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.
On the morning of Dec. 2, a man walked into a dry-cleaning shop on Main Street in Watertown and took a lollipop out of a basket on the counter — which would have been fine except for the fact the candy was put out for paying customers, and the man apparently hadn’t bought anything. According to police, the man exchanged words with a male employee, and the argument turned physical when the man allegedly pushed the employee in the chest. The employee told the man he was calling the police, and when the man tried to leave he grabbed him by his clothing and held him until officers arrived, police said. The man, an 18-year-old from Watertown, was summonsed to Waltham District Court on a charge of assault and battery.
THEY LOOKED TRASHY TO ME
When artwork suddenly went missing from the town of Franklin’s Sculpture Park, the police began investigating. The missing art had been donated by a public art class at Wheaton College and consisted of 116 books made of Tyvek, the durable, lightweight synthetic material used for envelopes, packaging, protective clothing, medical bracelets, nightclub wristbands, and wrapping for buildings under construction. The books were supposed to hang from trees in the park, but on Dec. 1 police were informed that most of the pieces students installed had disappeared. Police soon learned the culprit was a local resident and frequent visitor to the park, who mistakenly thought the objects were put up as some sort of prank and decided to get rid of them. Police said no charges would be filed because the resident had good intentions and has apologized to Wheaton for removing the books. “The Franklin police believe this to be a teaching moment,” said Lieutenant Mark Manocchio. “Art is looked at and interpreted in different ways, by different people.” Police are now advising park visitors: If you see something you’re not sure about, please check with the town administrator’s office or police before taking it into your own hands.
Just before 10 p.m. Dec. 15, Burlington police were called to Sylvester Road, where an Uber driver reported a person was refusing to get out of his car, for reasons still unclear to us. An officer spoke with the driver and passenger, who eventually agreed to get out.
A similar situation was reported in Walpole Dec. 27. Police received a 911 call at 12:34 a.m. from an Uber driver on Crosswoods Path who said he’d given two women a ride from Boston and they were refusing to exit his vehicle. An officer arrived and reported that the two women got out and the driver was sent on his way.
At 10:23 a.m. Dec. 21, Marblehead police got a call from a resident who said a man had been standing in front of a house on Front Street for 15 minutes with his jacket unzipped and “looking confused.” An officer reported that the fellow was just waiting for his Uber driver, who showed up soon afterward.
STEAL MY RIDE, PLEASE
According to the FBI, there were 765,484 motor vehicle thefts nationwide in 2016. No doubt some of them could have been avoided. On New Year’s Eve in Bridgewater, for instance, a woman called 911 and reported that her boyfriend’s vehicle had been stolen from the parking lot at Kingswood Park Village. She said they had left it running with the keys inside “to warm up for the baby.”
Also in Bridgewater, on the night of Jan. 5, the manager of Crispi’s, an Italian restaurant on Broad Street, told police a truck belonging to one of the restaurant’s employees disappeared after it was left unattended with the engine running in the Burger King parking lot across the street.Emily Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.