Tyngsboro Emergency Blog

Last month the blog got an assist from 13-year-old Tyngsboro resident Mikhail Higley, who lives in the area of Scribner Road, and has an interest in a scanner he found.

Mikhail, who’s photographic talents can be seen by following the link above, has now started his own blog!

You can follow Mikhail and keep track of things in Tyngsboro by following this link.

I’ll be checking the site quite a bit. Good luck Mikhail.

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Max Goody – Bolivian law enforcement official

That’s the presumably fake identity someone used on Monday when they scammed an elderly Tewksbury woman out of $5,000.

It’s as pathetic as it is outlandish.

Police Chief Timothy Sheehan twice described the perpetrators as “degenerates.”

The scammer called the woman and claimed to be a law enforcement official in Bolivia, where he said the woman’s grandson had been imprisoned. The woman needed to immediately wire $5,000 via Money Gram International Transfer in order to get her grandson out of prison.

The woman went to Wal-Mart and wired the money. She was told her grandson was safe in Massachusetts. By the time she tried to cancel the wire transfer, the money had already been claimed by “Max Goody,” in Bolivia.

Scams like this — that pray on the love of grandparents — are increasingly common, according to Tewksbury Police, the AARP, and federal agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and the State Department. Follow the links in the names for more information and tips on how to avoid these scams.

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Fundraiser for 19-year-old’s family

I heard earlier tonight about a fundraiser being held for Nancy Kheam, the 19-year-old Lowell woman who died early Sunday morning in a tragic accident on Interstate 495 in Boxboro.

One of Nancy’s friends, Sarny Xayadeth, called me late tonight to confirm a fundraiser is being held Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., at the Big Kahuna, in Chelmsford, to raise money to help Kheam’s family pay for funeral costs.

The event is being organized by a group of Nancy’s friends who have called themselves “Mrs Vans” since the sixth grade. Each letter of Mrs. Vans represents the first name of one of the group of friends. Nancy was the N in Vans.

Admission to the fundraiser is only $5. There will be food and a DJ, and collection boxes inside for those who can afford to contribute more.

Nancy Kheam’s family was still too distraught to talk last time I stopped by their house. It’s hard to imagine what they’re going through. If you’ve got $5 and an urge to help them, directions to the Big Kahuna are available by clicking the link embedded in the restaurant’s name.

I don’t know anything about the Kheam family’s circumstances, but as I was writing this it occurred to me that when I was 19-years-old, in school, and working at a restaurant, I didn’t have life insurance. I can’t imagine facing financial trouble while already coping with the loss of a child.

Riverwalk attacker gets 19 to 20 years in prison

The sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman on the Riverwalk here in Lowell last summer was one of the more sick and alarming crimes I’ve covered during my career here in Lowell.

Truly random crime is very rare. This alarmed police so much I got a phone call about it at home on a Friday night from a detective. Police wanted to warn people.

Investigators also took the rare step of releasing their suspect’s photo before he was in custody. Police really wanted this guy locked up.

Lisa Redmond snapped this photo of Andrew Burke in Ayer District Court last week.

I was on the Riverwalk, talking to concerned joggers, when I got a cell phone call from Superintendent Lavallee informing me that Andrew Burke, of Lowell had just been found in Cambridge and arrested for the rape. The arrest brought and end to a week of police sweeps across the city seeking Burke.

Lisa Redmond reports from Lowell Superior Court today that Burke pleaded guilty to attempted murder, kidnapping, and two counts of aggravated rape. He was sentenced to 19 to 20 years in state prison, as you can read in this release from the District Attorney Gerard Leone.

I don’t often mention the outcome of court cases here in the blog, but this was a major story that scared a lot of people. I’m glad to see it’s over. Rot in hell Mr. Burke.

Missing 11-year-old in Lowell

UPDATE: All is well. Car 4 en route back to the young man’s house to confirm that he just returned home.

I don’t think this has much time on it, but Lowell Police just started looking for a missing 11-year-old named Aaron who was last seen walking inbound on Gorham Street, possibly toward the Agawam Street area, according to radio broadcasts.

Aaron is described having brown hair and brown eyes. He is wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans. If you spot him call Lowell Police at 978.937.3200.

He hasn’t been missing very long and I didn’t even catch a race or further description, so no need to panic. But if you spot the little guy let the cops know. Sounds like someone misses him.

Bedford police seize Oxycodone and car

Bedford Police sent out a release tonight on a significant drug bust in their town that was made on Friday night, at the end of an investigation by Bedford and the Southern Middlesex Regional Drug Task Force that lasted several months.

Bedford Officer Michael Sullivan, a member of the task force and the lead investigator on this case, conducted surveillance from Bedford to Lawrence, and on Friday night wrapped things up with a traffic stop on Burlington Road in Bedford, where Philip Hartmann, 19, of Bedford, was stopped.

Police say they found this in the 2003 BMW Hartmann was driving:

Police seized the car, the cash, and those pills, which police say are Oxycodone, also known as “Perc 30’s.”

Police estimate the pills would be worth over $8,000 on the street, and said they weighed over 28 grams, which led them to charge Hartmann with trafficking a class A substance (over 28 grams). He’s looking at a mandatory minimum 7 years in prison if convicted on that count.

Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno said the arrest shows his department’s commitment to keeping Oxycodone out of town.

Hartmann was arraigned today and held on $3,000 cash bail, according to Bedford Police.

Considering the damage it’s done and lives it’s claimed in other towns, I think that sounds like a swell idea. Oxycodone, and Percocets in particular, are a pretty basic step on the path from seemingly harmless pills, to opiate addiction, to heroin addition, to the very very bottom of the barrel.

And death.

One in the chamber

Officer Michael Daigle, who came to Lowell Police from Marblehead Police on a lateral transfer about a year ago, was on a walking patrol route in Lower Centralville about 1:53 a.m., Sunday, when he saw a fight in front of the C-Spot Bar & Grill at Coburn Street and Lakeview Avenue.

Police say Daigle broke up the fight, and then broke up another scuffle further up Coburn Street as other officers arrived.

Daigle then saw two men running from West L Street onto Coburn Street, and one of the men appeared to reach behind his back and pull out an object that Daigle believed was a gun. Police say Daigle recognized the man as someone involved in the previous fight.

Lisa Redmond filed this photo of Ross (on the right) at his arraignment on Monday.

Daigle ordered the man to stop, and the man turned and fled up Coburn Street, tossing an object into a  yard as he ran, according to police.

Daigle caught the man near Coburn and West Sixth streets, and identified him as Abdiel Ross, 29, who has no known address.

Police say that when officers searched the yard where Daigle saw Ross throw an item, they recovered a .380 caliber handgun that was loaded with four rounds, including a round the chamber.

Ross was charged with carrying a loaded firearm, possession of a firearm with an altered ID during a felony, unlawfully carrying a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, disturbing the peace while armed, and assault with a dangerous weapon (firearm).

He was held over the weekend and will be arraigned Monday.

As for what I think about people having guns and fighting at this particular intersection: I’ve written about such things before, back in 2006. You tell me whether it’s a good idea.

Glad that gun is off the streets.

UPDATE: Lisa Redmond snapped the photo of Ross at his arraignment today that’s posted above. Ross is at right in the picture. He was ordered held on $4,000 cash. His attorney, Jeffrey Higgins, requested lower bail and argued that Ross was “overcharged.”