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Businesses Warned of Utility Scam
Staff Reports On: 01:24PM / Tuesday October 01, 2013

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Area businesses are being warned not for fall for a scam targeting their electricity accounts.

At least one business owner fell for the con in which someone calls up claiming to be from National Grid and threatens to turn off the electricity unless the victim pays through GreenDot MoneyPak payment cards.

Williamstown Police Chief Kyle Johnson said four business owners have already contacted him about the scam, which has been floating around at least since this past April.

National Grid, in a press release, said it has "received numerous calls from electric customers saying they have been contacted by phone by individuals claiming to be from National Grid and advising the customers they have a past due balance on their utility bill."

The utility notes that is does contact customers with overdue accounts to offer payment options, "but never demands direct payment over the telephone."

Colleen Taylor of the Freight Yard Pub was contacted by the scammers on Tuesday morning and immediately brought it to the attention of Johnson and iBerkshires and gave us the scammer's number at 801-850-6225 in Provo, Utah. The number appears to be routed through Ymax Communications Corp., purveyors of the magicJack phone service.

We called and spoke first with a man named Mike Wallace who sent us to his "supervisor" Jason Roberts.

Roberts informed us that we needed to purchase those GreenDot cards to pay our bill because the technicians "have a van with every single customer's information, credit card, Social Security, checking routing number, so on and so forth" and if it got stolen, the thief would have all our information.

That's why if there's an hour cancelation they won't accept a check or cash payment.

No, that doesn't make any sense, but the scammers do talk a good line trying to make it sound reasonable. Really, if your utility asks you to go buy some money card at Cumberland Farms — hang up.

National Grid says to call its Customer Contact Center at 1-800-322-3223 if you receive any suspicious calls demanding account information or immediate payment. Western Massachusetts Electric Co. is also aware of the scam, which hit the Springfield area in July. WMECo customers can call 1-877-OK- WMECo.

After getting off the phone with Mr. Roberts, Charles Anderson of the "National Grid Disconnect Department" called us back, saying a technician would arrive at 2 p.m. to disconnect us. We can't wait.



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7 Police Vehicles Respond To North Adams Traffic Stop
Staff Reports On: 04:45PM / Friday September 27, 2013

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Several police responded Friday afternoon to help out the state police with a traffic stop.

According to the police log, three North Adams Police officers were dispatched to the intersection of Ashland Street and Washington Avenue to assist state police.

On scene, police were seen searching a motor vehicle. North Adams Police responded at 3:15 p.m. and cleared the scene at 4:04 p.m.

A total of seven law enforcement vehicles lined Ashland Street and three men were seen being questioned by officers outside of a vehicle.

No further information was immediately available.



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Superior Court Briefs: September 17 - September 25
Staff Reports On: 12:27PM / Friday September 27, 2013

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, September 17.

Kevin Reale, 20, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

The case was continued without a finding for one years. The charge stems from an incident in Pittsfield on February 12, 2013.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, September 18.

Mark Yannone, 31, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on 13 counts of larceny by false pretense and single counts of larceny over $250 from a person 60 years old or older and filing a fraudulent insurance place.

He was released on personal recognizance. Yannone is accused of taking money and jewelry from customers while doing business as M. Joseph Jewelers between March 20, 2011 and August 13, 2013.

Michael Vickery, 23, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of larceny of a firearm and a single counts of breaking and entering in the daytime.

He was released on personal recognizance. Vickery allegedly broke into a home in Hinsdale and was in possession of stolen property. The incidents allegedly occurred between January 19, 2013 and February 25, 2013.

Daniel Martin, 29, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of a sawed-off shotgun, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and illegal ownership of a fire arm.

He was sentenced to two and a half to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the possession of a sawed-off shotgun charge. He was given concurrent two years sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the other charges. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on Parker Street in Pittsfield on March 7, 2012.

Eugene Jones, 37, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit distribution of cocaine.

His case was continued without a finding for one years. Jones conspired with others to sell cocaine in Pittsfield between March 9, 2012 and April 20, 2012.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, September 23.

Jerrel Hall, 21, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, illegal possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification cared and improper storage of a firearm.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $10,000 cash or $100,00 surety bail. The charges stem from an investigation of shots being fired in the area of Columbus and Circular Avenues in Pittsfield on August 19, 2013.

Jamar Holloway, 20, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of illegal possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card and improper storage of a firearm.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $2,500 cash or $25,000 surety bail. The charges stem from an investigation into reported shots fired in the area of Columbus and Circular Avenues in Pittsfield on August 19, 2013.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, September 25.

