Breaking and Entering
The take was apparently relatively small from a burglary at a Lovers Lane residence last week and in fact may have been exceeded by costs to repair the house. Thieves bashed in the front door, damaging the frame, Detective Jack Izzo said. In a typical "smash and grab" scenario, the only thing the owners noted as stolen was jewelry, valued at about $350. Reported to police on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 18, the case is under investigation.
General Police Calls
Tuesday night, a Shirley woman called police to ask them to check on her daughter, who has been cleaning out the home of her deceased father - the woman's ex-husband - on Warren Avenue. All was well at the house, Detective Izzo said. Later in the week, however, another call came in related to the same residence.
On Saturday afternoon, Sept. 22, the caller, presumably the person who has been staying there for the previously stated purpose, told police that someone was peering in the windows. It turned out to be a local realtor, having a look-see. Knowing the owner was deceased; the real estate agent assumed the house was vacant.
Motor Vehicle Accident Leads to OUI Arrest
Erik D. Mitchell, 27, of 44 Oak Hill Road, was arrested at the scene of a single-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon, Sept. 20, on Ayer Road. The accident was logged at 1:27 p.m. Mitchell, who was apparently alone in the car, was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and operating so
The driver refused to take a Breathalyzer test, Detective Jack Izzo said. He also refused medical treatment or transport to the hospital, although an ambulance was dispatched. The vehicle was towed. Mitchell was released to his sister a couple of hours later.
In an incident reminiscent of an earlier case in which a local woman was fleeced via Internet and wired a substantial sum of money to a scam artist overseas, a West Bare Hill Road resident filed a police report Thursday afternoon describing what happened to her recently.
In the recent case, the woman, who is in her 50's, had been corresponding with someone she met on a dating service website called Christian Mingle, according to the police report. The woman believed the man's name was Jacob Dean and that he was in the U.S. Army, serving in Afghanistan. She spoke to him twice and sent him chocolates, Detective Izzo said.
But the phony Mr. Dean wanted more. He asked for $150, supposedly to deal with a customs issue and instructed her to send the money to a friend of his in Ghana, Africa.
Dean also asked the woman to accept some personal items he would send her for safekeeping and she agreed. It is not clear whether she ever received the items.
Next, the man's "friend" who identified himself as Tony, contacted her and asked for $1,850 on Dean's behalf. The money was to be sent to an address in London via Western Union. The woman agreed, as she did again when the same man asked for another $115.
In all, the woman sent $1,965 by wire but was finally tipped off that she'd been victimized by a thief when paperwork she'd asked for to verify the transaction looked fishy to her. She contacted Western Union, filed a fraud report and received a full refund.
In the earlier case, the woman didn't get her money back. The funds she wired to thieves in Spain had already been picked up. They had claimed to be stranded friends who needed her help, concocting an elaborate story about getting mugged at a hotel.
Anyway, Jacob Dean turned out to be a real person, but he's neither a soldier nor is he overseas. He's a college student who lives in Westport. Police contacted his parents, Detective Izzo said. The family had no idea their son's identity had been stolen but they intended to take preventative measures, such as changing their bank accounts, he said.
In the earlier case and another, similar case that followed, it was determined that e-mail accounts had been hacked into, which may have been part of the problem this time, too. However, the Harvard woman who used the dating site seems to have encountered the fake Dean there, while in the other instances, outreach was the other way around.