Police Blotter: Sweepstakes scam targets Bainbridge woman


A charming scammer claiming to represent a sweepstakes contest drained several thousand dollars from an elderly woman’s bank account before police intervened on Sept. 11.

Also this week, two bicycles were swiped from local schools and a house party left an island teen hospitalized.

The blotter is below:

Sept. 14

Malicious mischief: Three political signs were reported damaged on a property near Highway 305 and Reitan Road. The signs were valued at $100.

Sept. 13

Vehicle prowl: A purse disappeared from a car parked at a Day Road School. A 41-year-old Bainbridge woman said she’d left the vehicle unlocked while she attended a school event that evening. She discovered her purse missing after driving home. The purse was valued at $50, and contained $75 in cash and valuables, along with bank cards.

Dispute: A 52-year-old live aboard called police on his 60-year-old neighbor at a Winslow marina at about 7 p.m. The reporting boater said the two men had gotten into an argument earlier that day and the neighbor had acted threateningly toward him all afternoon. First the neighbor walked past his boat carrying a rifle, the reporting boater said. Later the neighbor walked by with his hand over his pocket “as though he was going to draw a gun,” the reporting boater said, though he admitted to seeing no weapon at the time. Finally the reporting boater said he’d given his neighbor a friendly wave when he saw him on his boat, and the neighbor responded by flipping him off. Police contacted the neighbor who said he’d been in an ongoing dispute with the reporting boater. He admitted to carrying a firearm down the dock, but said it was just an old shotgun he was taking to his boat for repair. He also admitted to flipping off the reporting boater. Police told the two men to avoid each other in the future, but both boaters said they’d “protect” themselves if necessary.

Found: An Old Mill Road man turned in a wallet he’d found near his home containing $270 cash along with bank cards and ID. He said he suspected the wallet belonged to an unsavory acquaintance of his daughter and asked police to tell the wallet’s owner not to come by his property anymore.

Sept. 11

Theft: A Bainbridge man reported the theft of his son’s bicycle from a High School Road school. The Trek brand bike was not locked when it disappeared. It was described as having a “unique” rust color and was valued at $600.

Fraud: A man claiming to represent a sweepstakes contest withdrew more than $4,900 from an elderly Bainbridge woman’s bank account before police intervened. The 86-year-old woman said the man first called to inform her she’d won a $500,000 prize. Over the course of several calls the man convinced her to share personal and financial information, and gained access to her accounts under the pretense of needing to deduct money to pay taxes on her winnings. He made several large withdrawals from her account before the woman’s friends advised her to contact police. The suspect called the woman’s house while police were interviewing her. Police answered the phone and spoke to the man, who spoke with a Jamaican accent. He insisted on speaking to the woman, who he claimed was an old friend from school, but eventually hung up when police identified themselves. The woman was reimbursed by her bank for the charges and the case was recorded.

Sept. 10

Theft: A Diamondback BMX bike was reported stolen from a High School Road school. The bicycle was black with white front forks. It was valued at $180.

Minor in possession: Police responded to a Winslow clinic at about 2:40 a.m. for a report of an apparent alcohol overdose. The 18-year-old Bainbridge man was being helped out of a car by medical staff when police arrived. An 18-year-old woman who’d accompanied the man to the clinic said they’d been at a going away party on Mandus Olson Road that night. The man had been drinking heavily and had also consumed hallucinogenic mushrooms, she said. When started yelling about not being able to breathe and vomited repeatedly, she and another friend decided to seek medical help. The driver of the car passed a portable breathalyzer test but admitted to smoking marijuana earlier that night. Police contacted the driver’s parents. Police drove the woman back to the Mandus Olson house to collect her belongings and found the party had dispersed.