to be her jailed grandson called begging for money. But the woman, according to the police report, noticed the caller “had a very thick accent, so I told them to get lost and hung up.” She immediately called police to report the incident and have it logged. Unfortunately, she couldn’t provide the phone number he called from.


    Remember the rash of somewhat threatening clown sightings that surfaced last year? Some recent reports make us wonder if there’s been a resurgence. Case in point: at 3:51 p.m. April 11, police in Norwood received a complaint about a motorcyclist driving down the street wearing a clown mask. It happened in the area of Nichols Street and George Willett Parkway, and apparently it wasn’t the first time, either: The caller told police the same thing happened the prior day. At 10:54 p.m. May 6, Hopkinton police received a 911 call from a woman who reported that someone wearing a clown mask jumped in front of her car on Clinton Street. Officers reponded and checked the area without finding anything. They also notified police in the neighboring town of Holliston.



    On May 12, a squirrel somehow got inside a Jeep on West Street in Norwood. The animal control officer who responded to the call successfully coaxed the critter out.


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    Back in February a woman in Saugus called police to report that someone had thrown ice cream all over her gray Toyota RAV4. An officer was dispatched to Spring Street and confirmed that an ice cream cone had been tossed onto the vehicle, but there was no real damage. Police documented the incident as an act of vandalism. Fast forward to April 21, and the same woman appeared in person at the station to report a second such incident. Police logged the recurrence as harassment and took a report.

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