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The following is based on selected Arlington Police Department logs from April 16 through 22. No arrests were reported. Excerpts from the Arlington Police Department log:

Tuesday, April 16

3:10 p.m. – Larceny under $1,200.  A Lake Street resident reported the apparent theft from her front porch of a package containing $70 worth of goods her husband had ordered online. A doorbell camera took footage of a masked woman dressed in white and carrying a backpack, showing her climbing the resident's porch steps and then descending a short while later, possibly with a newly delivered package tucked into her pack. The camera also caught a possible male accomplice, also wearing a black mask and backpack, standing in wait next to two carriages on the sidewalk. The doorbell footage did not appear to show other packages or objects in the carriages. APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn commented that while the carts may have suggested that thieves were sweeping the area for packages, the evidence does not yet rule out this incident being an isolated event. An APD investigation continues.

Wednesday, April 17

5:30 p.m. – Accident without Injury. Two Arlington women tangled on Lake Street when one of them, 42, driving a Honda Fit, allegedly rear-ended a blue Toyota Corolla operated by the other, 31, resulting in moderate damage to both cars but no injuries. Arriving officers determined that the Honda driver had been following too closely and wrote her a citation. Available witness testimony was insufficient to show that the Corolla had slowed abruptly enough in thick traffic to have played any role in the collision.

Thursday, April 18

8:35 a.m. – Neighbor Problem. An Arlington woman visited the APD station to report that an Airbnb customer who had turned into a longer-term tenant-at-will in a house she owned had stopped paying rent more than two months earlier. Police explained to her that this was a civil matter, which she might need to pursue in small-claims court. Flynn commented that confusion between civil and criminal matters is not uncommon, but that the public should know that enforcing the terms of a contract or agreement between private parties is generally not police business.

2:41 p.m. – Identity Fraud. A Pleasant Street resident reported receiving a call from his accountant saying he couldn't file his tax return because someone -- presumably trying to claim a fraudulent refund -- had already filed a separate application using his Social Security number. The accountant advised the taxpayer to notify a credit bureau, contact the IRS, file a police report and reassured him that the IRS would be able to provide a means for him to file his return as planned.

Friday, April 19

10:58 a.m. – Neighbor Problem. An Arlington man visited the APD lobby to report having repeatedly been railed at by his neighbor after he had hired a contractor to install lights in his back yard. According to his account, the aggressive neighbor, who had moved in next door in October, was widening the scope of his complaints and attacks. For instance, he said, when he had been doing a woodworking project with his 8-year-old son, the neighbor yelled in outrage at “yellow dust” from the project that had blown over and settled on his lawn. After hearing the man's story, officers advised him to consider seeking a restraining order from a court. The matter of the backyard lighting per se might come down to specific litigation, Flynn noted.

Sunday, April 21

9:59 a.m. – Identity Fraud. An Aerial Street resident called police to report that she had mistakenly given credit card information while trying to return an item she had purchased online. Not long afterward, suspecting a scam, she checked her American Express account and found that indeed a $400 charge had recently been made by someone else. She worked with American Express to freeze her old card and to receive a new one. 

6:51 p.m. – Identity Fraud. After recently filing for unemployment, a Thorndike Street resident contacted police to report having received mail from the Department of Unemployment Assistance saying that someone else had already opened a claim using his personal information. The unemployment office is investigating.

8:20 p.m. – Larceny under $1,200. In the latest of a string of recent mountain bike thefts in town, a locked black mountain bike worth $800 was reportedly disengaged and taken from an Arlington High School bike rack. Police are investigating possible photo or video evidence; they also have the bike's serial number and plan to join the owner in monitoring sales media in case it is put up for sale. Mountain bike owners are now urged to lock their bikes carefully and to take extra security precautions if possible.

Monday, April 22

2:04 p.m. – Malicious Damage to a Motor Vehicle. A Lombard Terrace resident reported that he had returned home to find that the rear window of a Nissan Sentra parked in his driveway had apparently been shattered by an errant baseball, with no note left by a miscreant -- which disappointed him because his auto insurance reportedly has a $500 glass deductible. Flynn said he thought that houses on Lombard Terrace, which borders Spy Pond Field, might be hit by “legitimate foul balls.” If so, he added, most sports leagues have insurance, so he suggested that the resident might start or advance an investigation of his own by finding out what teams were playing that day.

4:08 p.m. – Larceny Under $1,200. A motion-sensitive doorbell camera has reportedly provided useful information in identifying a potential suspect in the apparent theft of an $800 electric scooter from the front porch of a Valentine Road residence. After calling APD, a female resident of the house was able to show officers footage of what looked like a young male wearing a white hat and mask apparently casing the porch from the sidewalk and then reappearing two hours later, mounting the porch steps, then appearing to remove the scooter. According to the report, a neighbor was able to give police the name of a potential suspect based on rough physical appearance and other behavioral clues (details not given). APD is working with a school resource officer to look into this and other possible suspects at the high school. Flynn noted that doorbell cameras typically have a wide enough angle to cover the entire front of most houses. He added that these cameras have proved useful in numerous cases and that APD encourages more households to consider installing them. Scooter and bike owners should take pictures and write down serial numbers of their vehicles to assist APD in case of theft, he added.


April 18, 2024: Police blotter April 9-15: Motor vehicle stories; the reckless, the abandoned, the crushed


This column by YourArlington volunteer writer Chris Wilbur was published Thursday, April 25, 2024, based on information from Arlington Police Department daily logs and explanations from APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn.