Police Log: Driver Tries to Flee After Striking Truck in Parking Lot, String of Catalytic Converter Thefts

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The following information was provided by the Watertown Police Department.

Arrests

Aug. 1, 11:50 p.m.: A driver backed his 1998 Toyota van into a commercial truck parked in the lot for Dunkin’ Donuts at 49 Mt. Auburn St. Then the driver tried to leave the parking lot heading the wrong direction, but several customers stood in front of the vehicle to prevent it from leaving. Police arrived and spoke to the driver, who said he tried to buy some coffee but Dunkin’ was closed. Officers detected an odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath, his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and he was unsteady on his feet. The man did not pass four field sobriety tests. Bryan Gonzales-Teo, 26, of Watertown, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to use care when starting and stopping.

Aug. 2, 10:54 a.m.: An officer patrolling on Mt. Auburn St. near Baptist Walk when he saw a man crossing the road, who was known to be wanted on warrants. The officer confirmed there were two arrest warrants for the man, and then stopped him near Dunkin’ Donuts. Joseph Nneji, 28, of Watertown, was arrested on the warrants: one from Waltham District Court for assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and traffic offenses; and the second from Brighton District Court for unarmed robbery and strangulation or suffocation.

Aug. 5, 12:20 p.m.: Employees at Dukin’ Donuts at 49 Mt. Auburn St. called police after a man came in and was causing a disturbance for the second time that day. The man had been asked to leave and trespassed by police earlier in the day. He returned and was saying vulgar things. Employees asked him to leave and he went outside and sat in a chair next to Dunkin’ Donuts. Police arrived and when they asked the man to leave he refused, became loud and swore at officers. Police believed the man was intoxicated. After multiple attempts to deescalate the situation police arrested Toros Torossian, 57, of Watertown, for disorderly conduct and trespassing.

Incidents

Aug. 1, 8:44 p.m.: Residents of Bellevue Terrance noticed that their cars had been broken into. They believed it happened between July 30 and 31. Loose change was taken from both cars. The residents were unsure if they left their cars unlocked. Police are investigating.

Aug. 1, 5:26 p.m.: Police responded to a two-vehicle accident on Main Street. The officer saw two vehicles with minor damage. Both drivers provided their license and registrations. One did not have a Massachusetts license and had been living in the state for more than two years. The officer informed him he had to get a Mass. license after a year living in the state. The Roxbury resident was summoned to Waltham District Court for driving without a license.

Aug. 3, 12:30 p.m.: Packages were reported stolen from an apartment building on Galen Street. The manager said that he was asked by a resident who was out of town to make sure that Amazon packages were brought inside. When he went to check there were no packages, but he remembered seeing them earlier in the day. When he looked at security footage he saw at 12:15 on Aug. 2 an unknown white male came into the building, picked up the packages, opened them, and then left with the packages. Police are investigating.

Aug. 3, 1:50 p.m.: A Forest Street resident reported that she had been scammed. On July 22 she received an email from what she thought was from her landscaping company, John’s Landscaping Co. She was asked to wire $8,300, so she went to the bank and transferred the money. Then she learned that the landscaping company’s email had been hacked, and they had not asked her to send them money. Police are investigating.

Aug. 3, 10 a.m.: A resident received an email saying she owed $4,490 from a company called Nordic Services. She was told they over charged her and she should buy three $500 gift cards at Target and send the numbers to the caller. After giving the man the information the woman realized it was a scam.

Aug. 5, 6:30 p.m.: A worker at McVey Monuments on Arsenal Street heard some yelling and something that sounded like a drill. When he went to investigate he saw a man wearing all black and possibly two others in a Honda CR-V. The man got spooked and drove off. The same vehicle was seen in the side parking lot at Target near Elm Street. The driver parked next to a Honda CR-V and cut the catalytic converter out of the vehicle. Security video shows a dark-skinned male wearing dark clothes use a jack to lift the vehicle and remove the part. He was there for about three minutes. The same suspects were then seen at the Residence Inn by Marriott at Arsenal and Elm streets. They went into the parking lot and parked next to another Honda CR-V and removed the catalytic converter in about three minutes. Police are investigating.

Aug 6, midnight: Two men came into 7-Eleven on Mt. Auburn Street and asked to purchase a pack of Parliament cigarettes. When the cashier put the pack on the counter and started to ring them up, the two men grabbed the cigarettes and ran out. The suspects were described as white males.

Aug. 6, 6 p.m.: An officer spotted a driver run a red light and was pulled over at Arsenal and North Beacon streets. The driver produced a license and the officer found that it was suspended due to non-payment of state taxes. The driver was summoned to Waltham District Court for driving with a suspended license.

Aug. 7, 1:38 p.m.: A man came into Best Buy, took items off the shelf, cut open the packaging, and put the contents in a backpack. Employees found that a SanDisk flash drive and a PNY flash drive were taken. They were worth a total of $23. Police were called but could not locate the suspect, who is described as a Black male wearing a black hoody, jeans and a backpack.

3 thoughts on “Police Log: Driver Tries to Flee After Striking Truck in Parking Lot, String of Catalytic Converter Thefts

  1. Looks like Watertown has become as an easy target for thieves and other assorted criminals.

    Congratulations for that reputation.

    If you look up at least one of the names above, you see that the man has been arrested before.

    Therefore, congratulations to our messed up judicial system which provides a revolving door for criminals.

  2. William, I agree. Without consequences, there is no fear. There is talk about putting serial numbers on the catalytic converters so that they won’t be as easy to sell to others. I think it should be mandated that auto manufacturers do that with some type of embedded print so they can’t be scratched off. I hope the police in all cities and towns are checking used car parts shops to make sure they aren’t taking in all these catalytic converters to resell them. It seems to be a growing problem and it’s costly to get them replaced and a real inconvenience for individuals. Our insurance rates will probably go up even more if these types of thefts continue.

    • Why place the responsibility on the manufacturers? The thieves are the ones to blame and the ones who should face the consequences. Why should we be the ones that have to pay?

      Make CC theft (and package theft), a felony with a minimum 10 year sentence and see how that works out for them.

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