Archive for the ‘theft’ Category


Passed Bogus Check

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The Messenger: March 27, 1907

Passed Bogus Check

S.R. Crego Arrested by Manager Duncombe House This Afternoon – The Monday not Found.

Man giving his name as S.R. Crego and residence as Cresco was arrested this afternoon by the polnce (sic)on complaint of the manager of the Duncombe House where he was stopping on the charge that he had obtained $50 ($1.155 today) under false pretenses. Crego is not an entire stranger to the manager and when he presented a sight draft on the Cresco bank and asked him to endorse it, it was done. Shortly after he learned that he had attempted to get a check cashed at the Fessler clothing store for $15 ($346) in payment for a hat and this raised a suspicion in the mind of the landlord who at once took steps to learn the validity of the draft cashed only to find that he had been duped.

He lost no time in looking up his man and at once had him taken into custody. He had acquired something of a load of “wealthy water” in the meantime and when arrested at the city hall had in his possession besides several bottles of dope and poison, a partially filled bottle of common booze. Although officer Grant made a careful search he failed to find the fifty. He did find, however, pinned to his vest, a private detective star, although the prisoner was unable to give any reasonable explanation as to how he came in possession or by what authority he was wearing it. He was placed in the city bastile (sic) until his brain cleared sufficiently to enable him to give some explanation of his actions.


Burglars Enter Hardware Store

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 11, 1904

Burglars Enter Hardware Store

Entrance Forced to Sanders Hardware on Upper Central Avenue

Little of Value is Taken

Burglar Apparently Familiar With Store and Was Evidently a Boy

The burglar again gave evidence of his presence in the community when Thursday night he made a successful entry into the Sanders’ hardware store on Upper Central avenue, although so far as is known, he succeeded in getting away with little of value. The burglary was the third attempt of a similar nature made within the pst few weeks. Besides the hardware store, the saloon of George Benn at Sixth street and First avenue south has been molested twice, once successfully.

The discovery of the Sander’s (sic) robbery was made this morning when the store was opened for the day. Little disturbance was left to indicate the presence of an intruder, but his means of entrance was clearly apparent. He entered the building by cutting out one of the small windows in the back and then raising the sash. Between the front and rear of the store is a door which is kept locked at night. To pass thru the burglar cut a heart shaped hole int he panel thru which he evidently inserted his hand and opened the lock on the other side. From the size of the hole it is believed that the burglar was either a boy or a man with an unusually small hand.

So far as know this morning, nothing had been taken, the only evidence that the place had been disturbed, being the roller top desk, which is usually left open, but which this morning was found to be closed. A knife and a cigar holder, which the burglar had left behind him, were found and are the only clues to his identity.

The police as yet have been unable to apprehend the persons who robbed the cash drawer at the Benn saloon two weeks ago. A second attempt was made to enter the saloon a few nights ago. Two men were discovered by a policeman while they were working in the rear of the building. They took to their heels and were pursued by the officer, who shot twice and hit one of the men. Both, however, succeeded in making their escape.

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 29, 1907

Big Junk Steal is Unearthed

Robinson Bros. Fort Dodge Junk Dealers Bought Articles That Were “Queer.”

Police Officers Seized Goods

About Five Hundred Dollars Worth of Valuable Brass, Copper and Other Metal Shipped in Car of Rags. – Car Stopped at Freeport.

Through the watchfulness of Chief Tullar and some smooth detective work on the part of special agents of the Illinois Central valuable property starting from Fort Dodge was unearthed yesterday at Freeport, Ill., when detective T.J. Healey of the Freeport division of the Illinois Central caught and held for investigators a car of junk shipped out by Robinson Bros. of this city.

Hid in Rags.

Examination of the car showed that valuable brass fittings, copper wire, linotype metal, etc. was concealed in a consignment of rags with which the car was supposed to be filled.

Most of the stuff was railroad property, part of it belonging to the Illinois Central and part to the Rock Island and Northwestern. It was brought to Fort Dodge at once for identification.

