Police Log: Faux Computer Breach, Faux Mob

by | Mar 15, 2021

Monday, March 1

4:27 p.m. An East Greenwich woman told police that on Feb. 26, she received three separate notifications on her phone reporting that someone accessed her Google account. The next day she found two fraudulent charges on her Discover Card statement: one worth $125 for Target and the other $50 for Google Play. The woman notified Discover, who removed the charges. The following day, the woman received an email stating, “If you want your data back and safe, you must pay a total of $500.” 

8:16 p.m. – A man and woman got into a verbal argument about rent. The woman agreed to leave for the evening to restore the peace.

Tuesday, March 2

2:26 a.m. Police arrived on Narrow Lane in response to a tree on telephone wires. An officer said one lane was clear, so cones were placed in the caution area. Police called National Grid to fix the problem.

4:50 a.m. – A Ridge Road resident noticed her Verizon wire detached from her house, so an officer checked to make sure the wire wasn’t a hazard in the roadway. The officer noticed the wire hanging low so a large vehicle could bring it down. The police called Verizon to fix it.

6:10 a.m. – Someone told police a tree on Bow Street fell down, taking wires on both sides of the road down with it. The responding officer determined the road to be impassable, although the area still has electricity. After notifying National Grid, the Department of Public Works and the school department about the tree, police placed cones to block off the area.

5:17 p.m. – Police arrested a Warwick man, 64, for driving with a suspended license on Main Street after pulling him over because of an expired license sticker. Police also noticed the registration sticker and the cars’ license plates did not match. The officer asked the driver who the plates belonged to but the driver said he did not want to reveal the individual’s name. He added he purchased the car last summer and he just left his apartment to pick up his son on Division Street. The officer determined the man had a license that was suspended in 2013, so he asked him to appear in court. Police had the car towed from the scene.

Wednesday, March 3

1:00 a.m. While on patrol on Division Street, an officer watched a car stop in the roadway in the left lane, turn to the far right lane with no turn signal, drive at about 10 mph for a few hundred feet then go back to the left lane and make a U–turn on a red light with no turn signal again. When the officer stopped the car, he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. The driver and his passengers said they did not have anything illegal in the car. The driver told the officer he was staying at a hotel in West Warwick but was unable to name which one. After a second officer arrived, the driver changed his story claiming that he and his friends came from the Hooters in Warwick. The driver also explained some of his passengers smoked marijuana in the back of his car, but there was none left. Police searched the car and did not find anything, so everyone was let go.

8:58 a.m. – The owner of an East Providence-based business checked his business account with Citizens Bank in East Greenwich and discovered two large withdrawals from his account he did not recognize. $44,923.03 was withdrawn on Feb. 19 and $87,819.09 was withdrawn on Feb. 17. Both withdrawals were made out to RFS out of Boston, which the owner connected to Kaiser Food Services through a Google search. The owner said he’d never done business with this group. The owner is in contact with Citizens Bank to fix the problem, and the bank advised him to file a police report.

12:08 p.m. While stationed on Division Street, an officer saw a car that he knew from various contacts belonging to a man with a suspended license. Based on that, the officer pulled the car over. The driver said he thought his license was active. When asked by the police, the driver said he did not have his registration or proof of insurance on him. Police gave the man a court summons and had the car towed from the scene.

6:33 p.m. – A crisis clinician requested assistance at Cedar House on Cedar Avenue because a client was verbally threatening staff members. An officer arrived, and the client calmed down. The staff agreed it was OK for the client to remain.

9:19 p.m. – Police arrested a Warwick man, 63, for driving under the influence of alcohol after police saw him driving over 40 mph on First Avenue, a 25 mph zone, and noticed the car drifted over the double yellow line. The officer stopped the car on Kenyon Avenue and noticed the driver had bloodshot eyes and smelled like alcohol. When asked if he knew why he was stopped, the driver said, “It must be for speed or something, I don’t know.” The driver said he was heading home from visiting friends and had had a few drinks, although he did not remember exactly what. The driver’s speech was slurred and it took a long time to answer questions. As two more officers arrived, the driver began using drumsticks to drum on his thigh and mumbled, “What’s the matter, you guys don’t like drums?”

When asked if he would consent to take field sobriety tests, the driver began pacing in circles and almost fell several times, repeatedly asking why three officers were here. The driver eventually consented to take the tests, which he failed. The officers handcuffed the driver and put him in the cruiser to take him to headquarters. They also searched his car and found an open bag containing a 750ml bottle of grape Smirnoff about one-fifth full, two bottles of club soda and grape Sunkist powder. At the police station, the driver refused to take a breathalyzer test, so he was cited for that too. Police gave him a court summons. 

Thursday, March 4

8:16 a.m. – An East Greenwich woman told police someone fraudulently used her Bank of America card in January for several unauthorized purchases. The woman received a new card and assumed the situation was solved, but on March 1, she received a new debit card in the mail from Chase despite never applying for one. She called Chase, who verified that the woman’s Social Security number and identity had been used. 

