Westlake Police Blotter: A $50,000 Online Relationship

Westlake -

On 8/24/19 at approx. 3:30PM a Westlake resident appeared on station to report a fraud/theft. The female victim had met a purported male online on the site Match.com in July of 2018. They exchanged messages via the site, emails, phone calls and texting for over a month before the male relayed an elaborate story about being stuck overseas with frozen bank accounts. Over the next 7 months the male talked the victim into transferring over $50,000 to various accounts with promises to pay back everything in full. Westlake PD took a report and investigators are trying to identify a suspect although all the identifiers relayed to the victim appear to be false.

On 8/26/19 at about 2:21PM officers responded to the corner of Center Ridge and Columbia Rds to investigate a report of a male who had pulled a female from a vehicle in the roadway. Officers arrived to find that there had been a traffic accident. When the male who’s car was struck from behind went to check on the female driver in the striking vehicle, he noticed that she appeared highly intoxicated. While contacting the police, the male took the other driver’s keys from the ignition to keep her from leaving. There was a verbal altercation over the keys. The female was unable to perform field sobriety tests and was arrested for OVI. At the jail, the 54 yo from North Ridgeville tested 4 times the legal limit. Her license was suspended. There were no injuries in the collision.

On 8/27/19 at approx. 5:30PM an employee at a restaurant on Clemens reported that an intoxicated male had left the lot in a vehicle. The described male was located in the lot of the Super 8 hotel nearby. The male appeared intoxicated and was arrested for Disorderly Conduct while intoxicated. The 60yo, who said he was living at the hotel, became belligerent in the jail. He was eventually released and transferred to the hospital due to medical issues. Apparently from the hospital, the male exasperated his issues by making several phone calls to the Westlake Law Department at city hall. During several ranting voicemails the suspect made threats against the police department and the officers. Additional charges of Aggravated Menacing were added.

On 8/28/19 at approx. 6PM WPD received a report of shoplifters in H and M at Crocker Park. Using great descriptions from witnesses, the responding officers located the 5 females involved. 4 had been inside the store removing security tags and concealing items while a 5th acted as a look out. Numerous tools used to facilitate the thefts were also recovered. During this incident, the group concealed more than $700 worth of merchandise. Investigators have linked members of the group to 5 other shoplifting episodes in Westlake alone. It is suspected that they were also acting in other jurisdictions as well. The 5 were arrested and charged with Felony Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity. 1 – 18yo, 2-19yos, a 21yo and a 23yo; all from Cleveland, are currently in Westlake jail awaiting transfer to Cuyahoga County.

On 8/29/19 at approx. 3PM officers were dispatched to a bank parking lot on Detroit Rd for 2 suspicious vehicles. Employees had overheard people from the autos possibly talking about a drug deal. The vehicles had left the lot before the police arrived but one van was found at Columbia and Detroit Rds. The nervous female operator admitted that she had been at the bank lot and had met her friend to give them “newspapers.” The female misidentified herself to the officer. After getting to the bottom of the driver’s identity, it was discovered that she had an outstanding felony warrant for theft. The female was arrested and additional evidence including powder, needles and other paraphernalia were located. The 41yo from Cleveland was arrested and charged with misidentification, possession of drug abuse instruments and paraphernalia. The powder was sent to the lab for analysis.

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