Four Detectives Here.

Four railroad detectives were in the city today in connection with the matter. The were M. Morweiser, special agent on the Rock Island located at Cedar Rapids, A.P. Houston, special agent on the Rock Island located at Estherville, J.T. Dineen, special agent of the Illinois Central, located at Waterloo and T.J. Healey, special agent of the Illinois Central, located at Freeport.

About three hundred dollars (about $6,928 today) worth of the junk was identified by these men.

The Catchers Talk.

“You see” said Mr. Dineen, of the Illinois Central to a Messenger representative, “this stuff is never sold by the railroads. It is very valuable and if it becomes broken it is recast. Part of the goods recovered are boiler and engine fittings that are perfectly new. Those of the latter kind are very valuable. Some small pieces come as high as six dollars apiece ($138). All junk dealers know that the railroads never sell such stuff and they know they are buying stolen goods when they make a purchase of this kind. A great deal of what we have recovered has been stolen right here from the Fort Dodge shops.”

“It is the biggest steal of the kind that has been unearthed in this part of the state for a long time” said Mr. Morweiser, of the Rock Island.

“I’ve been working on the deal for two weeks,” said Chief Tullar. “I did all I could from this end and when the railroad detectives got to work they made the wires hot and rounded up the goods.”

Men from the Central shops identified a large part of the goods.

Robinson Bros. were arrested by two of the police this forenoon and at two o’clock this afternoon were brought before justice of the peace Magowan for trial on the charge of receiving stolen property.


Andrew Coin Charged With Minor Theft

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Jan. 2, 1903

Andrew Coin Charged With Minor Theft

Alleged That He Took Part in Stealing Salvation Army Bank From the Duncombe House.

Charged with participation in the theft of a Salvation Army bank, containing about $4, from the Duncombe house, some three or four months ago, Andrew Coin was taken into custody by the police Thursday morning, but the hearing was postponed till three o’clock this afternoon.

Coin has been out of the city since the time when, it is alleged, he took part in the theft of the money box, which was one of the little tin banks which are placed at vari0us points around the city to gather funds for the use of the Salvation Army in its work.

Herb Conlee was arrested, charged with participating with the theft, soon after it occurred. He was later discharged by the grand jury.


May Be The Stolen Horse

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 10, 1903

May Be The Stolen Horse

Possible Clue to Incendiary of the Ricke Fire

Horse Answering Description of One Stolen Being Held by Authorities in Omaha.

A horse answering exactly to the description of the one stolen from the Ricke livery barn on Saturday, the night when the stable burned, has been located in Omaha, where a man was seen driving the animal on Saturday morning, only a few hours after the fire.

Immediately upon the discovery of the theft, cards were sent thruout the county giving a description of the missing animal. Russell McGuire today received a letter from his brother, D.O. McGuire, stating that a horse in every particular answering the description of the one stolen from the Ricke barn, was seen on the streets of Omaha on Saturday morning.

The animal has been held and the matter will be investigated. Of course, the horse may be another, but horses which are just alike are very rare. If it is the same animal, the authorities are at a loss to know how it could have been tranoprted (sic) to Omaha so soon. It could not have been driven there in that short time, and it does not seem likely that it would have been shipped within so few hours, Ricke being positive that the horse was not taken out of the barn before the early morning when the fire occurred. For this reason the officers are not putting much faith in the hope that the animal and the man guilty of putting to death eleven dumb brutes by an awful torture, simply to steal a horse, will be secured by this clue.

However the horse has been held, and the particulars will be inquired into.


Woolsey Pursues the Dog Thieves

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 3, 1903

Woolsey Pursues the Dog Thieves

Deputy Sheriff Does the Nick Carter Act and Returns Canine to Owner.

The Thieves Are Found

Emigrants Steal Prize Puppy from Farm House, But Are Caught.

