Police Log: Driver Injured when Van Strikes Pole on High Street; Mailed Check Thefts


Image by Westwood Minute/Darlene Wong Cancell.

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.

Monday, January 23rd

Van Strikes and Splits Pole on High Street

9:06 a.m. A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter rental van, driven by a man from Canton, struck at telephone pole in the vicinity of 940 High Street, causing the pole to split. The driver was transported to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton. The cause for the van leaving the road was not clear at the time of this posting. Police notified Eversource of the damage, and the utility company was on scene by 9:49 a.m. At 5:12 p.m., Eversource was continuing pole repairs.

Sunday, January 22nd

Shoplifters apprehended

2:09 p.m. Police arrived at Wegmans to interview a woman who had been detained for shoplifting. She and another woman had been caught on video, placing items into reusable bags and putting them in a carriage, walking past the registers, and exiting the store.

The store’s asset protection personnel brought one woman back into the store to await police. Her accomplice was also located after a search. The women are believed to have taken $605 worth of general grocery items that included alcohol, sushi, organic foods, and fresh rabbit. The women, both from Newton, will be summoned to Dedham District Court on shoplifting charges.

Credit Cards Stolen Out of Purse

6:00 p.m. A Waltham resident reported that five debit and credit cards were stolen from the resident’s purse, which was slung over the back of her chair while she dined at a restaurant in University Station.

She began to receive text message alerts from her credit card companies about possible fraud. Upon reviewing her accounts on her smartphone, she confirmed the fraud. There were two charges of $2,000 each made at the Apple store in Dedham and two charges of $500 each made at Best Buy in Dedham.

All of the credit cards were deactivated. A police investigator is working on this case.

Phone Stolen at Gym

6:31 p.m. A Dedham resident told police that her phone was stolen from the coat where it being stored while the complainant took two classes at Lifetime Fitness on the previous day. Police are in the process of obtaining video from the gym to review.

Friday, January 20th

Ohio Fraudulent Unemployment Claim Filed in MA Resident's Name

3:27 p.m. A Westwood resident reported a case of unemployment fraud, after the resident was notified by the resident’s human resources department of an unemployment claim in the resident’s name that was filed in Ohio. The resident secured credit and bank accounts, contacted the Ohio Department of Labor, and requested a police report be made.

Possible Aborted “Grandchild in Jail Scam” 

9:12 p.m. Police received a call from a resident of Deerfield Avenue who was concerned after receiving a call from an unknown number in which the caller stated, “Dad, I’m in trouble and I need your help,” before abruptly hanging up. The resident believed the caller sounded similar to his adult daughter whom he was unable to reach on her cell phone. The resident called back the unknown number, and an adult female answered, but she refused to identify herself.

Police determined that the call was associated with Connecticut and an area which the resident apparently has no ties. Police located the daughter’s cell phone at a Westwood residence and prepared to drive there. Before police could do so, the complainant’s daughter arrived at home. She had no knowledge of the earlier phone call.

Thursday, January 19th

Check for $600 Stolen, Rewritten for $6,000

1:50 p.m. A resident of Cedar Lane reported that she had placed a $600 check in the mail. It was stolen and rewritten in the amount of $6,000 to be payable someone named, “Ryan Erolon.” The resident is working with the bank at which the check was drawn to obtain more information.

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Wednesday, January 18th

Harassment Follows an Uncompleted Rental Transaction

9:54 a.m. A woman residing on Washington Street complained of harassing calls and texts that appear to be related to her uncompleted transaction for a rental apartment in Florida. After the Westwood resident had exchanged emails with an alleged rental agency, she began receiving harassing calls and texts.

A false Linked-In profile created in the resident’s name was sent to her employer. It contained negative and falsely detrimental information, including two jobs she had never held.

The resident is in the process of providing documentation to police. She has obtained the services of a data security company and is in the process of changing her phone number and email address to avoid further harassment.

Two More Cases of Unemployment Claim Fraud

1:28 p.m. A resident of Parker Street complained to Westwood Police that he received an email from the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), notifying him of a claim for unemployment benefits in his name. The resident had not made such a claim.

Upon investigation, the resident discovered a new bank account had been opened in his name, but he had not opened it. The resident filed a fraud report with DUA. He was advised to check all of his bank accounts, have a credit reporting agency put a watch on this credit account, and touch bases with the Department of Social Security.

1:48 p.m. A resident of Colby Way reported to police that a fraudulent claim for unemployment benefits had been filed in his name. He had learned of the claim when he was contacted by DUA. No money had been paid out. The resident was advised to watch his bank and credit accounts and check on his social security.

Check for More than $100K Stolen in Mail

2:11 p.m. A resident of Westfield Street notified police that a tax refund check in the amount of low six figures had been stolen from the mail. The resident was alerted to the mail theft when a bank security representative contacted him regarding the resident’s tax refund that had been deposited in a Pennsylvania account. The resident had made no such deposit. Additionally, someone had made an initial withdrawal on that account. An attempt at a second withdrawal did not go through. The resident is gathering more information for the investigating officer.

Suspicious Tailgater

4:28 p.m. A resident of Carroll Street walked into the police station to report suspicious behavior that she observed while driving home. A grey sedan had been tailgating her, so she pulled over to the side of the street. The complainant told police that the grey sedan pulled up alongside her, and she saw a young, white male with long hair. He made a strange face at her before driving away. Police escorted the complainant home and searched the area but did not find any such person or vehicle.

Thanks to Lieutenant Christopher Sheehy and the Westwood Police Department for contributing information for this article.

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