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The following is based on selected Arlington Police Department logs from Jan. 30 through Feb. 5. No arrests were reported.

Excerpts from the Arlington Police Department log:

Tuesday, Jan. 301:02 p.m. – Injury on Town Property. A 52-year-old Cambridge man lost his balance and fell while stepping off an MBTA bus at a Broadway stop. Witnesses called police, who arrived to find the man prostrate on the sidewalk with what looked like a fresh bruise on his head. Once helped to his feet, the man appeared to walk unsteadily in a way that led officers to suspect alcohol inebriation. The man was offered medical assistance but declined and went on his way.

11:06 p.m. – Accident with Injury. A driver reportedly fell asleep while driving on Summer Street and plowed his Lexus into a telephone pole, staving in the car's front end but escaping serious injury thanks to the car's airbag. Police determined that the driver, a 41-year-old Lexington resident who admitted that he had been drowsy, had simply dropped off at the wheel. There were no tire marks on the lane dividers indicating an attempt to brake, he hadn't been using his cell phone (as police verified through the cell-service provider) and he had no history of seizures or other medical indicators. The driver appeared shaken up by the crash but declined medical help. The Lexus was towed; officers wrote up citations for marked-lane violation and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Wednesday, Jan. 31
9:06 a.m. – Customer Problem. A 45-year-old Arlington resident entered an East Arlington bank and drew a teller's suspicion when he presented a Cambridge Savings Bank check made out to cash along with an ID that appeared to have been enhanced with a taped photograph of himself to make the card look like his. When bank officials gathered to question the transaction, the man seized the check, exited the building and started striding up Mass. Ave. Police officers arrived and soon caught up with him, immediately recognizing him as someone well known to the department. When they asked to look at the check, the man quickly tore it up, screaming, “That check is gone, brother.” He shouted obscenities and also yelled invocations such as “St. Christopher” and “Son of God.” After presenting him with a citation for disorderly conduct, police took the man into custody and arranged for his involuntary committal at a local hospital.

4:13 p.m. – Animal Complaint. A Virginia Road resident notified the town's animal-control officer that a raccoon appeared to be trapped in a sewer. A Department of Public Works crew arrived, opened up the grate and netted the masked creature for release elsewhere. APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn, asked how it could have gotten itself into a sewer, replied, “I don't know. You'll have to ask the raccoon,”

5:24 p.m. – Motor Vehicle Stop. A police officer flagged down a gray VW that had gone through a stop sign at Brattle Street and Mass. Ave. When the officer demanded the male driver's ID, the man presented a New Hampshire license and a registration that turned out to be expired. The driver entreated the officer to let him try registering the car on the spot from his cell phone, claiming that this was easy to do via New Hampshire's RMV. However, when the officer agreed to let him try, the driver soon encountered a glitch, and the registration attempt failed. The officer proceeded to write citations for the stop sign and unregistered-vehicle violations -- and informed the disappointed driver that the vehicle would have to be towed.

Thursday, Feb. 1
2:45 p.m. – Threats. A distraught 19-year-old Arlington man called the police, reporting that a woman he had befriended on Instagram had flashed a screenshot threatening to publish compromising pictures that he had sent her if he didn't immediately send her money. Shortly thereafter, he received a telephone call from a man in Texas who repeated the threats, adding that he would have the pictures sent to the young man's family if the monetary demand was not met. Police counseled the youth not to make any payments. There was no mention in the report of any feasible next step police could take to prevent the scammers from carrying out their threats. “These people are clever and know how to cover their tracks,” said  Flynn. “The safest thing is for people to educate themselves so they don't fall for their tricks in the first place.”

9:57 p.m. – Traffic Enforcement, No License. A random stop at Mass. and Park avenues resulted in a criminal complaint issued to a 21-year-old Cambridge driver who was not carrying a driver's license and whose vehicle registration had been revoked owing to lapsed insurance. “Not everyone in town knows that the police conduct such random stops," Flynn commented, “which is another reason why drivers should not fail to keep their documentation up to date.”

Friday, Feb. 2
4:56 p.m. – Larceny over $250 by False Pretense. A 62-year-old Arlington resident called police to report having almost been scammed by a putative online loan company. The woman said that she had applied for a loan with the company and been approved for an amount greater than what she had asked for. After she had provided her banking information, she was told by a “loan officer” to withdraw money from an ATM and use it to buy gift cards. As soon as she heard “gift cards,” she said, she hung up. Police tried calling the "company's" numbers but got no answer. The woman was advised to work with her bank to protect her account.

4:56 p.m. – Entering Dwelling at Night to Commit Felony. A Renfrew Street resident called to report that her house had been broken into when she and her son were out. When they returned home, they found that the security camera had detected motion. Checking further, they discovered that someone had opened drawers and removed personal items plus a small amount of cash. Police came and determined that the rear sliding-door mechanism had been pried apart, allowing the thief entrance. Security footage failed to provide even a glimpse of an intruder, however, and the resident could name no likely suspects. Police are investigating.

Sunday, Feb. 4
2:20 p.m. – Malicious Destruction of Property. Police were called to an East Arlington optometrist's office, where an office manager pointed out an expensive examining chair that she believed had been deliberately broken by a client. The manager said she couldn't deduce from the appointment schedule who might have done such a thing. Because there was no security camera in the exam room, police told her that there was probably nothing the department could do to identify the vandal.


Feb. 1, 2024: Police blotter Jan. 26-29: Dog bite, fall injury, property destruction, accidents, scams


This column by YourArlington volunteer writer Chris Wilbur was published Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, based on information from Arlington Police Department daily logs, explanations from APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn and YourArlington's files.