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The following is based on selected Arlington Police Department logs from June 4 through June 10. One arrest was reported: see Monday, June 10, entry. Excerpts from the Arlington Police Department log:

Tuesday, June 4

11:32 a.m. – Attempted Breaking & Entering At Night For Felony. A Quincy Street woman called police to report evidence of a break-in and possible burglary at her house overnight. She said that someone had tampered with a window, possibly opening it, and that the circuit breaker for her outside security lights had apparently been tripped, shutting them off. She showed arriving officers where a window screen appeared to be slit. She said that before retiring for the night she had noticed a car with New Jersey plates near her property for more than an hour, during which time she also had received a suspicious phone call. Officers found a fingerprint on the window with the slit screen, but it was unclear whether entry had been attempted. The owner did not declare anything missing from the house. An APD investigation has been opened.

8:04 p.m. – Breaking & Entering Into a Motor Vehicle. A 29-year-old Richfield Road man called police to report a break-in and theft from a vehicle that he had, admittedly, left unlocked. The car owner said he found an empty backpack on his front seat -- from which his laptop and charger apparently had been taken. APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn expressed a warning to the community. “There are people cruising the town at night looking for unlocked cars. If you don't want your car broken into and your property stolen, the answer is easy: Lock your car.”

Wednesday, June 5

9:17 a.m. – Accident without Injury, Impeding the Operation of a Motor Vehicle. A 44-year-old man allegedly crashed his 2017 Mitsubishi into a parked 2014 Subaru while motoring southwest on Appleton Street, then reportedly told arriving officers that he had lost control of his vehicle because “a fly flew in my eye.” Having verified that the driver was uninjured, the officers rejected this explanation as an extenuating circumstance and issued the driver an impeded-operation citation. Flynn explained, “A driver is presumed to be responsible for maintaining complete attention on the road. Minor distractions must not be allowed to impede safe operation.”

3:40 p.m. – Vehicle Fire. Police, fire personnel, Department of Public Works units and State Police converged on a Sunset Road house under construction after a box truck exploded while in process of blowing insulation into the structure. The insulation contractor reportedly heard a loud report while inside the house, rushed out and opened the rear of the truck to find the interior engulfed in flames. The fire soon spread to a utility pole and to branches from an overhanging tree; downed wires burned and smoldered on the pavement. No injuries were reported, and the fire was quickly contained, so no precautionary evacuation of nearby residents was judged necessary. An Eversource truck soon arrived to commence utility repairs.

8:26 p.m. – Neighbor Problem. A 31-year-old Harris Circle apartment dweller called APD on behalf of herself and her partner to complain about a downstairs neighbor pounding repeatedly on her ceiling to protest noise levels that the reporting party did not consider excessive. The caller allowed that parents of one of the couple were visiting and so foot traffic in the apartment temporarily had increased but maintained that the manner of everyone's walking was normal. Officers then visited the downstairs neighbor, a 37-year-old who admitted to having rapped her ceiling with a broomstick because of “extremely loud noise” that included “people coughing” and footsteps that sounded like “people jumping up and down.” After concluding that the neighbors didn't appear to be on talking terms, the officers suggested that they might approach the real-estate manager to consider sound-deadening options.

Thursday, June 6 

9:28 a.m. – Motor Vehicle Larceny. A 27-year-old Arlington resident contacted APD to report the theft of his 2015 Kia from the 400 block of Mass. Ave. while he had been out of state. The vehicle's recovery was reported by Newton police after a Newton resident had called in the vehicle as seemingly abandoned. No damage to the car was reported. The apartment parking lot from which it was stolen lacked security cameras, limiting authorities' ability to identify possible suspects. The theft is under investigation.

10:35 a.m. – I.D. Theft, Larceny From Person. A 79-year-old Broadway resident contacted APD to discuss a dispute with her bank over whether she had been subject to a scam. The woman told police that she had been alerted by her bank of an unusual (for her) $900 cash withdrawal from her account. She informed the bank that she had made the withdrawal intentionally to buy three $300 Target gift cards for a stranger who had recently telephoned her at home. The bank told her that this undoubtedly had been a scam, but she expressed doubt. A short while later, she reportedly received another call, this one seeking $25,000 in gift cards; when she attempted to withdraw that amount, the bank declined the transaction. She then reportedly went to multiple branches but was refused each time. Finally, she said, she was told that the bank had frozen her account until she agreed to stop trusting strangers asking for gift cards. 

Saturday, June 8

2:47 p.m. – Accident with Injury. Two septuagenarians driving white cars were involved in a double-broadside collision that snarled heavy eastbound traffic on Pleasant Street approaching Mass. Ave. A 73-year-old Arlington woman reportedly tried a right turn off Swan Street in her white Nissan Altima and allegedly crashed sideways into a white Toyota 4Runner SUV operated by a 74-year-old Cambridge woman. The latter party complained of back pain from the impact and was escorted to a local hospital. Officers on the scene, unable to establish clear fault and perhaps more occupied with restoring traffic flow, issued no citations.

Monday, June 10

11:30 a.m. – Serial Shoplifting Arrest. Two APD officers arrested an Arlington man after spotting him walking with a suspected accomplice near Walgreens on Mass. Ave. in the Heights, where a theft had occurred minutes before. The suspect, identified by the APD as Brian Arroyo Altamarino, a 22-year-old Lowell Street resident, had reportedly been under suspicion by store personnel for two weeks, during which he and an accomplice (unnamed in the arrest report) allegedly made daily visits to the store, dressed similarly in black clothes with hoodies, and, according to Walgreens managers, made off with $300 to $400 worth of merchandise over that period by concealing items on their persons. A search of Altamarino upon arrest turned up pancake mix and a Twix bar in the front pocket of his hoodie. Police had previously twice visited the store, on May 27 and June 8, following reports of shoplifting and suspicious activity by two male parties matching Altamarino and his accomplice's description. The arrest report gave no reason why the suspected accomplice was not also arrested.


June 6, 2024: Police blotter May 28-June 3: Disturbances all over town: one arrest, two assaults


This column by YourArlington volunteer writer Chris Wilbur was published Thursday, June 13, 2024, based on information from Arlington Police Department daily logs and explanations from APD spokesman Capt. Richard Flynn.