Marblehead police log, Nov. 9-22, 2022: Local man victim of six-figure scam; ‘sucker punch’ at Riptide

Excerpts from the Marblehead police log of Wednesday, Nov. 9 through Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Consistent with state law, Marblehead Police have adopted a policy of not providing to media outlets reports related to incidents related to domestic violence, juveniles and matters that remain under investigation.

Wednesday, Nov. 9

7:51 a.m. Solicitors reported on Tucker Street.

7:57 a.m. Caller lodged complaint related to traffic on Maple Street.

10:50 a.m. A stuck truck was reported on Heritage Way.

11:02 a.m. Worker reported having gotten threats on Tedesco Street and Leggs Hill Road.

2:07 p.m. Caller reported that there was a scooter parked on Woodfin Terrace.

2:08 p.m. Caller on Spring Street reported having received annoying phone calls.

3:13 p.m. Two vehicles were towed after accident on Humphrey and Birch streets.

7:46 p.m. Officer spoke in police station lobby with woman to whom he had spoken before regarding an ongoing landlord-tenant issue. Woman explained that the landlord constantly turns off the lights to the common area, bangs on walls and ceilings, and tampers with the building’s internet connection while she is home. Woman also stated that on Saturday, the landlord had lit a bundle of “smudge” and left it burning on the inside back wooden staircase to her neighbor’s apartment. Officer asked woman what “smudge” was, and she replied it was some type of voodoo incense used to ward off evil spirits.

Thursday, Nov. 10

11:10 a.m. Tree branch was reported down on Smith and Pleasant streets.

1:05 p.m. Officer assisted with bus that had gotten stuck on Front Street.

2:38 p.m. Officer assisted at scene of minor vehicle crash on Pleasant Street.

5:50 p.m. Suspicious activity reported on Atlantic Avenue.

9:19 p.m. Brief power outage reported on Richard Road.

11 p.m. Investigated report of hit-and-run on Pleasant Street.

Friday, Nov. 11

7:56 a.m. Speeding cars reported on Dartmouth Road.

10:13 a.m. Caller on Mohawk Road lodged complaint related to the construction of the Mariner.

11:50 a.m. Officer assisted at scene of minor two-vehicle accident on Front Street.

12:25 p.m. Walk-in to police station lodged complaint about cars speeding in the area of Prospect Street.

4:36 p.m. Officer was dispatched to Colgate Road for a report of a stolen credit card. Woman explained that her ex-boyfriend had stolen her credit card and that he had just refused over the phone to give it back. However, while the officer was on scene, woman called ex-boyfriend to ask if she could get the card back, and he immediately agreed and said he would leave it where she could pick it up. Officer spoke with man to confirm the plan and informed the woman about the process for obtaining an abuse prevention order, though she stated that she was not in fear of her ex-boyfriend.

Saturday, Nov. 12

7:37 a.m. Power outage reported on Humphrey Street.

10:13 a.m. Limb leaning on wires reported on Lafayette and Maple streets.

9:10 p.m. Tree branch reported down on Stramski Way.

Sunday, Nov. 13

9:31 a.m. Low wire reported on Pleasant Street.

3:02 p.m. Caller reported cone in the road on Lee Street.

3:44 p.m. Blocked drain reported on West Shore Drive.

Monday, Nov. 14

10:30 a.m. Officer investigated report of vandalism on Atlantic Avenue.

10:51 a.m. Walk-in to police station reported having been scammed out of a pair of $50 Steam digital gift cards after offering them for sale on Facebook’s Marketplace. Man had expressed interest in the cards and sent a fraudulent email depicting a “Venmo escrow” payment to her email. Woman stated that she felt the conversation she was having with man was fishy but sent him photos of the numbers on the back of the cards anyway, even after not seeing money in her Venmo account. Since having retrieved the codes, man had left the conversation and had not replied to any of woman’s requests or demands for payment. Officer advised woman to report the Facebook account associated with the man as a scam, while he planned to create a report for documentation.

10:53 a.m. Officer assisted at the scene of two-vehicle accident on Baldwin Road and Pleasant Street.

2:16 p.m. Caller reported ladders set up in the street on Jersey and Sewall streets.

