Police Log: Kidnapping; Extortion by Scammer Posing as "U.S. Deputy Marshall"; Car Swipes Runner; and Other Stories


Image by Westwood Minute/Darlene Wong Cancell.

The news described in Westwood Minute's weekly Police Log article series is primarily based on selected incidents from the Westwood Police Department's daily log and information provided by Lieutenant Christopher Sheehy and police staff, through written records and conversations. Occasionally, Westwood Minute may weave a few facts from other sources into these stories.

Monday, April 1st

Identity Theft to Purchase Tires in Nevada

12:16 p.m. A married couple residing on Oak Street reported that their identities were used to purchase tires in Nevada. The couple reported that on August 5, 2023, they received a phone call from a delivery company located in Nevada, asking where tires should be delivered. At the time, the husband responded that no such purchase had been made.

Since then, the couple has learned that an unknown person has opened an account for a Visa debit card, using their personal information. The couple received a bill from a collection agency that stated $3,344.80 was owed for an account with “Own.Lease Incorporated.” They have informed the collection agency that the purchase was unauthorized.

Police Work on Identifying Distinctive Shoplifting Suspect

9:24 p.m. Police responded to Wegmans grocery store on University Avenue, on the report of a larceny in progress. A female was observed taking $40 worth of fruit and a cake out of the store without paying. Described as a younger woman with missing teeth, she reportedly fled in a white Nissan Altima that was driven by an older woman with blond hair. Police were able to obtain a license plate number for the Altima, and Wegmans staff confirmed that a photo of the registered owner resembles the driver. Police are investigating.

Late Night Leaf Blowing

10:03 p.m. Police received a noise complaint from the U.S. Post Office shopping plaza on High Street, where they found a work crew in the parking lot, operating a leaf blower, in violation of Westwood’s noise abatement bylaw. The crew informed police that work would be completed in 10 to 15 minutes and that the crew would obtain a permit for working over the next few nights.

Sunday, March 31st

Check for Missing Norwood Woman

1:23 a.m. Westwood Police received a request from Norwood Police that a check be conducted in the parking lot of Roche Bros grocery store for the vehicle of an adult female Norwood resident who had been missing since 3:00 p.m. The resident, who is in her eighties, was known to have planned to be at the store to pick up food, earlier that day. Westwood Police checked the lot but did not find any sign of the vehicle.

Saturday, March 30th

Resident Loses $1,200 Computer to Apparent Fraudster on Facebook Marketplace

11:37 a.m. A resident of Beechut Road complained of a suspicious transaction and fraud when the Venmo payment did not go through upon the sale of the resident’s computer. The resident told police that on March 18th, the resident arranged to hand-off a Mac Book Pro to a buyer, in exchange for $1,200. The sale was arranged through Facebook Marketplace, and payment was sent to the seller through Venmo, in advance of the hand-off.

The buyer arrived in a black, Toyota Prius, to take possession of the computer. However, after the resident gave the computer to the buyer, the resident noticed that the Venmo transaction had been rescinded or reversed. Upon investigation, the resident learned that the owner of the Venmo payment account had submitted a claim to Venmo stating that the $1,200 transaction was unauthorized. This case has been referred to detectives.

Disturbance at Hanlon School Construction Zone

10:20 p.m. Police received a report of a disturbance at the location of the Hanlon School, that a group of youths were throwing objects into the construction zone. A responding officer encountered three teenagers – a 17 year-old and two 18 year-olds – on the driveway of the Pine Hill School. The youths told the officer that they had not thrown any rocks at any object in particular but reportedly said they would not do so again. The three Westwood residents were picked up by an adult.

Friday, March 29th

Late Night Knocks

11:58 p.m. A resident of Fisher Street reported hearing someone banging on the resident’s front door, beginning around 11:30 p.m. The complainant stated that the banging has happened on previous occasions on Friday and Saturday nights. The complainant stated the belief that a group of youths were responsible.