8:40 p.m. – A woman told police she received threatening text messages claiming that possibly nine people were coming to her house to “jump” her and her friend. The woman’s friend explained that she had been arguing with another woman, who was unhappy that she was hanging out with her ex-boyfriend. She said this woman told her over the phone that she would “jump” her and also threatened to “pistol whip” her and her friend. She explained she was unsure if this other woman had a gun or if she actually had nine people coming for her. Police went to the complainant’s residence on Hemlock Drive but did not find anything. Police called the woman who reportedly threatened the two women and told her  not to contact the other woman and not to go to the house. He told the other women the same thing.

Friday, March 5

2:06 p.m. – An East Greenwich man told police that his boat and trailer were missing. He said he stored his old, wooden 15-foot-long handmade boat on a trailer in a vacant field on Tillinghast Road, with permission from the field’s owner. Neither the trailer nor boat had been registered for a long time. The man said he told his friends they could have the boat for free, but the man did not know if his boat was missing because a friend took it or someone stole it. The man only told police for documentation purposes, so no action was taken.

9:17 p.m. An elderly East Greenwich woman told police she was on her computer when she received a Microsoft alert stating her computer was locked due to a security breach and that she may be a victim of credit card fraud. She called the support phone number in the popup and the man on the line said he’d need to manually access her server to solve the problem. After a long list of code appeared on the computer, he told her it appeared someone used her credit cards for online shopping and he would contact the woman’s banks.

The woman received another call, this one from the Citibank fraud and security department. The man on the line said someone spent $6,000 using the woman’s credit card and she’d have to purchase gift cards from a department store to rectify the purchases. The woman bought ten gift cards worth $500 each, giving the man the card number and code on each, but the man said this was not enough and she’d need to buy more cards. The woman went to Macy’s Department Store to buy more cards, where the clerks told her she may be getting scammed. This encouraged the woman to go to the police. Upon inspecting the computer, the responding officer determined the popup was not from Microsoft and the phone number listed did not match Microsoft’s actual customer service number. He advised the woman to speak with a computer professional to determine how she was hacked and to consult her banks about the matter. 

Saturday, March 6

10:55 a.m. – A Cindyann Drive resident reported men dressed in camo walking along the woodline behind her house. Officers spoke with them, and they said they were looking for antler sheddings.

Sunday, March 7

12:32 a.m. The manager of Greenwich Hotel told police one of her employees texted her reporting he had been punched by a tenant. The manager called the employee for clarification but said the employee sounded like he was drunk. The manager was not on the property at the time, so she asked the police to check out the situation. When officers arrived, they found the employee and tenant yelling at each other in a hallway. The employee, who had blood around his left eye and lower lip, said he told the tenant in the hallway to quiet down, which escalated into a verbal argument, leading the tenant to slap him in the face. The officer noticed the employee kept changing his story and he appeared intoxicated. The tenant and her roommate, who witnessed the incident, said she and the employee got into an argument but there was no physical altercation. The employee later said that he was bleeding because he was punched in the face by another tenant when he went to this person’s room on the second floor to ask him for a cigarette. The employee said he did not want to press charges, and the fire department responded to his injuries.

10:05 a.m. – An employee at East Greenwich Acquisitions said a client began harassing her after not giving him a lease. The employee was in negotiations for a corporate room lease for a company, but the employee noticed “red flags” that made them cancel the negotiations. The company’s CEO then began threatening East Greenwich Acquisitions with legal action. Police spoke with the CEO, who agreed to let his lawyer communicate for him going forward.

1:07 p.m. – Police arrested a Providence man, 25, for driving with a suspended license after he was pulled over for driving a car with tinted windows on Main Street. The driver was issued a court summons. A licensed driver drove the car from the scene.

1:54 p.m. – Police assisted the fire department with a car fire in a driveway on South Road. While the firefighters extinguished the fire, an officer spoke with the car’s owner. The owner said he stored the car unregistered and uninsured in his garage for some time but he recently started the car so it wouldn’t stay idle. A short time later the owner saw smoke coming from the bottom of the car and saw leaves under the car caught fire resting against the car’s exhaust system. He tried to put out the fire with a garden hose before calling the fire department. The car was a total loss.

11:06 p.m. – A resident said a vehicle had been driving up and down her street playing loud music for the past couple of hours. She was concerned they were harassing her sons. When police arrived, the car was gone on arrival.

11:43 p.m. – Police arrested an EG man, 32, at the Greenwich Hotel on an active bench warrant following an incident just after midnight Sunday where the man had been implicated in a fight with a hotel employee. The man wasn’t there at the time. Later police found the outstanding warrant. Police arrested the man without incident and took him to the ACI in Cranston.

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