Belmont Police Log, Oct, 6-13: Victim of computer scam loses $14,000, New Hampshire woman's company checks cashed at Star Market for more than $40,000, safe with $8,000 cash and jewelry stolen from Somerset Street home and more
The following are excerpts from the Belmont Police log as made available by the Belmont Police Department. The log is public and available for review. All persons are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
Friday, Oct. 6
2:34 p.m.: A New Hampshire woman reported fraud. Her company checks were being cashed fraudulently inside the Citizens Bank branch at Star Market in Belmont. The total amount cashed was $41,572.26. The manager of Star Market said they were contacted by the victim. An older white male tried to cash one of her checks the day before. He was approximately 5-foot-10, regular build with salt and pepper hair. He was a New Hampshire resident. When they informed him he could only deposit the check and not cash it, he took the check back and left. Another individual also tried to cash one of the woman’s checks online but did not succeed. The woman said no physical checks have been stolen from her company but she ordered a new set of checks which are the ones being cashed. When she contacted Citizens Bank she learned the new checks weren’t sent out to her yet so she is unsure how the suspects got the check information. Star Market will get Belmont Police the footage from the video surveillance cameras. This case is still under investigation.
10:29 p.m.: Beech Street resident reported house egged. She believes the middle school age suspects were currently in the playground at Town Field. Several officers searched the area but could not locate them. The resident said she recognized one of the suspects because he was the same person who lit fireworks during family movie night in August.
Saturday, Oct. 7
9 a.m.: A Pine Street resident was scammed out of $14,000. On Oct. 4th at 10 a.m., he received a pop-up alert on his home Apple computer saying his computer, cell phone, bank accounts and social security were hacked. He called the number provided on the pop-up. The person who answered was James Cooper, with a heavy accent, saying he worked for Microsoft. He claimed he worked for a fraud division within Microsoft that monitors accounts of people over 65 to ensure they are not victims of fraud. The victim was informed the Chinese hacked into his personal information and obtained his bank accounts, their balances, his social security information and all information stored in his computer.
He told the victim scammers tried to remove $14,600 from his bank account but was stopped by the fraud team and they are working with the Chinese government to stop the scammers. James told him the money the scammers tried to remove from his account was to purchase child pornography.
He was then connected to what he believed was the Bank of America fraud department and spoke to someone who told him he would need to remove the exact amount of money the scammers took to prove his innocence to the Chinese government. He was told the money would be placed in a temporary account until the situation was cleared.
He was instructed to go to the bank and withdraw the money and speak to no one, lie if necessary, because anyone could be involved, even people he knew. He was told to buy gift cards with the money.
He was purchasing them at Home Depot in Watertown but the manager told him it was a scam so he went to Home Depot in Waltham and purchased $5,000 in gift cards. He also went to Lowes and purchased $9,000 more of gift cards. He provided the gift card numbers to James Cooper.
They then asked him to open a dummy account for a few weeks until the situation cleared and asked him to transfer $30,000 into the dummy account, which he did not do.
He checked the gift card balances online and saw the balances were $0 which is when he realized he was a victim of a scam.
He was advised to inform Bank of America what happened and place an alert with the three credit bureaus on his personal information.
Sunday, Oct. 8
1:58 a.m.: Car collided into tree at corner of Payson at Pine Street. Officers brought criminal charges against a Belmont man for negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop, marked lanes violation and speeding.
Monday, Oct. 9
1:19 p.m.: Somerset Street resident reported a break in. She left her home at 11:15 a.m. and when she returned at 1:05 a.m., she noticed someone entered her home and stole her safe. She also found an earring to the floor in the kitchen. She believes she may have left her doors to her home unlocked. Her house has been under construction for a couple of years. Many different contractors and subcontractors have been in the home. She gave all the information about the contractors to police who will be investigating. There was approximately $8,000 cash inside the safe. Jewelry was also taken from her bedroom.
6:54 p.m.: Accident in area of 27 Common St. A 2016 Honda operated by a Belmont woman was on the sidewalk resting up against a No Parking sign. There was minor damage to the vehicle. The sign was falling over. She seemed disoriented and was transported to Mount Auburn Hospital.
Tuesday, Oct 10
3:59 p.m.: Accident at intersection of Lexington and Burnham Street between a 2021 Toyota operated by a Burlington man and 2013 Hyundai operated by a Chelmsford man. The operator of the Hyundai said the Toyota crashed into him as he drove through the intersection. The operator of the Toyota said it was his fault and apologized to the operator saying he didn’t see the stop sign at the intersection. Both vehicles had moderate damage. The operator of the Toyota was issued a citation for failure to stop.
Wednesday, Oct. 11
7:34 a.m.: Upland Road resident reported the theft of a jogging stroller. He last saw the stroller on his front porch at 4 p.m. the day before. It was missing this morning. It is a black and gray Greco jogging stroller valued at $300.
Thursday, Oct. 12
6:12 p.m.: Holt Street resident reported fraud. He believes someone stole or hacked into a friend’s email. He received an email from the friend asking him if he orders gifts online. He replied yes. They had several emails back and forth. Shortly after, the person he thought was his friend asked him to purchase an Apple gift card for his niece because his card was declined. He ordered a $200 gift card from Amazon for his friend. The friend instructed him to forward the gift card to an email he didn’t recognize. This is when he became suspicious. He contacted Amazon who informed them the gift card wasn’t processed yet. He cancelled it, changed his Amazon password and notified his bank.
7:20 p.m.: Washington Street resident reported a stolen package. He ordered an iPhone 15 for his daughter. The package was delivered by FedEx at 1:30 p.m. He received a text that it was delivered. At 1:53 p.m., he went to retrieve it and noticed the shipping box and iPhone box were opened and the iPhone was removed. He showed officers the photo taken by FedEx of the delivery. It was difficult to see if the box was open in the photo. He informed Verizon and they requested a police report.
Friday, Oct. 13
9:55 a.m.: Collision in area of Belmont Street and Payson Road, 2012 Kia operated by a Watertown woman and a Belmont male bicyclist. Both were injured. The bicyclist said he attempted to stop when he saw the Kia turning onto Belmont Street. He did not have time to stop, but attempted to swerve around the vehicle and crashed into its side. He had cuts on his face and was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess by Watertown Fire and Rescue. The operator of the Kia said she was stopped at a Stop sign. Her left turn signal was on. As she was turning, she was struck without warning. Her vehicle was damaged on the rear driver’s side.
On Oct. 10, 11:24 a.m. a Hudson, New Hampshire man was arrested on a warrant. The charges were operating a motor vehicle with a revoked license as a habitual offender, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, subsequent offence, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, marked lanes violation, speeding, breakdown lane violation, unsafe operation of a motor vehicle and state highway traffic violations.
Between Oct. 6 and Oct. 12, Belmont Police responded to four mental health calls and five domestics, including one arrest for assault and battery and one criminal complaint filed for assault and battery.