Police Log: Serial Shoplifters Spotted at Target, Resident Caught in Rent Deposit Scam

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July 6, 6:02 p.m.: The manager of the General Market on Waverley Avenue discovered that someone paid with a counterfeit $100. A man came in to cashed in some lottery tickets and purchased new scratch tickets. He owed $10 and gave a $100 bill to the person at the register, who gave back $90. Later the manager realized it was a fake bill. The suspect is described as an African-American man, around 20 years old, wearing a black sweatshirt with “Air Jordan” on the front, a black baseball hat, dark pants and a white medical mask. Police are investigating.

July 7, 3:26 p.m.: A Grove Street resident told police that her bicycle had been stolen from her back porch. She locked it at 8 p.m on July 6, and it was gone when she went out at 10 a.m. on July 7. It was locked, and it appeared the lock had been compromised. The bike is described as a Specialized Alibi, colored black and chrome which is valued at $405.

July 7, 5:47 p.m.: A woman was spotted going into Old Navy with two brown shopping bag, grabbed a number of items and put them in her bags and then left without paying. The suspect is described as a Hispanic female, 5-foot-4, black hair, wearing a blue tank top and a long dress. The woman was last seen running into Arsenal Park. Police searched the area but could not find the suspect.

July 8, 3:38 p.m.: A Riverside Street resident reported that someone slashed her tire. She parked in her assigned space in back of her apartment building. It looked liked the left, front tire of the 2016 BMW sedan had been intentionally punctured by a sharp object.

July 9, 10:33 a.m.: A vehicle was broken into on Clayton Street. The owner said she parked her 2015 Subaru Legacy in front of her home after midnight and when she went back in the morning she found her passenger door ajar and the center console was rummaged through. Nothing appeared to have been taken, and the vehicle had been left unlocked.

July 9, 9:29 p.m.: A fire was reported on Ralph Street and when fire and police personnel arrived they found flames coming from a clothes dryer. The homeowner saw the flames and tried to douse them with water, with no success. Everyone had evacuated the house when the Fire Department arrived, and firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze and contain the fire to the dryer. The was no structural damage to the home.

July 10, 3:40 a.m.: A Watertown woman reported she received a pop up message on her Apple iPad saying her iCloud account had been compromised. The message had a phone number, which she called. She was told to purchase four $100 Apple cards and send the information to the person on the phone. When the person asked for more money, the resident realized she was being scammed. She was reimbursed by her bank.

July 10, 9:53 a.m.: Target security called police after the store did an internal investigation into a pair of serial shoplifters. The man and woman had been seen shoplifting at Targets in Boston, Cambridge and Watertown. A 54-year-old Dorchester man had been seen shoplifting in the Watertown store 16 times and took a total of $3,611.93 in merchandise. He had been seen going through the store, taking merchandise and concealing the merchandise before leaving without paying. Police got a warrant for the man for larceny over $1,200. The second person, a 42-year-old woman from Boston, had been caught on video seven times from April to June taking items from the Watertown store. She took a total of $1,193.03 in merchandise and a warrant was requested for shoplifting, a third offense.

July 10, 2:09 p.m.: A Watertown resident reported that she placed a $9,000 deposit on an apartment in New York City with someone she described as a “trusted landlord.” Later, she received an email that appeared to be from the same email as her original correspondence with her landlord. The email said her contract was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak and it asked her to send an additional $3,900 so the landlord would hold the apartment for another year. She wired the money to a bank in the Philippines. Her bank flagged the transaction as fraudulent and when she checked she noticed a slight difference between the original email and the one asking for more money. She contacted the landlord through the correct email, and he said that he was also emailed by someone who posed as her and asked for the deposit back because of COVID-19. He sent $9,000 to the same bank in the Philippines.

July 10, 3:07 p.m: A Lexington Street resident reported that he ordered two pairs of sneakers and a sweatshirt for $350. UPS tracking showed the package had been delivered to the home on July 9 at 12:52 p.m., but when he went to look for the package it was gone.

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