Thursday, March 28th

Thieves Gain Entry Through Broken Gate Entryway to Steal Car Rims and Tires

9:20 a.m. Police were dispatched to the Gables University Station apartments on the report that two vehicles had their wheels stolen while parked on the second floor of the apartment complex garage. Police found a grey Mercedes-Benz sitting on milk crates and its own front brake rotors, with all tires and rims missing. Nearby, a grey Honda Accord was similarly positioned and also had its wheels and rims removed.

Police obtained security video showing that around 1:40 a.m. that day, two individuals entered the garage through an open gate. The gate was a self-lock entrance, but it was broken and awaiting parts and repair. The individuals were both wearing sweatshirts with hoodies and surgical asks. At 1:45 a.m., a white Ford F-150 entered the garage through the same gate. Twenty minutes later, the pickup exited the garage with a bed full of rims and tires. The pickup truck was missing a front license plate, and its rear plate was covered by a cloth or other object.

Police learned that Gables University Station apartments plans to post a guard at the broken gate until the gate is repaired.

Wednesday, March 27th

Runner Struck by Side Mirror of Oncoming Car

10:19 a.m. A Westwood resident was struck by a passing vehicle on Hartford Street, near Mill Street, when the vehicle failed to give sufficient clearance. The female pedestrian was running west on Hartford Street, between the fog line and curb, when she was struck by the passenger side mirror of a 2021 Honda that was heading eastbound on the same street.

The impact from the vehicle caused the runner to spin clockwise and fall. Police noticed visible injuries to the runner’s right arm and right hand. Westwood Fire paramedics was summoned, provided treatment, and transported the victim to the hospital. Police cited the driver, a woman from Medfield, with failure to stay within marked lanes and use of a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.

Tuesday, March 26th

Resident Cancels 20 Unauthorized Transfer Attempts Through Westwood Union

7:04 p.m. A Westwood resident reported having two bank accounts hacked, costing the resident over $1,000. The resident was alerted to numerous transactions as they occurred, made by someone initiating wire transfers through Western Union to different accounts. The resident was able to cancel about 20 of the transactions, but 8 went through. Through Western Union, the resident obtained three names associated with the recipient accounts, which were located in Chino, California, Houston, Texas, and Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Monday, March 25th

Speeding Driver Loses Control on East Street

4:42 a.m. The driver of a 2013 Chrysler lost control of his vehicle while driving west from the East Street rotary toward Washington Street. The car crashed into a cement guard post before striking a fire hydrant. The man complained of a back injury and was transported by Westwood Fire paramedics from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Needham. Police determined the cause of the accident was excess speed and issued the driver a citation for speed greater than reasonable and proper.

Police Arrest Suspected Kidnapper

6:37 a.m. Multiple officers responded to Lamberts Plaza, the location of a call made by a man who reported being held against his will. Officers found a black sedan with the suspected kidnapper, the caller, drugs, and two double-edged knives. Police arrested the suspect, a 50 year-old male resident of Highland Road in Somerset, Massachusetts, and transported the alleged victim to the police station for an interview. 

The suspected kidnapper was charged with kidnapping, two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon, possession of a Class B controlled substance, and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of liquor. He was transported to Dedham District Court that afternoon for arraignment. This case was originally reported by Westwood Minute on April 4, 2024.

Dedham Resident Loses $16,000 Under Threats of Impending Arrest

10:28 a.m. Police responded to the Dunkin’ on Washington Street to speak with a store manager, a 41 year-old female Dedham resident, who reported losing $16,000 following the threat of being arrested by someone who on a phone call claimed to be a “U.S. Deputy Marshall from Texas.” The supposed marshal called her on January 16th, and spoke with a heavy Indian accent. He reportedly told the victim that a shipment of drugs had been intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border, with the store manager's name and identification attached to it.

The victim reported that she was led to believe that the only way to avoid arrest for drug trafficking charges was to send $16,000 to the marshal by converting it to bitcoin at an ATM machine in Hyde Park. When that machine was found to be out of service, the victim accomplished the task at an ATM machine in Mattapan.

The caller told the victim that she would be visited by two agents the next day with paperwork, showing that she was free and clear of charges. When the expected agents did not show up, the woman became suspicious and contacted the FBI and police. She had not provided any personal information, and was advised by police to monitor her credit history and notify her banks of any suspicious transactions.

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

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