Justin Larimore, 36, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of operation under the influence and operating to endanger causing serious bodily injury, operating to endanger, operation under the influence of alcohol - his second offense, failing to stop for a police officer and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license - his second offense.

He was sentenced to two and a half to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the charge of operating under the influence of alcohol and operating to endanger causing serious bodily injury. He was given concurrent sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the operating under the influence of alcohol, operating to endanger and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. He was ordered to pay a $100 fine for the failing to stop for a police officer charge.

Larimore was operating a motor vehicle that struck a bridge abutment on Route 20 in Lee on August 26, 2012. A 28-year-old passenger suffered serious injuries in the crash.



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Pownal Van Crash Blamed on Deer
Staff Reports On: 10:44AM / Friday September 27, 2013

POWNAL, Vt. — A Comcast van was totaled on Thursday afternoon after a deer ran in front of the driver.

In her report, Trooper Lauren Ronan said she responded to the crash at about 2 p.m. on Route 7, but did not detail the location. The conditions were dry and sunny.

The work van, a 2006 Ford E-250, was found with "extensive damage blocking both the northbound and southbound lanes." The van was totaled.

The driver, Jedadiah Lampron, 33, of Bennington, who had been wearing a seat belt, was unhurt in the crash. Lampron said he was southbound on Route 7 when the deer ran out in front of him. He was able to avoid hitting the animal but lost control of the van and "struck a rock wall on the south bound edge of the roadway."

Lampron was not cited for the accident but was ticketed for driving with a suspended license.

Vermont State Police are reminding drivers to remain "extremely vigilant" for wildlife crossing roadways during the fall season.



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Police Operation Leads To 16 Arrests In Bennington
Staff Reports On: 02:29PM / Wednesday September 25, 2013

BENNINGTON, Vt. — State police have arrested 16 suspected drug dealers in part of a sweep across Bennington County.

Police say Operation Strike Two was launched Wednesday after a six-month-long investigation identifying 23 suspects. Sixteen had been arrested as of 2 p.m. on Wednesday; seven others had not been located.

Police partnered with local and county law enforcement agencies to sweep the county looking for the suspects.

"Our partnerships with municipal, state, and county law enforcement agencies, allow us to take productive steps deter the epidemic abuse of illicit drugs, that is driving crime and destroying the lives of our families and friends," said Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette in a prepared statement.

Investigators will be pursuing arrest warrants for those who have not been arrested but state police believe a number of them will turn themselves in.

Those arrested were transported to either the state police barracks in Shaftsbury or the Bennington Police Department for processing. Those arrested will be taken directly to Vermont District Court for arraignment, according to police. Each person arrested could face between five to 20 years in prison.

"I feel very strongly about the opiate epidemic that is impacting Vermont," said Manchester Police Chief Michael Hall, in a statement. "The success of this operation is a another step forward for Bennington County in its fight with drugs and crime."

No one was injured during the operation.

Below is a list of those targeted in the sweep. The ones in red have not been apprehended.

Vermont State Police Operation Strike Two Suspect List.

 



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Page 59 of 161... 54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64 ... 161  
News Headlines
Adams-Cheshire Will Look to Community for Future Goals
Gene Wein 'What High School Athletics Should Be About'
'Cats Drop Playoff Opener, Come Home Tuesday
Berkshire Force Drops One-Run Decision to Gainesville, Fla.
Dalton Gets Upset Win in Berkshire Adult Baseball League
Red Lion Inn Receives Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $2.1 Million in Summer Grants Cycle
Babe Ruth Team Raising Funds for World Series Trip
Southwestern Vermont Readies Pownal Campus
Multicultural BRIDGE Summer Program Returns

Police Logs

Pittsfield Police

North Adams

Crimewatch Links

North Adams CrimeWatch

Stamford/Clarksburg CrimeWatch

Pittsfield CrimeWatch

Emergency: 911
Adams 413-743-1212
Clarksburg 413-663-7795
Cheshire 413-743-1501
Dalton 413-684-0300
Great Barrington 413-528-0306
Lanesborough 413-443-4107
Lee 413-243-2100
Lenox 413-637-2346
North Adams 413-664-4944
Pittsfield 413-448-9700
Richmond 413-698-3315
Stockbridge 413-298-4179
Williamstown 413-458-5733
West Stockbridge 413-232-7938
State Police  
Cheshire Barracks
413-743-
4700
Lee Barracks 413-243-0600
Shaftsbury, Vt., Barracks 802-442-3263

 



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