An attempt to defraud an 89-year-old Brookfield man of $8,500 was narrowly averted last week after his son intervened and told him to call police.

The victim told police that he’d received a phone call on the morning of Jan. 7 from someone claiming to be his grandson. The caller told the victim that he was in the hospital, injured after being involved in a car crash in Wisconsin. In addition, the caller told the victim that he had been arrested for drunken driving and needed $8,500 to bond out of jail.

The caller gave the victim a phone number to call to get further instructions. The victim called and was told to put the money in an envelope and mail it next-day air to a New Jersey address. Before the victim could send the money, his son advised him that the call was a scam and confirming that the victim’s grandson was fine and in Florida.

Police called the number the victim had been given and briefly talked to someone who hung up when pressed.

A 72-year-old Brookfield woman called police on Jan. 9 and had her bank change her account number after she allowed someone access to her home computer as part of a telephone scam.

The victim told police she got a call at about 11:30 a.m. from someone named “David Dawson” who told her she was the “lucky recipient” of a $399 refund. In order to receive it, however, the victim needed to give the caller remote access to her computer.

After giving the caller access he reportedly told the victim he’d accidentally deposited $10,000 into her bank account and instructed her to reimburse him the difference by purchasing some gift cards and giving him the redemption codes.

At that time the victim realized the call was a scam and hung up the phone. The victim contacted her bank, which confirmed no transaction had taken place and changed the victim’s bank account number.

Car catches fire

Police and firefighters were dispatched to the 9100 block of Sahler Avenue, Brookfield, on Jan. 11 at about 11:40 p.m. for a vehicle that was on fire.

When emergency personnel arrived, they noticed flames coming from the passenger side of the engine compartment of a Nissan Altima parked on the street. The vehicle appeared to be running and unoccupied.

The vehicle’s owner reportedly told police she arrived home at about 8:20 p.m., turned off the vehicle and went inside. She said she didn’t know how the vehicle might have restarted but mentioned to police that she did have an appointment to have the car checked because its “check engine” light would turn on and off without warning.

The front end of the car sustained heavy damage due to the fire, police said.

Apartment break-in

A resident of a garden-level apartment in the 2200 block of 17th Avenue, North Riverside, called police on Jan. 2 at about 5:35 p.m. to report that someone had broken in and stolen jewelry and cash from her bedroom.

It’s unclear how the offender gained entry. Reported missing was $475 in cash, a Pandora bracelet, two pair of silver earrings and a silver ring. Other items of value were left undisturbed.

Man beaten after rebuffing gang offer

Brookfield police responded to an alley behind an apartment building in the 3500 block of Vernon Avenue on Jan. 9 at about 6:20 a.m. after a 25-year-old Chicago man called to say he had to fight his way out of a friend’s apartment after refusing to join their gang.

The victim, who had some dried blood on his lip and on one of his ears and a large bruise on his torso, reportedly told police he’d previously been in a street gang but no longer was part of it. He went to the apartment to hang out with friends, a dozen of whom started beating him when he declined their offer to join them.

Paramedics transported the victim to the hospital for treatment, but he reportedly told police he did not want to press charges because he was worried about his family.

Can of ravioli

North Riverside police responded to a residence in the 8000 block of Country Club Lane on Jan. 6 at about 1:55 a.m. after the homeowner called to report that a male and a female had been captured on his surveillance camera dumping a can of ravioli on the front door of his home about seven minutes earlier.

The two offenders were last seen fleeing to the east. Police searched the area with no luck.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield police departments, Jan. 2-13 and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anybody named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. These cases have not been adjudicated.

— Compiled by Bob Uphues

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