Deputy Sheriff Woolsey is the hero of a dog story which runs as follows:

Wednesday afternoon a party of emigrants passing thru Iowa stopped in the vicinity of the Ben Eaton farm near Judd, intending to have dinner at that place. Finding no one at home, the family being in the field, the travelers possessed themselves of a small amount of corn, a fine bird dog, valued at $25 and then started peacefully on their way.

The dog belonged to W.J. Pressler, a farm hand who highly prized the animal and was greatly angered when returning from the field he found his canine pet missing. Some women who had been working in a field nearby, saw the abduction and informed the Eatons of the same.

Eaton and the dog’s owner immediately started in pursuit of the emigrants and caught up with them in the evening two miles from the poor farm. The campers, however, declared their innocence and would not produce the dog.

A warrant was then procured, from Justice Martin and Deputy Sheriff Woolsey and Russel McGuire, together with the two men, went out to where the purloiners of the pup had pitched camp. All denied that they had even seen a dog within the last three days, but Deputy Woolsey thought he detected a faint howl in the nearby woods. Finding a fresh path leading to where a dog’s vocal organs were apparently at work he came upon a small boy guarding the stolen animal. The boy admitted stealing the dog.

The men of the party were brought to the city where they plead guilty and were fined $1 and cost, amounting in all to $14.50. In order to raise this it was necessary for them to sell a pony.

It would be hard to tell which was the happiest, the dog or his master, Pressler when the brute was restored to its rightful owner.

(Editor’s note: Nick Carter is a fictional detective who first appeared in a dime novel in 1886.)


A Water Melon Episode

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Sept. 1, 1906

A Water Melon Episode

Peter Carney Will Spend a Few Days in Jail For Theft

Peter Carney’s love of the juicy watery water melon got him in trouble yesterday. He noticed in front of a certain grocery store a choice selection of the big berries. But he was without the necessary cash and proceeded to get on in what he thought was the next best way. So he slipped one under his coat and slipped away. But he was not slippery enough. The groceryman had seen him and started in pursuit. He caught the fellow and compelled him to walk the water melon back to its place at the store. When the man got to the store he let the melon drop, breaking same. An officer was then called and Carney was placed under arrest. This morning in police court he was fined five dollars and cost or a total of $9.85. He was unable to pay and will be forced (to) lay it out in the city jail.

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 11, 1903

Youthful Trio is Bound Over

Three Boys, Youngest 7 and Oldest 12, Must Answer to Grand Jury

Enter Stores Sunday Evening

Earl Tennant, Harry Porsch and Arthur Hutchison, Ages 12, 9 and 7, Arrested for Entering Craft Hardware and Ertl Meat Market.

A record was set in the Webster county criminal court this morning when a 7-year-old boy was bound over to the grand jury. The youthful offender is Arthur Hutchison, who with Harry Porsch, aged 9, and Earl Tennant, aged 12, was arraigned before Justice Martin, charged with entering the Charles Craft hardware store and the Martin Ertl meat market. The defendants were bound over to the grand jury under $300 bonds, which was furnished by their parents.

The identity of the burglars was learned by tracing the possession of a pocket knife which was among the number stolen from the hardware store. A.H. Werner, employed at the Oakdale dairy, showed Marshal Welch a knife bearing the mark of the Craft Hardware company. The knife he said he had bought from a boy named Joe Rossing. Young Rossing when taken into custody by the police, said that he had been given the two knives by the three boys who were later arrested. One of the knives he had sold to Werner.

The arrest of Harry Porsch, Arthur Hutchison and Earl Tennant followed. After a number of questions had been asked they admitted that they had entered the stores and taken the money and the property. The police had some difficulty in locating the plunder as the stories told by the boys differed materially. Finally by the light of a lantern and under the guidance of the  youthful burglars, the police located two revolvers and twelve boxes of cartridges under a pile of lathes in the rear of the high school building, two buggy whips under a crossing on Tenth street and a number of knives  hidden in a barn at young Tennant’s home.

