Police Log: Bags of Cocaine Discovered, Road Rage, Theft by Distraction with an Accomplice
The news described in Westwood Minute's Police Log article is primarily based on selected information from the Westwood Police Department's daily log and information provided by Lieutenant Christopher Sheehy and police staff. Occasionally, a few facts from other sources may be woven into these stories.
Wednesday, July 27th
Cleaning a SIM card?
12:21 p.m. Police took a report of a theft from a resident of Gables University Station Apartments. The resident was on trip to Knoxville, Tennessee, and upon returning from the trip, found the resident’s phone was not working. The resident brought the phone to a T-Mobile store and was informed that the SIM card was missing. The resident noted to police that the only time the phone was unattended was when the resident’s hotel room was being cleaned by hotel staff.
T-Mobile deactivated the SIM card and issued a new one to the resident. At this point in time, no suspicious activity has been observed on the resident’s private accounts or with the resident’s identification.
Victim of data leak targeted by scammer masquerading as U.S. Customs
3:08 p.m. A resident of Aran Road informed police that she had received a suspicious call from someone allegedly from the “U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency.” The caller identified herself as “Yolanda Choates.” informed the Westwood resident that three packages of narcotics, on the way from Mexico to El Paso, Texas, had been found with the resident’s identification. The Aran Road resident became suspicious and informed the caller that she would be speaking with an attorney before conversing further, and did not provide any personal information.
Police determined there is a Yolanda Choates who works for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Houston, Texas. Westwood Police contacted Ms. Choates who informed police that for several years, scammers have been calling people whose information has been compromised by a data leak. The scammers have been falsely identifying themselves as Ms. Choates and attempt to draw out personal information from the people they target.
Thursday, July 28th
ATM skimming leads to loss of thousands
8:53 p.m. A resident of West Roxbury reported her belief that her ATM card had been “skimmed” while using an ATM machine at Chase Bank on High Street in Westwood. There were four transactions on July 6, 2022, in the amounts of $190, $500, $500, from the ATM. Additionally, there was a $4000 withdrawal from a transaction with a teller. The woman said she didn’t make those transactions.
Friday, July 29th
Police recover cocaine
2:06 p.m. An officer was patrolling Route 1 when the manager of the Mercedes Benz dealership flagged down the officer. An employee had found four small bags of white powder that appeared to have been dropped on the nearby pavement. One bag had been driven over by a vehicle and was broken. Another bag had spilled.
Hazmat responded, and cleared the area. Testing indicated that the contents of the packages were cocaine. The three sealed bags and one torn bag were recovered by police and booked into evidence. Two bags weighed 2 grams each, one bag weighed 4 grams and one bag weighed zero grams. The packaging on the drugs suggested they were prepared for individual use.
8:48 p.m. An officer in a cruiser on Washington Street was flagged down by a man from Hyde Park in front of the Islington Fire Station. The man reported a road rage incident of a driver running over his foot. The officer did not notice any obvious injury, but asked for Westwood Fire Paramedics to respond. The man was later transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Needham to have his foot further evaluated.
The Hyde Park man claimed that he was driving on East Street when he heard an air horn and someone yelling at him over a public announcement system (PA system) to get out of the way because he was driving too slowly. The man stopped on East Street with the intention of confronting the other driver, who proceeded to drive over his foot. The man then followed the other driver until the other driver stopped in front of the Islington Fire Station.
The other driver, a man from Uxbridge, confirmed some facts, but denied having an air horn or PA system. However, police were able to determine that an air horn and PA system were indeed in the Uxbridge resident's vehicle. He also had a dash camera that showed the encounter. Police reviewed dash camera footage but did not see any physical contact.
Saturday, July 30th
Theft by distraction with accomplice at Wegmans
5:30 p.m. At Wegmans in University Station, an officer took a report from a Dedham resident who believed she had her phone and wallet stolen while shopping at Wegmans.
The resident informed the officer that she had been shopping around 2:00 p.m. in the produce section of Wegmans, when a man dropped produce at her feet. While picking them up, the man asked her to read the labels to let him know if the produce was organic.
Immediately after that encounter, the Dedham resident discovered her phone was missing. Upon reporting the loss to Wegmans’ customer service, she also discovered that her wallet was missing.
The Dedham resident’s credit cards were used to make purchases at the Apple Store at Legacy Place in Dedham. An attempt to make a $4,000 purchase with a debit card was declined. However, a separate card was accepted for purchases of $514, $2,000, and $985, totaling $3,499.
The complainant believes that while she was distracted by the man dropping produce, his accomplice took her wallet and phone. The phone is worth $799.
The complainant described the man who distracted her as in his mid 50s, medium build, 5’10”, with dark, medium length hair. He was wearing a brown linen shirt and a white surgical mask. Police will follow-up with Wegmans to review store video.
Sunday, July 31st
Fireworks on Hillview Road
5:22 p.m. Police received a report from Hillview Road of fireworks being set off in the area. The fireworks reportedly continued for twenty minutes. Police checked the area but were unable to locate the source of the fireworks.
Assault at Budget Inn
6:52 p.m. Police responded to Budget Inn on Providence Highway to investigate an assault that took place approximately 90 minutes earlier. The motel manager reported that a long-term resident of the motel attempted to punch him twice. He was able to block the resident’s first punch, but the second punch was only partially blocked.
Police noticed no visible injuries on the manager. Police interviewed the resident who had returned to apologize to the manager.
It appears that the long-term resident entered the manager’s office through a door which is not for public access. He will be receiving a summons for assaulting the manager and for breaking and entering the private area. The motivation for the assault was not indicated.
Thanks to Lieutenant Christopher Sheehy and the Westwood Police Department for contributing information for this article.