Vergennes Police Log: Phone scam reported to police

VERGENNES — After last week receiving another report of an attempted phone scam, Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel is urging area residents never to send money or reveal personal information to callers claiming to represent a contest or the Internal Revenue Service. 
Instead, Merkel said, residents who receive calls like the one a city resident reported on June 22 should call police. In that instance, a resident was contacted and told she had won $5,000, but had to mail $2,000 to the Philippines to cover taxes before she could receive her winnings. 
Merkel said another resident had recently sent money to a similar scam, but had second thoughts quickly enough to allow authorities to recover it. In the past few weeks, Merkel said Vergennes police have fielded a half-dozen complaints about such calls. 
“We’ve had a number of these incidents,” he said. “People have been victimized, and they (callers) can be very convincing.”
In other incidents between June 20 and 26, Vergennes police: 
• On June 20 helped the city’s public works department by contacting car owners to move their vehicles off East and Main streets to allow paving to proceed.
• On June 20 heard from a woman that she had lost a wallet in Vergennes three days previously.
• On June 20 backed up Vermont State Police at a domestic disturbance on Long Point Road in Ferrisburgh.
• On June 20 and 21 directed traffic during paving work on New Haven Road near Route 7.
• On June 21 ticketed a car that failed to obey a paving flagger. 
• On June 21 stood by while a bank employee entered a bank-owned home on Green Street.
• On June 21 served an abuse-prevention order on a Main Street resident.
• On June 22 cited Ryan Houston, 27, of Vergennes for driving under the influence of alcohol after stopping his vehicle for allegedly failing to stop at the downtown red light. Police allege Houston’s blood-alcohol content tested at 0.141 percent; the legal limit for driving is 0.08.
• On June 22 found a wallet on Main Street and returned it to its owner. 
• On June 22 were told by a woman she had lost a wallet somewhere between Falls Park and her South Maple Street home.
• On June 22 began investigating the theft of cash from the Chinese restaurant in the Aubuchon Plaza in Ferrisburgh. 
• On June 22 backed up state police by going to the convenience store in New Haven, where a man was reported to be waving a gun in the parking lot. Police determined it was a BB-gun, and possibly linked the man to a recent report from three city children that a man in a car had pointed a gun at them; an investigation is ongoing.
• On June 22 calmed an arguing couple at a Main Street apartment. 
• On June 22 spoke to a group of youths on bicycles on Hopkins Road reported to be swerving in front of traffic; police told them to stop and go home. 
• On June 23 ticketed three trucks for excess weight on Panton Road. 
• On June 23 calmed down a man who was reported to be walking around downtown yelling, “I need a job.”
• On June 23 stopped a car without a rear window on Panton Road and ticketed the operator for driving without a license and possessing about six grams of marijuana. 
• On June 25 dealt with a Short Street barking dog complaint. 
• On June 25 helped state police with a brawl involving five combatants on West Street in Cornwall, one of whom allegedly pulled a knife (see a full report in the Vermont State Police Log).
• On June 25 picked up a loose dog without tags in the South Water Street area and took it to the Vergennes Animal Hospital.
• On June 25 took a report for insurance purposes that a car parked on Mechanics Street had been struck. 
• On June 25 looked unsuccessfully for a man seen in the West Main Street cemetery just before an object smashed a motorist’s car window. 
• On June 26 issued a no-trespass order to a woman who became disorderly when asked to leave a Thomas Circle home. 
• On June 26 checked a South Maple Street residence when its owner noticed a rear window looked out of place; police found nothing amiss. 
• On June 26 went to a North Green Street apartment when a man complained he had been stopped on the street and accused by its occupants of stealing packages; police said the occupants refused to answer the door. 

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