POLICE LOG: The case of the mysterious safe

Excerpts from the Marblehead police log Sept. 5-11. 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.

Sept. 5

9:17 a.m. — Officer Andrew Clark responded to a call at Oceanview Glass on Humphrey Street. The reporting party, a 59-year-old male, alerted police about an abandoned Fire Fyter safe in the rear parking lot of the business. A witness, a 62-year-old female employed at a neighboring business, Humphrey Street Tailoring, mentioned she did not notice the safe when she left work the previous day at 5 p.m.

Upon arrival, Clark observed visible signs of force used to allegedly open the safe, such as dents and scratches. To preserve any potential evidence, Clark contacted Inspector Det. Theresa Dulong, who arrived at the scene and took photographs and fingerprints. The Department of Public Works was then called to transport the safe back to the police department for further examination. The safe was secured in a locked garage.

Dulong’s supplemental report added that she spoke to neighbors residing at addresses adjacent to the parking lot, none of whom reported hearing or seeing anything unusual overnight. She attempted to process the safe for fingerprints but was unable to develop any usable prints.

The investigation is ongoing.

1:53 p.m. — Officer Andrew Clark spoke with a 56-year-old male resident regarding a possible case of harassment. The resident is an enthusiast of the game pickleball and is in disagreement with the policies of a local organization, MarbleheadPickleball.org, specifically concerning the reservation-only status of public pickleball courts in town. The resident believes the courts should operate on both a reservation basis and an open-to-the-public status.

On the previous day, the resident had sent an email to the organization’s membership of more than 300, using an email account with the name “TownTaxpayer,” requesting their opinions via a 10-question survey about court usage. Shortly after, the organization sent out an email, along with Facebook and Instagram posts, asking their members to disregard the resident’s email as he had no affiliation with them.

The resident felt upset about the organization’s posts, particularly because they used his name. He believes he has as much right to express his views as the organization does. Clark advised the resident that the posts were not criminal in nature and suggested he contact police should he start receiving targeted harassment. The resident indicated he was satisfied with this advice.

2:31 p.m. — Officer Timothy Morley was dispatched to speak via telephone with a 53-year-old female resident who holds power of attorney for her father. The resident reported a possible Medicare/Medicaid scam targeting her father. According to the resident, her father received a letter at the end of June or beginning of July indicating that his personal identifying information (PII) had been compromised. On Sept. 5, her father received a phone call from someone claiming to be from Medicaid asking to confirm his policy number. The caller also knew other personal information.

The resident took immediate action to contact appropriate agencies involved with Medicare/Medicaid to prevent further issues. Morley advised the resident to contact her father’s local bank to make it aware of the situation and to consult it for additional preventive measures.

Sept. 6

7:08 a.m. — Officer Nicholas Fratini, while working the 11:45 p.m. to 7:45 a.m. shift, was flagged down by a resident of Lee Street. The resident reported vandalism to her vehicle. Upon investigation, Fratini observed what appeared to be dog feces intentionally smeared across the vehicle’s bumper. The resident stated she has been having negative interactions with a former tenant who recently moved back into the neighborhood. She suspects this individual to be responsible for the alleged vandalism. The resident informed Fratini that she plans to seek a harassment prevention order later that day.

10:45 a.m. — Officer Douglas Mills was dispatched to Taft Street. The dispatch concerned tools found in the roadway. Upon arrival, Mills was handed a tool belt with assorted tools and a nail gun in a plastic carrying case. The items had reportedly been lying in the roadway for several days. Mills brought the items back to the station and tagged them as found property. Identification belonging to an individual from New Hampshire was found among the items. The dispatch team plans to contact the owner to arrange for the retrieval of the property.

1:12 p.m. — Officer Timothy Morley was dispatched following a report about an erratic driver in a black Ram pickup truck on Lafayette Street. The reporting party had been followed by the truck since Salem State University and noted the vehicle had passed her illegally on a single-lane road after the intersection at Lafayette and Maple streets. The truck subsequently cut her off and sped up, eventually colliding with an ambulance’s mirror.

