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The following is based on selected Arlington Police Department logs from April 30 through May 6. No arrests were reported.

Check-washing update: Cases of mail theft from blue boxes and “washing” of checks to make fraudulent withdrawals continue at a rate of one or two per week. According to APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn, U.S. Postal authorities continue to work on an effective solution. This reporter plans periodic updates on the situation.

Excerpts from the Arlington Police Department log:

Tuesday, April 30

8:43 p.m. – Larceny under $1,200. An Arlington parent filed a citizen's police report stating that her son's Gary Fisher Blue Mountain bike was allegedly stolen, along with his cycling helmet, from an Arlington High School bike rack. The bike, with an estimated value of $200, was reportedly left locked but unattended after regular school hours. This is the latest in a spate of recent mountain-bike thefts around town. Flynn commented that mountain bike owners should invest in a good lock but added that even a very good one may not be enough to protect the bike from theft. “Mountain-bike thieves are on the prowl,” he said. “If you're taking the bike to school, don't leave it there after school hours. When you ride it home, don't leave it on a porch or propped up against a garage. Take photos of the bike and write down the serial number. Most importantly, don't leave it unattended for any length of time where a thief can see it.”

Wednesday, May 1

5 p.m. – Suspicious Condition. A concerned father called police to report a disturbing encounter his son experienced while walking home on Highland Avenue. An unknown male party driving a red pickup truck reportedly slowed down alongside the youth, and the two exchanged eye contact. The truck then reportedly followed behind the boy for an extended period as he continued walking. Police are looking  for video and adding patrols to the area.

Thursday, May 2

5:27 p.m. – Accident with Injury. Police and fire personnel were summoned to the intersection of Highland Avenue and Arlmont Street following a two-car crash that sent a 42-year-old Roxbury man to the hospital complaining of back pains. The man, westbound on Arlmont in a 2018 Toyota RAV4, allegedly collided with a 2021 Jeep Cherokee heading south on Highland as both vehicles entered the intersection. The Jeep driver, a 49-year-old Needham woman, escaped injury. There were no witnesses to the crash; because officers on the scene were unable to determine fault, no citations were issued. Both cars were towed.

Friday, May 3

4:25 p.m. – Suspicious Condition. A concerned mother contacted police about an unknown male party who had followed a group of five 12-year-olds, allegedly making unwanted, disturbing comments. The man, apparently described by the kids as a “pale, skinny white male about 5-foot-10,” reportedly followed the kids as they crossed Mass. Ave. from Robbins Library to the front of Domino's, The kids were reportedly quite upset. Flynn said that APD would add directed patrols and post extra officers to the area. He also encouraged the public to continue to report distressing interactions with strangers, adding, “See something, say something.”

7:37 p.m. – Suspicious Condition. A Wilbur Avenue resident filed a police report stating that a home security tape showed that on April 20, a man drove by their house in a white Nissan, stopped, came back later and made off with their yellow “Slow – Children At Play” sign. The footage did not show the Nissan's plate number, Flynn said, so police have no leads.

Saturday, May 4

12:17 p.m. – Suspicious Condition. A Ryder Street parent filed a citizen's report stating that his son had been inappropriately accosted by a man in workman's clothes while walking by the Mirak apartment complex in the Heights. The man asked, reportedly somewhat suggestively, “Do you need anything?” -- to which the youth answered, “I'm good.”

1:12 p.m. – Accident with Injury. A five-car accordion pileup that injured one driver drew police and fire units to Park and Cedar avenues. An 18-year-old Arlington man allegedly initiated the chain reaction by failing to brake in time, crashing his 2020 Hyundai into the rear of an Audi SUV. The sudden impact startled the Audi driver, who reportedly hit the gas pedal by mistake, causing his vehicle to lurch and continue the chain reaction through all three stopped cars ahead of him. The only driver reporting injury was the middle one, a 27-year-old Lynn man operating a 2018 Toyota Corolla sedan; he told EMTs he felt sharp head, neck and back pain and agreed to be taken to a local hospital. The Arlington man received a citation for following too closely.


May 3, 2024: Police blotter April 23-29: Arlington hurly-burly: Crashes involving pedestrians, bicycles, e-scooters, plus a disorderly-conduct arrest


This column by YourArlington volunteer writer Chris Wilbur was published Friday, May 10, 2024, based on information from Arlington Police Department daily logs and explanations from APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn.