Police Log: Man Threatened While Using ATM, Facebook Marketplace Scam

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The following information was provided by the Watertown Police Department.

Arrest

Jan. 5 1:15 a.m.: A officer patrolling in Watertown Square spotted a vehicle without an inspection sticker, which also had a missing front license plate. The officer obtained the plate number from the back license plate and ran a query that found that registered owner had a warrant out for his arrest. The vehicle was pulled over on Arsenal Street and the 22-year-old Waltham man was arrested on the warrant from Dedham District court for traffic offenses. He was also issued a citation for a number plate violation, for no inspection sticker, and not being in possession of his driver’s license.

Incidents

The Watertown Police received three reports of unemployment fraud during the week of Jan. 4-10.

Jan. 4, 2:22 p.m.: Police responded to Roma Tile on Arsenal St. for a possible credit card fraud issue. An employee told police that the store had received a charge back to their account for $1,667.89, which happens when purchase made on a credit card is disputed. The purchase happened on Dec. 16 when a person came into the store claiming to be a contractor. The person bought 30 cases of tiles, went to the loading dock with a truck and loaded them before leaving. When they got the chargeback, Roma Tile checked the name on the credit card, and it did not match the name that was provided by the customer. The card was in the name of a person in Connecticut, and when Police made contact, the person did not know that someone took out a credit card, or had gotten ahold of the person’s credit card. Police are investigating.

Jan. 4, 7:19 p.m.: A vehicle was broken into while parked in a driveway on Elton Avenue. The owner parked it on Jan. 3 and the next day found that the center console was open and someone had gone through the contents. About $3 in loose coins were missing. The vehicle had been left unlocked.

Jan. 5, 1:52 p.m.: The owner of a business on Nichols Avenue said within the past two months he had received two shutoff notices from Eversource. On Jan. 5 he received a phone call from a person claiming to be an Eversource debt collector. The caller requested a $500 payment, or threatened to shut off service immediately. The man made a $500 payment via Zelle. After the payment was sent, he got another call requesting an additional $500. At that point thought the owner thought it was suspicious, so he called Eversource. They said they had not been contacting him. The number he received the calls from was found to be out of Florida and was linked to other scams.

Jan. 7 11:38 a.m.: The woman reported she had received a text message on her phone asking if she had purchased a specific app for the phone that cost $499. It included a number to call to dispute the charge. The woman called and spoke with the person about the issue. She was told to purchase gift cards worth $500, after which the person would get her money back. After a few days, she realized this was a scam, and is working with her bank to retrieve the money.

Jan. 7, 2:31 p.m.: A man told Police he was in the vehicle using the ATM machine at Bank of America when a man pulled up beside him, got out of his vehicle and began berating him. The man said that at one point the other man said he should shoot him. The other man then got into his vehicle and drove away. The first man got a license plate, and Police tracked the owner to his residence on Highland Avenue. Police spoke with the suspect, who admitted to exchanging words with the other man and called him names, but denied making any threats to commit violence. The men did not know each other.

Jan. 9, 7:20 a.m.: An officer patrolling Sullivan Park, at Mt. Auburn and Arlington streets, saw graffiti on the cement retaining wall behind the back stop. The graffiti included a Spiderman logo and other cartoon characters made with red spray paint.

Jan. 9, 9:52 a.m.: A Mt. Auburn Street resident told Police that three rings and a pair of earrings were missing from her apartment. They are worth a total of $930. The woman had taken her jewelry off and placed them in a book shelf in side the front door of her apartment. She was unsure the last time that she had seen them. On the day she called Police she noticed the jewelry was not in the place where it is usually kept. There were no signs of forced entry. The woman had been moving things around her apartment, and the items could have been misplaced. Police are investigating.

Jan. 10, 2 p.m.: A Watertown woman had sold an item on Facebook marketplace for sale, but found out the payment was never placed into her account. The item was a reborn baby doll, listed for $600 with a $50 mailing fee. She received a PayPal notice for $650, so she sent the item through the Post Office to a Wisconsin address. It appears that the PayPal notice was fake, and the money was never deposited into her account. The package is not supposed to arrive until Jan. 15. The USPS has been contacted and they are trying to put a stop to the delivery. The address where the package was being sent is a home for sale.

Jan. 10, 8:46 p.m.: Police responded to Winsor Avenue for a passenger who did not pay a taxi driver. The passenger who evaded the fare took off on foot. Police got a description of the person and officers were able to track the 54-year-old man to an address on Winsor Avenue. He owed $13.20 for a ride from Harvard Square. Police spoke with the man and he paid the fare.

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