Morley located the vehicle and spoke with the driver, who admitted to a minor collision involving each vehicle’s mirrors. Both the driver and the ambulance operator stopped and exchanged information following the incident. No other reports were made concerning this occurrence. The ambulance was on a non-emergency call at the time and had no patients onboard.  

Sept. 7

1:47 p.m. — Officer Timothy Morley was dispatched to speak with an individual at the Marblehead Police Station regarding a lost cell phone. The individual reported they had left their cell phone at Crosby’s Super Market by the cash register around 10 a.m. Upon returning to the store, they were informed by a cashier that an elderly woman mistakenly took the phone, believing it to be hers.

Morley attempted to call the lost cellphone multiple times from the police station but received no response. He advised the individual to contact police if they found a way to track the cellphone. He also contacted Crosby’s Super Market to review security camera footage for any information that could help locate the phone.

In a follow-up to the initial report, the phone was eventually returned by the individual who had accidentally taken it. The phone was picked up by police and returned to its owner.

Sept. 8

1:50 p.m. — Officer Charles Sweeney was called to The Abbey Studio located on Washington Street for a report of suspicious activity. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with the reporting individual, who is the owner of the store.

The individual recounted that on the previous day, Sept. 7, a Verizon worker had visited the store to sell merchandise and showed particular interest in the individual’s MacBook computer. The worker had asked numerous questions about the computer before leaving and handing over a business card.

The reporting individual had briefly left the store unlocked to grab some items from down the street. Upon return, they noticed a notification on their computer about a thumb drive, which they found suspicious, given the earlier interaction with the Verizon worker. Sweeney advised the individual to keep an eye on their personal information and bank accounts.

Sept. 10

9:55 a.m. — Officer Charles Sweeney responded to a call concerning a lock and chain on the gate of the dog park located on Lime Street. Upon arrival, the officer met with the reporting individual, a 71-year-old local resident.

The individual explained they could not access the park due to a chain and lock on the gate. The individual had contacted the Park and Recs director to inquire if the park was supposed to be locked. The director confirmed the park should not be locked and stated he would come to remove the chain and lock.

Sweeney advised the reporting individual to call police for further investigation if the gate is locked again in the future.

Sept. 11

8:30 a.m. — Officer Andrew Clark spoke with a resident of Nicholson Street concerning an incident that occurred that morning. The resident had been alerted by a neighbor that another individual in the neighborhood was cutting plants from their property using a knife around 8:30 a.m. The same individual was also observed cutting roses from another neighbor’s bush.

The reporting party expressed concern due to the close proximity of the houses and the individual’s apparent disregard for boundaries. The reporting party viewed the act as potentially threatening and wanted it documented.

Clark advised the reporting party that possessing a knife is not a crime unless it is used with criminal intent. The reporting party was also informed about the option of obtaining a Harassment Prevention Order (H.P.O.) if necessary. A photograph provided by the reporting party confirmed the individual in question was holding a knife while cutting the plants.

6:42 p.m. — Officer Robert Picariello was dispatched following a report of a missing person. The reporting party stated they had seen their spouse, dressed in a bright orange jacket, approach a white van with flashers on the side of Bubier Road. After briefly looking away to close their vehicle’s trunk, both the spouse and the white van were gone.

Officers conducted a search in the area of Bubier Road. The reporting party returned home and allowed Picariello to search the property and house to ensure the spouse had not returned; she had not. The reporting party informed the officer that after witnessing the disappearance, they began searching the neighborhood before heading to the police station to officially report the incident.

While investigating, Picariello located a recently delivered package at a neighboring address. As he was attempting to track the package, the missing individual was seen walking up Bubier Road with a neighbor who had joined the search. It was determined the individual had been out for a regular walk and was now returning home. Picariello concluded the reporting party had likely mistaken a delivery driver in an orange vest for their spouse.

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