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The following is based on selected Arlington Police Department logs from June 11 through June 17. No arrests were reported. Excerpts from the Arlington Police Department log:

Tuesday, June 11

3:13 p.m. – Suspicious Condition. A 68-year-old Philips Street resident visited the Arlington Police Department lobby to report that someone had apparently siphoned approximately five gallons of gas from his Ram ProMaster camper van parked in the driveway. The owner stated that he had filled up the tank at the end of the previous day, then drove seven miles to Woburn the following morning before noticing that the tank was depleted. Refilling the tank enabled him to calculate the amount allegedly taken. Police are investigating and checking for cameras in the neighborhood.

Wednesday, June 12

12:43 p.m. – Larceny Under $1,200. An employee of a Verizon store in the 400 block of Mass. Ave. called APD to report a theft by two young males, possibly middle schoolers, of an iPhone 15 Pro smartphone valued at $840. After the youths reportedly entered the store and began comparing iPhone models, store video showed one of them detaching a phone from the display panel and slipping it into his pocket. Detectives are working with School Resource Officer Bryan White to identify the boys.

Thursday, June 13

9:03 a.m. – Suspicious Condition. Residents near Gloucester Street and Highland Avenue alerted APD after observing a man sitting in a blue hatchback with a running motor while a child in the back seat screamed in apparently acute distress. As a resident started to approach the car out of concern for the child, the driver reportedly gunned the car and left at high speed. Officers are looking for possible identifying video from doorbell cameras or other security systems in the area.

Friday, June 14

9:09 a.m. – Motor Vehicle Larceny. A 47-year-old Gardner Street resident called APD to report the disappearance of her 2017 Nissan Rogue, which she said she had left parked on the street near her house the night before. As of June 18 the car was still missing and is presumed stolen. The owner reported that the vehicle had been in a recent accident and so she was somewhat surprised that a thief would target it.

9:48 a.m. – Breaking & Entering at Night for Felony. A man reported a break-in at his Medford Street hair salon in which a cash box was  removed from a desk drawer and an unspecified amount of cash taken. While making no reference to a possible forced entry, the report stated that a back door that the owner said “is never used” was found left open. The salon lacks security cameras, but APD detectives have reportedly found a nearby business with ones that may be useful. 

9:52 a.m. – Accident without Injury. A two-car crash at Churchill and Wildwood avenues reportedly resulted in massive damage to both vehicles, but no injuries, as air bags deployed in both cars. A 58-year-old Belmont woman garnered a failure-to-stop citation after allegedly driving a blue Nissan northbound on Churchill straight through a stop sign, striking a white Dodge Durango SUV driven by a 17-year-old Arlington male. Officers rejected the woman's claim that her view of the stop sign had been obscured by low-hanging tree branches.

10:08 a.m. – Larceny over $250 by False Pretense. A 65-year-old town resident notified APD that she had been victimized by a caller posing as an Eversource agent who threatened to cut off her electricity if she didn't send payments to a Venmo account. The woman said she made four such payments for unspecified amounts before figuring out it was a scam. APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn commented, “People should add Venmo to the list of red flags signaling a scam. No reputable company would collect bill payments via Venmo.”

Saturday, June 15

3:58 p.m. – Breaking & Entering in Daytime for Felony. A Bates Road couple reported a break-in at their home while they were away for several weeks in May and June. During their trip they had received an alert of “movement in the home” but reportedly ignored it because they “didn't think it was important.” Upon return, however, they noticed a patio door that had been left open, as well as damage and debris in a bathroom suggesting that an intruder had gained entry there. Searches of the house reportedly showed nothing missing, however, the writer of the report speculated that the intruder might have been scared off by an alarm. Police are investigating and will be checking for nearby cameras.

5:19 p.m. – Breaking & Entering in Daytime for Felony. A 32-year-old  Raleigh Street resident, whose house backs up to the above-mentioned Bates Road property, filed a police report of his own after hearing his neighbor's story. He reported that on June 7 he had gone out to do errands and upon his return found that an exterior door had been tampered with and a doorknob damaged but with no evidence of actual entry. His report, particularly in providing a date and time, could obviously also prove useful in the investigation into his neighbor's break-in.

Sunday, June 16

10:21 a.m. – Motor Vehicle Larceny. A 52-year-old Belknap Street resident contacted APD to report the apparent theft of a 2021 Kia Stinger from her driveway the previous night. The woman believed the car had been locked but told police that she might have left “a second set of keys” in the vehicle. (An Internet search reveals that leaving a fob in a car may indeed expose it to a “relay attack,” in which a thief, using special equipment, captures the fob's weak radio signal and retransmits it to unlock the vehicle.)

Monday, June 17

6:30 p.m. – Outside Fire Investigation. Police were called to investigate a cloud of thick black smoke rising behind the Valvoline oil-change garage on Mystic Street. Officers discovered an unattended backyard grill, leaning against the rear of a house, that had erupted in flames. An officer fetched a fire extinguisher from his cruiser and put out the blaze. A resident of the house told the officers that he had “started to get distracted and forgot about the food.” Police advised him to move the grill further away from the house.

June 13, 2024: Police blotter June 3-10: Box truck explodes, burns; 'serial shoplifting' suspect arrested

This column by YourArlington volunteer writer Chris Wilbur was published Thursday, June 20, 2024, based on information from Arlington Police Department daily logs and explanations from APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn.