Police Reports: Fraud, extortion, blackmail and theft

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MONROE, CT — An identity thief made close to $17,000 worth of withdrawals from a 67-year-old Monroe man’s bank account, according to a complaint filed Thursday.

The victim told police he received a phone call from Bank of America asking if he was trying to make a purchase at Nordstrom Department Store. He said he was not and the transaction was canceled.

He then went to his Bank of America branch in Newtown, where a banker notified him of several fraudulent withdrawals from his account totaling between $15,000 to $17,000.

Bank of America is handling the fraudulent activity on the account and the victim was advised to notify the three major credit bureaus of the fraud. Police said he changed his bank account and debit card numbers.

The Monroe Police Detective Division and Bank of America are investigating the case.

Swatting threat

A 21-year-old Monroe man told police someone tried to extort $600 from him on Snapchat. He called the phone number associated with the account and the person quickly hung up after he identified himself.

Police said the suspect identified where the victim’s house is and threatened to make a false complaint over a hostage situation to send police officers there, which is a form of online harassment called swatting.

The victim blocked the individual on all social media platforms and reported the incident to police, so they would know about the situation. Police said he did the right thing.

Blackmail on a dating site

Someone who met a 53-year-old Monroe man on a dating site claimed to have compromising photos of him and threatened to send it to family and friends, who were on a list shown to him, unless he paid $1,000.

There were no such photos and the victim blocked the person from all of his social media platforms, police said.

An officer called a phone number linked to the person and found it was a TextNow subscriber with no name on the account.

Police determined the case to be inactive pending further information.

Stolen catalytic converters

A catalytic converter was stolen off a 2019 Isuzu box truck owned by Gregory Landscapes LLC on Enterprise Drive twice in the past month, according to police.

While reporting the latest theft Tuesday, the owner told officers the truck is parked in the yard during winter months and is only used to transport lawn mowers in the warmer seasons, police said.

The two stolen catalytic converters cost a total of $6,500 to replace, according to an estimate.

Stolen license plate

A 23-year-old Cross Hill Road man told police someone stole the front license plate off his 2016 Mazda 6, and insisted nothing was loose and could not have fallen off, according to police.

Police said the victim’s vehicle was parked in his driveway while he was on vacation from Dec. 25 to Jan. 5, except for two days when family used it to drive to Norwalk.

There is no video of the theft, police said, adding information on the lost or stolen plate was entered into the state information system.

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