Police Log: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, Car Towed from Swamp, Car Chase


Image by Westwood Minute/Darlene Wong Cancell.

The news described in Westwood Minute's weekly 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.

Sunday, March 19th

Unemployment Compensation Fraud I

2:49 p.m. A resident of Westland Avenue reported a case of unemployment insurance fraud. The resident received an email from the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), asking her to confirm personal information for an unemployment insurance claim. The resident had not filed a claim and called DUA. She learned that someone had filed for benefits using her identity. DUA stopped the claim before any payments were made. The resident put a freeze on her credit.

Saturday, March 18th

Theft from Gym Locker

12:16 p.m. A Milton resident reported the loss of an iPhone 14 from his unsecured gym locker at Life Time Fitness. The resident had placed his belongings in an unlocked locker while showering. Upon returning, he discovered his phone missing. All other personal items remained in the locker. The complainant’s email account was also hacked. This case is under investigation.

Friday, March 17th

Theft of Petty Cash

7:33 a.m. Police responded to Mercedes-Benz on Route 1 to take the report from an employee of a theft of $200 from a locked drawer in an office. There was no sign of forced opening.

Fire Department Receives Suspicious Mail

12:17 p.m. Police received a report from Westwood’s Fire Chief of a suspicious piece of mail, with a handwritten address to “The Westwood Fire Station.” It had a return address, partially illegible, but which appeared to be from Ellsworth, Maine. The letter was sent by certified mail and contained small, handwritten notes with a list of names, places, and dates of birth, the meaning of which is unknown.

Unemployment Compensation Fraud II

12:44 p.m. A Medway resident reported receiving a letter from DUA the previous week, which indicated the individual had filed for unemployment compensation. Because this was not the case, the Medway resident contacted DUA to report the fraud. He was advised to contact credit reporting bureaus to place a hold or freeze on his credit and to report the incident to the Internal Revenue Service in case false tax returns are filed in his name.

Police Obtain License Plate of Shoplifter's Vehicle

2:22 p.m. Police arrived at Nordstrom Rack, where staff reported a shoplifting 15 minutes prior. A woman took a grey, Rollmaster 28-inch suitcase and a large red handbag filled with watches and sunglasses. She stopped by the cashier’s desk to say she would wait outside for her ride and would load merchandise at the curb. She walked out of the store without paying. She entered a GMC Envoy. Store staff were able to take a photo of the vehicle and license plate, which police traced back to a man. This case is under investigation.

Thursday, March 16th

Pedestrian Fatally Injured at University Avenue and Blue Hills Drive

9:50 a.m. Westwood Police received multiple calls regarding a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle traveling south on University Avenue at the intersection of University Avenue and Blue Hills Drive. Westwood Fire responded with an engine and ambulance, along with a deputy or captain and fire chief. The pedestrian, 82 year old Alice Wedge of Canton, was pronounced dead at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham.

The driver, an 83 year old man residing in North Attleboro, remained at the scene and cooperated with police. Along with Westwood Police, also at the scene were state police and two district attorneys. A reconstruction report is being compiled. 

For more on this story, read: Victim of Car Collision on University Avenue is Identified

Shoplifting a Feast

4:34 p.m. Several police officers responded to a report of a larceny in progress at Wegmans. Merchandise valued at over $700 was taken and included rib eyes, lamb roast, tenderloin meat, salmon teriyaki and other items. Store staff recovered the merchandise a reported that the suspect had left in a red, Toyota Corolla. A license plate number was obtained. An officer spotted the vehicle and stopped the car. Inside were two women and a juvenile male.

The woman passenger, an Irish national and resident of Weymouth, was arrested for shoplifting. The driver, a relative of the arrestee and also the child’s mother, was given a motor vehicle citation for attaching plates, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, and unregistered motor vehicle. She will be summoned to court for shoplifting. Both women were charged with larceny under $1,200.

Tuesday, March 14th

Providing Support to Norwood Police Response to Armed Man

9:50 a.m. Westwood Police sent a unit to Norwood to assist with coverage, as Norwood Police resources were largely taken up to address a report of an armed man making threats at the Courtyard Marriott on Route 1. Westwood Police remained on patrol in Norwood for about two hours.

Joining a Multi-Town Police Chase of Fleeing Suspect

11:48 a.m. Westwood Police received an alert from Norwood Police that they were pursuing a stolen, white transit van into Westwood on Route 1A. A Westwood Police officer in the area joined the pursuit, taking over when Norwood Police broke off their chase at Westwood’s Roche Bros. supermarket due to public safety concerns. Westwood Police followed the stolen vehicle on Washington Street to the Dedham town line, where Dedham Police took pursuit. At 2:40 p.m., Westwood Police received notice that the suspect had been apprehended in Boston, stopped by Boston Police and state police.

For more on this story, read: Armed Man Making Threats Steals Van, is Chased by Police from Norwood to Boston

"No Good Deed Goes Unpunished"

10:12 p.m. A caller reported a fight in progress in Wegmans supermarket, describing the assailant as a man wearing camouflage pants, blue gloves, and a grey sweatshirt. Police observed a man matching that description, in front of the store, eating potato chips. The man was unresponsive to the officer’s questions, refusing to answer, and continuing to eat his chips. He then asked the officer for transportation to a hospital for treatment for mental issues. He stated that he was not involved in a fight.

The victim, an employee and 42 year-old resident of Attleboro who was plowing the parking lot, told police he was taking a break to get food from the supermarket. The victim was standing in the cashier’s line in front of the assailant, who communicated that 40 cents more was needed to complete his purchase. The plow driver turned to offer the money to the man behind him. In return, the man punched the victim in the head.

Westwood Fire Paramedics transported the assailant to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham. He is a 31 year-old resident of Smithfield, Rhode Island and he will receive a summons to court for assault and battery.

Monday, March 13th

Vehicle Goes Off Road Into Body of Water

3:17 p.m. Police received a call from a man whose mother had informed him that her vehicle went off the road and was in a body of water. Police first checked Route 1, and found nothing. Police then checked Route 128, where the vehicle was located in a marsh off the ramp connecting University Avenue to Interstate 95 North. The woman was assisted out of the vehicle and transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Milton by a Brewster ambulance. A tow company extricated the car from the marsh.

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Free Self-Defense Classes for Norfolk County Residents from NCSO, Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation

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