POLICE LOG: A literal run-in with police in the MHS parking lot, plus a possible bike thief

Excerpts from the Marblehead police log Sept. 12-17. Consistent with state law, Marblehead Police have adopted a policy of not providing media outlets reports related to incidents involving  domestic violence, juveniles and matters that remain under investigation.

Sept. 12

6:15 p.m. — Officer Michael Farewell was dispatched to the station to meet with an individual regarding fraudulent work purportedly done on their garage door. The person reported hiring a company to install a new garage door motor valued at approximately $900. After the installation, the company allegedly advised the person that new “door springs” were needed, estimated at $550.

An appointment was scheduled, and a technician allegedly replaced the door springs. The person wrote a check to an individual named Netanel Cohen for the services. However, the very next day, the individual faced issues with the door. Attempts to contact the technician were largely unsuccessful.

Subsequently, a different company was consulted. They confirmed that while the motor replacement was done correctly, the subsequent services for the door springs were allegedly not performed. The individual then discovered from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) that the company might not be a legitimate business. In response, they have initiated a dispute with their bank over the $550 payment made to Netanel Cohen.

Sept. 14

3:03 p.m. — Officer Charles Sweeney responded to a call in the department’s front lobby concerning a case of alleged identity fraud. Upon arrival, Sweeney met with an individual who reported that an unknown person had opened an account in their name on Fingerhut.com. This unauthorized individual subsequently used the store credit available upon account creation to make various purchases. The reporting individual received a notice of owing $400 to Fingerhut, and despite clarifying they hadn’t made those purchases, the website continued to bill them.

The individual was uncertain if their Social Security number had been compromised but confirmed that only their mailing address was used for the fraudulent account. Sweeney advised the individual to consult an attorney regarding possible recourse in small claims court against Fingerhut’s billing practices. Additionally, the officer recommended that they flag their Social Security number and monitor their bank account for any suspicious activity.

8:03 p.m. — Officer Robert O. Picariello navigated through the Marblehead High School parking lot during a football game. As he proceeded, a white Volkswagen Beetle suddenly reversed from its parking spot and collided with the right side of the patrol car.  

Upon assessing the situation, the driver of the Beetle immediately expressed remorse, mentioning the absence of a backup camera in the car. The driver also acknowledged their own oversight. Picariello subsequently summoned Sgt. Eric Osattin, who was attending the football game, to assist in handling the situation. They both briefed the driver about the next steps, emphasizing the importance of notifying her parents and their insurance company since the car was registered under the driver’s mother. Throughout the interaction, the driver remained cooperative and apologetic. Minor damage was noted at the center rear of the Volkswagen Beetle.

Sept. 15  

10 a.m. — Sgt. Jason Conrad was stationed at a private construction site around Mohawk Road, where Atlantic Paving was working on asphalt projects. A verbal altercation occurred between an employee of Atlantic Paving and the homeowner of a Mohawk Road. The situation was promptly de-escalated by Conrad.

Upon investigation, the Atlantic Paving employee, operating a roller at the time, reported that the homeowner had allegedly approached and opened the door of the company’s legally parked and unoccupied truck the day before, seemingly intending to discuss the ongoing work.  

The homeowner, in his explanation, said he approached the truck and opened its door, hoping to converse with the operator about perceived property damage, even though the truck was visibly empty. The alleged “damage” was shown to Conrad: a tire mark found in the mud along Mohawk Road. The mark’s origin was indeterminate; it could have been from a construction vehicle or any other car parked in the vicinity in days prior. The homeowner, upon realizing the strip was town property, justified his concern by stating he had seeded the area and had reported the situation to the selectman’s office.

Conrad advised the homeowner to utilize proper channels for any concerns related to the construction.

2:19 p.m. — Officer Nicholas Michaud responded to the station’s lobby to investigate a fraud report. The reporting individual mentioned that she and her husband were selling a boat on boattrader.com. The buying party allegedly agreed to purchase the boat and sent a cashier’s check for the amount of $41,550  which was $9,550 more than the boat’s listed price. The check was drawn from “Mercedes Benz of Temecula,” a car dealership located in Temecula, California.  

Upon receiving the check, Morrison requested the couple to send the overpayment to an individual in Minnesota named Rebecca Baumgart, either through wire transfer or by check to a provided address. The only communication mode the couple had with Morrison was through email.

Later, the couple’s bank, Bank of America, alerted them that the check they received allegedly was fraudulent. While the bank halted the transaction, preventing any monetary loss to the couple, they did mention a potential hold on their account due to the counterfeit check. The woman also reached out to the aforementioned car dealership in California, which confirmed that it knew of checks fraudulently being issued in its name.

Michaud expects to receive and attach the emails from “Morrison” to this report in due course. A copy of the report has been forwarded to the Criminal Investigation Division for further inquiry.

4:25 p.m. — Officer Robert Picariello was dispatched to the Marblehead Police Station lobby to investigate a case of identity fraud. The reporting individual explained that he had mistakenly provided both his credit card and driver’s license details, including the operator license number, to what he believed was an airline company while attempting to book flights for an upcoming winter trip. Soon after this transaction, the individual realized that he had fallen victim to an alleged fraudulent scheme, and his credit card information was being misused.

The person had already taken steps to address the situation with his credit card provider and sought assistance from the Department Of Motor Vehicles to change the OLN number on his driver’s license as a protective measure against potential misuse. The DMV had directed him to report the incident to the local police department, which led him to Picariello. Additionally, Picariello provided the individual with guidance materials on steps to take when one’s identity has been compromised and the relevant authorities to report to.

Sept. 16

6 p.m. — Officer Andrew D. Clark was approached by a juvenile, accompanied by his mother, regarding an alleged stolen bicycle. The young individual reported attending a soccer game at Marblehead High School’s lower ballfield. He parked his bicycle near a dirt roadway leading to the ballfield by a storage container. The missing bicycle is described as a Trek Marlin 6, colored navy blue with light blue accents, and is valued at $903.11. The young individual has filled out a property loss report form for the stolen item. Clark has taken necessary measures, intending to forward the report and made proper requests to access any relevant surveillance video that might aid the investigation.

Sept. 17  

7 p.m. — Officer Robert O. Picariello responded to a call regarding reported damage to a vehicle at the parking lot of the Tower School. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with a person who had discovered significant damage to the front hood of their 2018 white Mazda. This individual had parked the vehicle in the said location to take a walk down the adjacent rail trail. Upon returning, they noticed the damage, which was not present when they initially parked.

Upon inspection by Picariello, it was inferred that the damage might have been caused by a tree branch or a similar object, given the wood shavings found in the crease of the vehicle’s hood and the nature of the marks. There was, however, no evidence of fallen tree branches in the vicinity, nor were there any overhanging tree branches. The Tower School has a camera that seems to be directed towards the parking area, but access to the footage was not immediately available due to the school being closed at the time. The vehicle owner was advised to inform their insurance company about the incident.

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