2:24 p.m. Officer was dispatched to Farrell Court to take a report of identity fraud. Woman reported she had gotten a letter from Bank of America denying an account she had allegedly tried to open. Woman reported that she never opened up an account with Bank of America and had already notified the FTC, credit reporting agencies, and her bank. Woman also called Bank of America; however, they were unable to provide her with any information. Officer advised woman that she had done everything required to report the fraudulent activity.

5:48 p.m. Suspicious activity reported on Birch Street.

Tuesday, Nov. 15

11:45 a.m. Caller reported having received annoying phone calls.

12:58 p.m. Investigated report of past hit-and-run on Creesy Street.

12:59 p.m. Cell phone caller on Mugford Street reported having received annoying phone calls.

1:51 p.m. Officer spoke in police station lobby with woman having issues with her next-door neighbor, who is is generally hostile towards her. Woman explained there had been several incidents, including blowing leaves at her and onto her property on multiple occasions. Woman said she was certain that neighbor had vandalized her lawn by killing a long strip in her her grass, of which
she showed the officer pictures. Woman said there have also been multiple occasions where the neighbor had been standing nude in her window, after neighbor had told her that she did not want to see her in the nude. Officer advised woman that she should consider investing in a home surveillance system. He also explained how a no-trespass order works and how to apply for one. He also advised her that she should document all past incidents.

1:56 p.m. After dispatcher learned of the incident from the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, officer reached out to resident who had been scammed out of $360,000 to ask if he wanted to report the crime to Marblehead Police. Man said he had made a report to the F.B.I. using the Internet Crime Complaint Center as well to his financial institution, but he agreed that it would be a good idea to have it documented with his local police department, too. Man explained that he had been put in touch with someone whom he believed was from the Social Security Office because he was told someone had used his Social Security number to open and use credit cards under his name. In order to fix the problem and protect his money, he was told to wire transfer $30,000 from his account to a New York bank. In addition, he was asked if he had any IRAs, which he did. He was told he needed to transfer that money as well, so he transferred an additional $330,000 to a bank out of China. He provided the phone numbers from which the scam calls had originated.

3:09 p.m. Officer spoke with resident who had been out of the country who reported that he had learned upon his return that someone in Florence, Italy had used his ATM card repeatedly, racking up more than $8,600 in charges. Man was advised to notify the credit agencies and his banks and cancel the card.

5:15 p.m. Officer went to Orchard Street to speak with woman whose credit card had been compromised. Woman had
noticed several charges on her statement that she had not made. She had reported the fraud to the credit card company, which was investigated. Woman added that her reward points had been accessed and used as well. She was advised on how to handle the matter.

Wednesday, Nov. 16

7:02 a.m. Flooding reported on West Shore Drive and Jersey Street.

3:18 p.m. Caller on Tufts Street made a report related to “improper videos.”

7:12 p.m. Officer filed a report after a two-vehicle crash involving two Toyota RAV4s, one a 2014, the other a 2011, on Mooring and Bradlee roads.

Thursday, Nov. 17

10:23 a.m. Hitchhiker reported on Beacon Street.

10:25 a.m. Officer went to Atlantic Avenue, where salon owner played for him an angry voicemail message that he had received from the owner of an HVAC business, who stated that he was going to leave bad reviews for the local man’s business across all available platforms, which local man believed to be a case of mistaken identity. Salon owner said that when he called the HVAC business owner back, the man threatened to come down to Atlantic Avenue and “straighten him out,” and that he would “get him.” Officer advised local man about harassment prevention orders as well as no-trespass orders. Salon owner asked that officer call the HVAC business owner, who apologized and told him that he was having a bad morning and had been frustrated by being unable to make an appointment for his daughter. HVAC business owner claimed that when the salon owner called him back, the salon owner was the one being confrontational and seemed to be trying to bait him into a fight. Officer explained to HVAC business owner that he was not welcome at the salon and advised him to stay away from salon owner to avoid any further incidents. He stated that he understood and that he had no plans to go to the business.

12:16 p.m. Officer could not locate vehicle accident reported on Atlantic Avenue.

4:29 p.m. Caller on Monroe Road reported scam.

