City offers seed money

Boston Parks and Rec is bringing back a program in which neighborhood gardening and "friends" groups can get grants to buy actual seeds, along with tools with which to plant them. Seed grants of up to $250 are available; applications are due by April 23 and groups will have to provide receipts when requesting reimbursement for purchases.

For more info, call 617-635-4989.

Charlestown tweens get first-hand lesson in the value of a neighborhood crime watch

Boston Police report that when basement windows along High and Green streets in Charlestown started getting broken on a regular basis, officers quickly identified a group of tweens as the culprits - thanks to vigilant members of the neighborhood crime watch.

The following evening [March 11] a concerned neighbor immediately called police after spotting the individuals believed to be responsible for the vandalism the day before. Officers responded and spoke with a group of young males ages 10-13. Officers brought the kids home to their parents and had a discussion about some of the recent incidents of vandalism.

The area has not had another act of vandalism since that time.

Brighton pharmacy held up at gunpoint

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 11:30

Boston Police are looking for a guy who walked into the Sutherland Pharmacy, 1690 Commonwealth Ave., around 11:30 and displayed a gun in his waistband as he demanded all the narcotics in the pharmacy safe.

He's described as white, 6'2" with a medium build, in his 30s and wearing a maroon hoodie, a maroon shirt, light blue jeans. During the robbery, he wore a black mask. He fled the pharmacy with the drugs in a white plastic bag.

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Court: Stolen bikes found with a trespasser can't be used against him, but can be returned to rightful owners

When a Boston Police detective found Michael Holloway trespassing at a BHA project in Roxbury in 2010, he testified, Holloway couldn't identify the brand of one of the two mountain bikes he had with him. Holloway was arrested for trespassing and, when the bikes turned out be have been reported stolen, receiving stolen property.

The Massachusetts Appeals Court, however, ruled today that the bikes cannot be used as evidence against Holloway, because the detective never had probable cause to seize them without a warrant.

In its opinion, which upholds a trial judge's similar ruling, the court said the detective had no "definite and substantial" reason to suspect the bikes might be stolen - and a hunch just won't cut it in court:

[A]t the moment of seizure, the officer was without knowledge, definite or otherwise, of a reported bicycle theft in the area or that the bicycles were otherwise related to criminal activity. We disagree that the defendant's apparent lack of specific knowledge of the bicycle brand, and his alleged apathy regarding the security of an expensive bicycle after his arrest, permitted a reasonable inference that the bicycle was stolen; instead, while the circumstances understandably raised suspicion, without more information this conclusion remained speculative. The record lacks any evidence suggesting that, when observed and seized, the bicycles located near the defendant were apparently stolen.

In a footnote, the court adds its ruling doesn't mean Holloway gets to keep the bikes:

Obviously, once seized, item(s) shown to have been stolen need not be returned to anyone other than the rightful owner.

Citizen complaint of the day update: BPD makes sure McDonald's truck doesn't block downtown street

McDonald's truck on Tremont.

See? Plenty of room on Tremont

The peeved citizen who repeatedly complained about the McDonald's delivery truck blocking West Street early every Friday sent a shoutout this morning to the BPD officer in cruiser 1145 who forced the driver to turn onto Tremont Street to keep West clear. Granted, he let the driver pull onto the one-way Tremont the wrong way, but baby steps, people.

"Thank you for making my morning commute a good one," enthused our citizen, no longer having to detour around the short street at 5:45 a.m.

Boston's just no fun anymore, Barstool says

The Herald reports Barstool Sports will be moving its college Blackout parties somewhere more festive, like Worcester, after state and local authorities let in only 500 of the 2,000 or so people who'd paid for tickets for a BC party at the House of Blues, for some like totally bogus reasons, like, oh, the 300 fake IDs collected by state inspectors.

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