The substance of the story told by Arthur Hutchison, the most youthful of the trio, is as follows:

He met Harry Porsch and Earl Tennant at the base ball park Sunday afternoon. They were driving a horse which they said they had hired in the east part of town. They told him they had entered the meat market from the rear and taken $2.45 ($59 today) from the cash drawer, $1 ($24) of which they had paid for the hire of the horse. He accompanied them up town, and at 6 o’clock they again entered the building, he going with them. This time they went into the hardware store, and together with a third entrance carried away the revolvers, cartridges, knives, whips and about $6 ($144) from the cash drawer. The aggregate value of the goods stolen is about $24 ($575).

They entered by removing the boards from a cellar window on the east side of the building.

Young Porsch was employed by Ertl as delivery boy.


Enters Houses in Broad Day Light

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 8, 1904

Enters Houses in Broad Day Light

Stranger By The Name of James Wilson Was Caught in the Act.

Puts Up Queer Appearance

After Making Failure of Attempt to Enter Blanden Residence in Daylight he Sneaked into Benj. Jones’ Home – Held to Grand Jury.

Nerve beyond record had James Wilson who was arrested Sunday evening for entering two Fort Dodge homes in broad day light at 6:30 in the evening. after failing in his efforts to enter the Blanden home from the basement, he walked over to Benjamin Jones’ residence on First avenue north, and while Mr. Jones was sitting on the front porch entered the house through the back way. He went up stairs and began rifling the rooms of several small articles. Descending he was heard by Mr. Jones, who rushed into the house and grabbed the thief. With a clever himself of his coat and flew out of the house leaving Mr. Jones with nothing but an old ragged coat.

Caught by Chief Welch.

Running up the alley he began to attract the attention of all passers-by, Chief Welch happened along and immediately gave chase. The pursued, though fleet of foot, soon became rattled in the maze of streets and back yards and was captured near the home of Doctor Ristine.

Actions Decidedly Queer.

After his arrest Wilson was questioned by the police and his conduct and answers seem to point to his being somewhat off, though some think that this is put on. He is about five feet eight inches in height and wears a very dark beard. He occasionally puts a look on his face which reminds one of an insane asylum. When captured he put up a fight and uttered a volley of oaths at the officer who caught him, so that he had to be handled roughly. He will give no explanation as to his conduct, claiming that he remembers nothing.

Seen by Ed Cullen.

Coming out of the cellar window of the Blanden residence, Wilson was seen by Ed Cullen who notified the police at once. After his arrest an investigation of the home was made. It was found that had had entered it through the cellar window in the hopes of reaching the main part of the house through the basement. The doors connecting the two floors being locked, his trouble was in vain.

Waived Examination.

Under ordinary procedure Wilson would have been taken before a justice for a preliminary hearing, but he waived this opportunity and will appear before the grand jury the last of this month.


Boys Steal a Valuable Fish Reel

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: Aug. 2, 1905

Boys Steal a Valuable Fish Reel

Reel of  Very Costly Make Stolen From Wm. Matt Yesterday

Boys Confess to the Theft

Show Officer Where They Had Hidden It and Return It to Owner – Were Turned Over to Parent’s Wrath Instead of Being Prosecuted.

William Matt reported to the police this morning that a valuable reel, one of the best make that can be bought, had been stolen from a fish pole to which it was attached in his office.

Acting Chief Jay Long suspected that the theft was that of young boys who had been hanging around the place, and started on a still hunt, which resulted in his taking in charge a couple of boys ten or twelve years old, on suspicion. After a questioning on the matter they broke down and admitted that they had taken the reel. They went to a warehouse near the great Western depot where it was found hidden under some planking. The parents of the boys were notified and promised to give them a good sound thrashing and look to their actions in the future, if they would not be prosecuted. Mr. Matt having recovered his stolen property was willing to drop the matter and the boys were turned over to the wrath of their parents.