7:43 p.m. Officer assisted with disabled vehicle on Humphrey Street.

10:45 p.m. Water main break reported on Barnard Street and Red Frank Lane.

Friday, Nov. 18

10:12 a.m. Officer spoke by phone with woman who initially believed she may have given $20 to a Marblehead High School Boosters fundraising scam. But she would call back later to report that she had done further investigation and determined that the solicitation had been legitimate.

11:57 a.m. Officer investigated report of two-vehicle accident involving a dump truck on Humphrey Street and Ida Road.

12:12 p.m. Officer met at police station with woman who had received an email from “Amazon” informing her that there was an issue with her account, which she now realized was a scam. She stated that she then emailed back and forth with a person she thought was from Amazon customer support, giving the person her name, address, Social Security number and date of
birth, along with the information on two of her debit cards. Once she realized this was a scam, she had contacted her banks to make them aware and had not lost any money, though her personal information had been compromised. She was advised to contact the credit agencies to set up a fraud alert. She was advised on how to report identity theft to the FTC and to monitor all of her accounts for any signs of fraudulent activity.

1:06 p.m. Wire reported down on Lincoln Avenue.

11:15 p.m. Officer spoke to man who reported that he had just been “sucker punched” in the head by a man known to him at the Riptide Lounge on Pleasant Street. Man said that, when he turned around to fight back, a group of unknown patrons had escorted him out the front door. Man said his hand had been injured in the scuffle and that he feared the hand had sustained structural damage that would affect his work as a mechanic, but he declined medical attention. Officer advised man to seek a complaint at Lynn District Court and that Marblehead Police would document the incident. Man’s friends told officer that, as soon as they had walked into the Riptide, the alleged assailant had engaged them in conversation their reading glasses, but being not interested in the banter, they walked away. The alleged sucker punch happened a few minutes later. Neither of the friends had seen exactly how the man’s hand had been injured. Officers tried to locate the alleged assailant but were unsuccessful. The Riptide does not have cameras, and officer wrote that an employee and other patrons “were not helpful” in providing additional information.

Saturday, Nov. 19

6:12 a.m. An elderly person was given a ride home to Clifton Avenue.

1:28 p.m. Disabled vehicle reported on Lafayette Street.

1:45 p.m. Water problems reported on Joel Road.

2:22 p.m. Officer went to Lincoln Avenue to investigate a report that the HVAC system of a home had been vandalized. Officer confirmed that it was clear that someone had unscrewed the system from its mount it was on and placed on some recycling bins with the wires still attached. Homeowner told officer that she had been in California, and her next-door neighbor had discovered the HVAC unit on the ground earlier in the day. Woman had then called her plumber to have him take a look. Plumber said it seemed like someone had unscrewed the unit from the house in an attempted to steal it. Officer then asked woman if the Ring camera on her home captured anyone in the area. Man did say a man trying to deliver a pizza had come to the door the day before, but that was the only activity she had on the camera. She was advised to share with police any other information she or her plumber determined after looking into the situation further.

9:57 p.m. Investigated disturbance reported on School Street.

Sunday, Nov. 20

12:12 p.m. Officer assisted with disabled truck on Humphrey Street and Charlotte Road.

2:50 p.m. Tree branch reported down on Cedar Street.

3:17 p.m. Tree branch reported down on Humphrey Street.

Monday, Nov. 21

9:05 a.m. Report taken after incident on Village Street.

12:52 p.m. Officer filed report after vehicle crash on Rowland Street.

1:35 p.m. Officer spoke in police station lobby with man who had had a $5,000 forged check from his business account cashed at a credit union branch in Lynn. Man had been able to close the account and was not held liable for the withdrawal. Check had been made out to a Lowell man. Officer was given a copy of the check, which had been doctored to show a different business address, authorizing signature and check number. At about 1 p.m., man had received a call from the same teller at the credit union branch in
Salem who had helped him create a new account, who explained that she currently had a woman at her window trying to cash another check against his closed account. Man asked the teller to get her identification and that he would go the police station to file a report. The teller was unable to tell man anything about what happened after that, other than she had contacted the credit union’s security department. Officer asked man if any checks he had authorized had gone missing or never made it to their final destination, and he replied that, to his knowledge, none were missing. The only thing he could think of was that in order to open up a business account with Home Depot, he had to provide a blank check for their records. Officer advised man that he would pass this information along to detectives, who would also be following up with the credit union, in the hopes that they had obtained the woman’s identification or had video of her.

2:23 p.m. Caller reported that a water spigot had been left on, on Lee Street.

3:16 p.m. Caller reported that there were a pair of 2-by-4s in the road on West Shore Drive and Lorraine Terrace.

4:06 p.m. Disturbance reported on Pitman Road.

6:24 p.m. Disturbance investigated on Stratford Road.

8:26 p.m. Two officers were dispatched to Cressy Street to investigate dispute, which had prompted both parties to call police. Man explained that he had met woman at an AA meeting and had been her roommate since September. Man explained that, in lieu of rent, he had been letting woman use his car. Man said the evening’s argument had begun because woman had been smoking in the vehicle and had allegedly left a cigarette burn on the vehicle’s upholstery. But man was also upset that she had resumed drinking at a Beverly lounge earlier in the evening. Man said that, when they got home, he had gone out to walk his dog, and woman would not let him back inside the apartment. Man explained that everything he owns is inside that apartment and that he did not just want to barge in, as he does have keys, and instead wanted to play it safe by calling the police to assist. Officer then joined conversation with woman, who was already speaking with another officer. Woman explained that she had allowed man to live there for a month, and she now wanted him to leave. Officers explained to woman “numerous times” that, because she had allowed man to live there, he had the same rights to the apartment as she had, an answer that the woman did not like. She continued to insist that she wanted man to leave, that he does not pay rent, and he is “being a punk.” Officers and woman talked “in circles” for almost an hour before officer-in-charge was called to scene. The situation was eventually resolved after woman was advised that she would needed to go through the eviction process with the man, and/or she could go to Lynn District Court and speak to the Domestic Violence Unit to see if she would be eligible for a restraining order. Both parties were advised to keep to themselves for the night. Officer planned to report the incident to North Shore Elder Services, as the woman felt she was being taken advantage of due to her age.

Tuesday, Nov. 22

9:20 a.m. Officer filed report after vehicle crash on Atlantic Avenue.

2:39 p.m. Officer went to speak with woman who reported that she had just been assaulted by an older gentleman on Carol Road as she was walking back to her vehicle after picking up her two sons. Her friend had alerted her that their children had just been yelled by a woman, the man’s wife, about the boys playing on a tree in front of the woman’s home, but on town property. As mother was speaking with the wife about what had happened, the husband allegedly came out of the house and grabbed her wrist forcefully and also “shouldered” her when he was walking. Officer spoke with the couple, and woman explained that she had gone outside to speak with the two boys because she felt that it was unsafe for the boys to be playing on the tree. By then, the
two boys were in a vehicle. She knocked on the door, and the boys opened up the door for her. Woman said she explained her concern to the boys and went inside. Mother had then knocked on the door, and wife went outside to speak with her. The husband explained that this was when he went outside to join the conversation and also take a picture of mother’s vehicle, as he was going to call the police about this matter. Man stated that, as he was walking, the boys’ mother had stepped in front of him and then raised her hand. Man said he did not know what she was about to do, which is why he grabbed her wrist. He said they then separated, and he went to go take pictures of her vehicle. Man later came into police station to provide a statement with his version of the events.

2:58 p.m. Officer went to Powder House Court and spoke with woman who explained that she had been dealing with
ongoing harassment from her neighbor. Woman stated that today, she had been walking behind the building in the alleyway and saw her neighbor cleaning up leaves, so she turned around to avoid any contact with her. Woman said that, as she was walking away, neighbor began to yell at her to get off the grass, calling her a bad name. Officer explained the process for obtaining a harassment prevention order and was also advised to report the incident to the Housing Authority.

5:18 p.m. Officers investigated report of an assault on Access Road.

5:29 p.m. Officer responded to minor accident on Pond Street.

6:46 p.m. Officer went to Pond Street and spoke to woman who said she had gotten a notification from Apple that she had been “air tagged.” Officer advised her to contact Apple to see if they could give her any information and shut the tag off.

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