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The following is based on selected Arlington Police Department logs from May 7 through May 13, 2024. No arrests were reported. Excerpts from the Arlington Police Department log:

Tuesday, May 7

7:15 a.m. – Malicious Destruction of Property. An employee of the First Baptist Church, at 819 Mass. Ave., called police to report that an unknown party had shattered a rear window of the church during the night, leaving glass “everywhere.” The employee also reported that a ladder that hadn't been there before was found leaning against a roof gutter and that large amounts of trash had been strewn about the grounds. Police reportedly have some leads and are investigating.

12:51 p.m. – Breaking and Entering into a Vehicle. A 37-year-old Clark Street resident called to report that a car he had left unlocked overnight in his apartment building’s parking lot had been broken into. He said he found a dent that hadn't been there before; he also reported papers and pamphlets strewn over the back seat -- and $100 in cash missing from the glove box. Police are talking with neighbors and looking for security video recordings. APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn said what shouldn't need repeating: Owners should lock their vehicles at night and whenever else they're not in use.

Thursday, May 9

11:47 a.m. – Customer Problem. A manager at Ace Hardware on Mill Street called police to report that a customer had twice paid for merchandise with checks that later bounced, in April and May. The manager gave officers a partial description of the woman and a photo of what they deduced from security tapes was probably her car. Police are reportedly investigating a possible suspect.

3:17 p.m. – Accident with Injury. Fire and police units rushed to the 300 block of Mass. Ave., where they reportedly found a yellow 2020 Ford Fiesta hugging a utility pole near Dunkin Donuts. Fire personnel attended to the Fiesta driver, a 38-year-old Arlington man who complained to EMTs about neck pain but ultimately refused further treatment. The man told police he had been heading home but had “spaced out” and somehow drifted out of his lane. Three witnesses on hand confirmed that the man had not been on the phone or otherwise obviously distracted but had simply driven straightway into the pole. The crash jarred loose an electrical box from said pole, causing it to fall, and also reportedly flattened a tree. Officers judged that the driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and considered him, at least technically, alert. They also determined that the man's license had expired, for which they issued him a citation which, along with another one for negligent operation, earned him a court date.

10:56 p.m. – Suspicious Condition. A resident reported to the APD that while driving home from dinner out with her grown daughter, a curious alarm sounded on the daughter's iPhone along with a popup message warning that an active Apple Airtag, a tracking device, had been detected very close by. Using her phone app to home in, the daughter determined that the tag was under the hood and soon located its hiding place in the vehicle's passenger side. The woman then told officers “she knew who had planted the device”: a male against whom she said she has already filed numerous harassment complaints. Flynn said that the named suspect is under investigation.

Friday, May 10

1:16 a.m. – Malicious Destruction of Property. Police answered calls to the 700 block of Mass. Ave., opposite Town Hall, after serial reports of three businesses with display windows apparently smashed by rock-throwing vandals. The three targeted establishments, all in close proximity to each other, were Ace Town Barbers, Merle Norman Cosmetics Studios and Swanson Jewelers. Police found a large rock on a ledge at Ace Town Barbers that they judged to be the window-breaching projectile. Arriving officers found no signs of nearby unusual activity. Police immediately contacted the store owners, who arrived to take steps to protect their property. Asked about APD's planned response, Flynn released the following statement: “Evidence related to these incidents is actively being investigated by the Arlington Police Criminal Investigations Bureau, who hope to have suspects identified and prosecuted in the very near future.”

Saturday, May 11

9:17 p.m. – Malicious Destruction of Property. A 56-year-old Arlington man confronted two younger men, one wielding a bolt cutter, and reportedly caused them to flee, possibly interrupting a theft-in-progress. According to his report to APD, the older man came across the two allegedly trying to cut through a chain link fence near the bike path opposite Dudley Street Place. When he approached and asked what they were doing, they said nothing but stopped cutting fence links, got on a moped and put-putted away. The elder then noticed another moped, locked, on the other side of the fence, which he told police could have been the real objective. Flynn commented that while the reporting party showed courage, he really would have been better advised to call for police backup.

1:56 p.m. – Accident without Injury, License Suspended. A 46-year-old Arlingtonian who had just finished shopping at Whole Foods was met in the lot by a stranger who told him that his car had been struck by a woman's vehicle while she was trying to park and that the woman was still in the store shopping. After reviewing a new dent on the rear driver side of his car, the Arlington man and the other man (not identified) waited for the woman to emerge. When she did and the men confronted her about the accident, she refused to answer, but rushed directly to her car, a 2022 Hyundai, got in, gunned it over a median strip, took a hard right onto Bartlett Avenue and disappeared.

After the Arlington man called the police and was able to give a description of the woman's car and a plate number, police learned the car was registered to a 41-year-old Andover woman who had been operating with a North Carolina license under suspension for failure to pay traffic fines. Working with Andover police, APD detectives got the woman's phone number and gave her a call. According to the report, she picked up, admitted to maybe having “tapped” the other car, added that she hadn't had time to stick around, because she had to go pick up her kids and denied any knowledge of unpaid fines. Officers issued her citations in absentia for leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended license; she will have to answer to criminal charges in court.

Monday, May 13

4:36 p.m. – Threat to Commit a Crime. A Sylvia Street woman phoned police to report having received a call from an unknown male who said, “I have the girl's name,” following which he mentioned her own daughter's name and claimed to have her in his custody. She said the man told her that if she wanted to see her daughter again, she would first have to purchase gift cards and provide him with the redemption codes. Coolly recognizing an attempted scam, the woman called Arlington police immediately after hanging up. Only then did she call her daughter at her workplace, where, as expected, she found her to be doing perfectly fine.

6:54 p.m. – Neighbor Problem. The older sister of a 9-year-old who attends Thompson School phoned police seeking help with her younger sister's feud with a 10-year-old schoolmate that reportedly had been going on for years. Saying, “The two girls just don't get along,” she cited an endless back-and-forth of threats, insults and verbal abuse. Officers arrived and interviewed the two girls' parents. Hostilities seemed to abate, and the parents reportedly seemed “satisfied.” Flynn commented that if the parents can't figure out how to keep the peace, maybe a school resource officer can. 

Friday, May 10, 2024: Police blotter April 30-May 6: Five-car accident injures one; creepy encounters raise concerns

This column by YourArlington volunteer writer Chris Wilbur was published early Friday, May 17, 2024, based on information from Arlington Police Department daily logs and explanations from APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn.