WESTPORT — Two years after alarming Westport and nearby towns with active school shooter and bomb reports, a now-17-year-old Westport boy is back in trouble, this time for what is believed to be a computer fraud venture with nationwide scope.
The youth, whose name and address are not revealed due to age, is accused of hacking the Amazon account of a Texas man and buying $1,000 worth of computer equipment including hard drives and gaming equipment.
Westport Detective Jeff Majewski said that when police executed a search warrant at the boy’s home last Thursday, they found that equipment and much more.
“We found dozens and dozens of Amazon shipments still in packages stacked in his closet and on his bedroom floor,” Det. Majewski said. These contained more computer equipment, along with invoices and addresses.
“The investigation is obviously going much further than (the one Texas victim)” since the shipments indicate that numerous other people’s Amazon accounts from around the country appear to have been used.
This latest incident led to charges of larceny over $250 and identity fraud, both felonies. He was arraigned that day in Fall River District Court.
Asked whether anybody else in the household was aware of what was going on, the detective replied, “As for the mother’s awareness or involvement, that is still under investigation.”
He said she initially reacted to the discovery by saying, ‘Oh my god,’ but later her story seemed to change somewhat.
Police said they found dozens of Amazon gift cards and also discovered US Postal Service new address paperwork for an Ivy Meadows, Westport, address. That is interesting, Det. Majewski said, because the youth was recently seen walking on property near that Ivy Meadows location — detectives think that an attempt was made to use the address of a house under construction for shipments.
Added to the offenses could be a probation violation charge. After the school active shooter case, the boy’s probation stipulated that he not use computers or the internet except for educational purposes — that probation is in effect into 2018.
In that case, the boy was charged with making terroristic threats among other offenses.
Acting on his May 12, 2015, report that he was hiding in a Westport High School closet and that shooters had shot some people and were holding others in the cafeteria, police responded with force.
Eight heavily armed state troopers along with Westport officers “went room to room, closet to closet — they searched every inch of that school,” the detective said. “It was all a hoax.”
He said the youth’s methods were sophisticated and involved the use of Skype, voice-over ‘spoofing,” a proxy server and disguising his identity and IP server.
Schools in Boxboro and Fall River received shooter and bomb threats and there was evidence that he had contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office and authorities in New York, among other places.
“It is terrible that this boy is ruining his future because his computer knowledge is clearly leaps and bounds beyond that of average person,” Det. Majewski said.