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Multiple incidents of identity theft, car crashes, noise complaints also occurred

Dozens of downed trees or tree limbs impacted Arlington roadways, and there was some flooding, but, overall, Arlington escaped the serious damage that Monday caused major disruptions, injuries and deaths elsewhere in New England. Fortunately, no injuries to local residents were reported.

The Arlington Police Department answered 25 calls about downed trees and eight more about downed or arcing wires that set two trees alight. The department called out extra forces to deal with the many points of impact; where wires came down, officers took up stations to keep residents at safe distances.

Arlington Patch reported one roof partially blown off a building on Mill Street. Some flooding was reported near the Mystic Lakes, the Forest Street bridge, Paul Revere Road, Pleasant Street and elsewhere; in some spots, flooding was compounded by leaf-clogged drains. The fire department stated receiving no reports of flooded basements in residences.

Eversource showed 73 Arlington households still affected by power outages as of Tuesday, as of that day, Alewife Brook, at the boundary of Arlington and Cambridge, remained under flood alert. The APD's public information officer, Capt. Richard Flynn, took it all in stride, calling it “New England weather.”

Editor's note: The police blotter plans to take a holiday vacation next week, with hopes to return Jan. 4, 2024.

The following is based on selected Arlington Police Department logs from Dec. 12 through Dec. 18, 2023.

No arrests were reported.

Excerpts from the Arlington Police Department log:

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023
4:53 p.m. – Accident Without Injury. A two-car crash at Appleton Street and Park Avenue caused serious damage to both vehicles but no apparent injury to the drivers. An Arlington resident driving north on Park Avenue, while attempting a left turn onto Appleton was struck on the passenger side by a vehicle with Florida license plates traveling north on Park. The ensuing crash spun the first vehicle 360 degrees while somehow neither injuring the driver nor triggering an airbag deployment. Police arrived and interviewed several witnesses, but, ultimately unable to reach a fault determination, they issued no citations. Both cars were towed.

Wednesday Dec. 13, 2023
8:12 a.m. – Neighbor Problem. A woman yelling and pounding on a front door woke a man and his son, tenants at a Lowell Street apartment house. The unwelcome visitor, also a building tenant, loudly insisted that the father had wrongfully complained to the building manager by alleging that she'd been making too much noise. As police arrived, the woman continued to vent; officers intervened and succeeded in calming the situation.

4:45 p.m. – Accident Without Injury. A two-car collision occurred when a car driving south on River Street rear-ended another vehicle waiting at the Warren Street stoplight. The responsible driver told police that she “didn't realize” traffic had stopped at the light; she received a failure-to-yield citation. Flynn commented that the most important thing to remember when driving is to pay attention.

5:16 p.m. – Accident Without Injury. An Arlington driver heading west on Summer Street was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by an Acton woman whose explanation to arriving officers was that she “didn't see” the car she hit; she  received a peremptory citation. Flynn again emphasized the overriding need for drivers to pay attention.

Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023
10:24 a.m. – Shoplifting, Concealing Merchandise. A small group of Arlington High School students was stopped after leaving Walgreens in East Arlington; one of them was told that she had been seen taking merchandise from the store without paying for it. The accused girl admitted to having taken some makeup, explaining that she really needed it but had no money to purchase it. After police arrived, the store placed a no-trespassing ban on the girl, forbidding her to return. Police then referred her to the AHS school resource officer and police liaison, Bryan White, who Flynn said is very well-regarded within the APD for offering guidance to youths who've had brushes with the law.

10:24 a.m. – Identity Theft. An Arlington woman appeared in the APD lobby to report having received a notice from an auto dealer about a loan she'd never taken out. The woman had also received mail from the commonwealth revealing that someone using her credentials had filed for unemployment, as well as a letter from a financial institution about another account application falsely initiated in her name. Police presented the woman with an identity-theft packet. Flynn said that official police documentation will prove useful to her in getting help from banks and agencies.

Friday Dec. 15, 2023
11:31 a.m. – Neighbor Problem. Police received a complaint from a Lowell Street apartment dweller about “stomping and noise” from an upstairs neighbor. When officers arrived and investigated upstairs, they found a parent busy constructing a bunk bed. Flynn said that police make ad hoc judgments in such matters -- and that reasonable noise levels from a home project during most people's waking hours does not automatically qualify as an infringement of someone else's right to quiet.

11:57 a.m. – Identity Theft. A Park Avenue resident reported that her brother, who lives with her under her care, had received notice from the Social Security Administration advising him that his direct deposit information had been altered to direct funds to a Maine bank account. The woman was able to work with the SSA to reverse the change, during which time she consulted with the APD about other possible vulnerabilities that she and her brother might have.

11:59 a.m. – Larceny From A Building. A local resident attended a yoga class in the Arlington Center and found on leaving that his new L.L. Bean winter jacket and gloves had been taken from the coat rack where he had left them. When officers answered his call, they broke it to him that there was relatively little chance of recovering the items because, unfortunately, the business lacks security cameras. The APD has opened an investigation nonetheless.

5:14 p.m. – Town Bylaw Violation. Police responded to a neighbor's complaint that a Cleveland Street resident had an open fire in his back yard. Officers arrived to find that the combustion in question was from a propane warmer, which is legal -- and not considered an open fire. Flynn offered a reminder that open and properly contained fires used in preparing food are also legal.

Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023 
5:39 p.m. – Accident Without Injury. An Arlington man found himself involved in a one-car accident when his vehicle smashed into a utility pole while motoring south on Mystic Street. The 54-year-old driver stated to police that there had been a “slight bend in the road” and that rain had obstructed his vision. Upon checking his credentials, officers found that not only had the man's vehicle registration expired, but also that he was not in possession of an active driver's license. The vehicle, with massive front-end damage, was towed. The man, who declined medical assistance, received three citations. One bright spot in this situation: When a crew arrived later to check the struck utility pole, they found that it was not too badly damaged and therefore could remain in service as it was.

Dec. 14, 2023: Police blotter Dec. 5-11: 3 arrested on drug charges 

This column by YourArlington volunteer writer Chris Wilbur was published Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023, based on information from Arlington Police Department daily logs and explanations from APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn.