Police respond to phony abduction report: Westlake Police Blotter

October 6, 2018

Police respond to phony abduction report: Westlake Police Blotter

Phony claim, Crocker Park: Westlake police learned Sept. 28 about a post circulating on Facebook that claimed someone attempted to abduct a 1-year-old child from the play area of Barnes and Noble at Crocker Park. 

The post indicated that the suspect, a female with a shaved head, had grabbed the baby, but a customer had thwarted the snatching.

The police department had not received any reports of this incident from the parents, witnesses, the store, or Crocker Park Security, so officers went to the home of the person who posted the information. Officer concluded the incident had never occurred and the posting was false. 

Facts are being turned over to the city prosecutor to consider whether to file misdemeanor charges.

Drunken driving, Royal Forest: A Royal Forest Drive resident called police at 12:22 a.m. Sept. 30 to report that he witnessed a woman exit a car, urinate on a lawn, get back in the driver’s seat, and strike a curb before she parked on the street. 

Officers found the woman and suspected she had been drinking. They also noted that, unbeknownst to the driver, the lower half of her dentures was lying on the driver’s seat.  The driver believed that she was in Avon or Avon Lake. 

Officers arrested the woman for operating a vehicle while impaired after she took a field sobriety test. An alcohol breath test revealed the 46-year-old North Olmsted resident’s blood alcohol was 2.5 times the legal limit, according to police.

Tax Scam: A Westlake resident called police Oct. 3 to report being the victim of an IRS scam. 

She had received a voicemail stating she owed money to the IRS and criminal charges would be brought against her if she did not call the phone number back and work out the problem. 

The victim returned the call and spoke with several different people for over two hours.

They told the victim that she owed $5,000 and an arrest warrant would be issued if she did not pay. The scammers scared the victim by asking who would take care of her children if she was in jail for this tax debt. 

The victim was frightened into purchasing several gift cards and reading the access codes to pay for her made up tax burdens. By the time the victim checked the story, the gift cards had been depleted of all money.

Mystery shopper scam: A Westlake resident Sept. 29 reported being the victim of a “Mystery Shopper” fraud.

The victim received an unsolicited email offering to pay her to become a secret shopper to evaluate local companies.

The scammers sent the victim a check that she was to deposit in her account. From these funds, she was to buy gift cards from various stores in the area. She would then send photos of the activation codes on the cards to her “employer.” The victim bought several gift cards before she was notified by her bank that the initial check was fraudulent. 

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