Police Log: Victim at Risk of Giving Thousands of Dollars via Gift Cards to Scammer
The news described in Westwood Minute's Police Log article series 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.
Saturday, October 1st
License Plate Stolen
8:03 a.m. A resident of Pond Plain Road reported the theft of the front license plate from his pickup truck on September 13 or 14. He believes that the theft occurred in his driveway, where the truck was parked.
Airbag Theft on Arcadia
6:22 p.m. Police responded to a residence on Arcadia Road where the resident reported the airbag of a 2013 Honda Accord had been stolen. It appears the doors of the vehicle were re-locked after the theft. Police discovered scrape marks around the driver-side door lock.
Resident is Victim of Scam Taking Potentially Thousands of Dollars
8:57 p.m. A resident of Conant Road reported a case of credit card fraud in which there is a potential loss of up to $8,000. At 11:30 a.m. earlier that day, the resident found her personal computer had frozen. She received a message purportedly from “Microsoft” which notified her that her computer had been hacked and/or was infected by a virus. The message contained a contact number, which she called.
A person who answered identified himself as “Sam Wilson” and a Microsoft employee. “Sam” told the resident that her computer security had been compromised and that there were two fraudulent charges on her Citibank credit card. Because “Sam” had her phone number, email address and personal information, she believed him. The Caller ID display on her phone also showed a Citibank caller ID, and showed a number that was the same as that of Citibank’s customer service line for her Citibank credit card.
“Sam” informed the resident that she was being charged $5,000 in bitcoin and $3,600 through PayPal. He connected here to a “Ryan” who he said was from Citibank. “Ryan” then connected her to “Dave” who told the resident that he worked for the fraud department. Per Dave’s instruction, the resident purchased $8,000 in gift cards and was giving the gift card numbers to “Dave” over the phone when another family member became aware of what was transpiring. The family member put a stop to the scam and contacted police to make a report.
Friday, September 30th
Engagement Ring Worth $19,000 Reported Missing
8:09 a.m. A couple residing on Whitney Avenue reported a missing engagement ring. After an exhaustive search for the ring, they believe the ring went missing around August 19, 2022, during a vacation to New York State. They are declaring it lost for insurance purposes. The ring has a serialized diamond, and is valued at approximately $19,000.
Wednesday, September 28th
Rear-end Accident with Injuries
7:08 a.m. A 2021 Toyota Corolla driven by a woman from Hyde Park was entering the East Street rotary from the direction of Dedham when it was rear-ended by the trailing vehicle, a commercial Ford truck, driven by a man from Central Falls, Rhode Island.
The commercial truck driver did not have a driver’s license and instead presented what he called a Mexican consular identification card. He was cited with operating a vehicle without a license and following too closely.
An ambulance responded on the report of an injury and transported a patient to the hospital.
Missing Smart Watch
10:56 a.m. An officer stationed on Washington Street was approached by a Westwood resident, on foot. The resident told the officer that her son had lost a smart watch in the restroom at CVS on Washington Street two days prior. The watch is valued at $180.
The officer spoke to the CVS manager and reviewed store video. The video showed the complainant’s son entering and exiting the restroom. Soon after, the video showed a juvenile male who also entered and exited. The officer is working to identify the juvenile, who has reddish brown hair and was wearing an orange shirt, black shorts, and sneakers.
Citizens Bank Data Breach
1:26 p.m. A resident of Willard Circle reported that he was informed of a data breach at Citizens Bank which goes back to February 4, 2022. He reported taking protective measures with monitoring his credit and bank accounts. He is creating a paper trail by making a police report.
Tuesday, September 27th
Abandoned Bicycle is Found
10:19 a.m. Police received a report of a bike that had been abandoned. The bike was found in the patch of woods between the Council on Aging and the Westwood High School field. Police located the black Trek bike, along with a helmet, in the described location. Police contacted the Department of Public Works to pick up the item to deliver to the police station for safe keeping.
Monday, September 26th
Quick Thinking Witness Gives Police Lead to Shoplifter
5:47 p.m. A witness to a theft at Nordstrom Rack told police that a female ran out of the store with two bags of clothing and a hat with the price tag attached. The witness was in the parking lot when the incident occurred. The fleeing suspect got into a white, 2008 Nissan Altima. The witness snapped a photo of its license plate. Police are following up.
Airbag Theft on Birch Street
8:24 p.m. A resident of Birch Street reported that the driver-side airbag was stolen from the resident's 2007 Honda CRV. Police are following up with neighbors.
Walking Out with Unpaid Merchandise
7:24 p.m. The manager of Frugal Fannie’s on Wilson Way described a shoplifting to police that happened earlier that evening. The manger had stopped a woman who was attempting to leave the store with a cart full of unpaid merchandise. After the merchandise was recovered, it was discovered that a pair of boots and a leopard colored fleece were missing from the store.
The manager provided police with video images showing the suspect coming in wearing one set of clothes and leaving the store wearing another set of clothes. While leaving the store, the woman was wearing a leopard colored fleece and boots.
The shoplifter was accompanied by friends, one of whom used a rewards card in the store. Police are working on identifying the friend.
Animal or Intruder?
9:04 p.m. A resident of Pheasant Hill Street reported hearing what she believed to be an intruder in her garage. Three police cars responded while she remained on the line with the dispatcher. However, the resident noted that she believed the individual had left while police were responding.
Upon arriving, police checked the entire home and garage. It was a rainy day, and there were no wet footprints on the garage floor. The resident’s Ring camera did not capture anyone on the property in that timeframe.
There are recycling bins next to the garage, which police determined may have attracted animals, which could be what the resident heard.
Thanks to Lieutenant Christopher Sheehy and the Westwood Police Department for contributing information for this article.