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Hoodlums in Office Buildings

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 3, 1904

Hoodlums in Office Buildings

They Go in Upper Hall Closets to Drink Wishkey (sic)

Throw Bottles in Sewer Pipes, Clogging Them and Requiring Plumbers to Remove the Debris

It is surprising to know the extent to which hoodlums make free with other people’s property, as demonstrated in a good many down town business buildings. Complaints are being made constantly that somebody, whether boys or full grown bums, enters the upper halls of business buildings and make trouble by stealing the electric light globes from their sockets, taking the chains from toilet room apparatus, and clogging up the bowls of the toilet room traps with all kinds of old junk from coarse paper to empty whiskey flasks. The frequency with which glass bottles are found by plumbers whose services are required to remedy troubles caused by such hoodlumism proves that the people who are to blame for a good deal of this are men and not small boys.

To show the extent of this trouble it may be mentioned that L.K. Phillips tells a Messenger representative that his plumbers were summoned to a large building on Central avenue used for offices three times last week on account of the drainage of the toilets room traps being clogged so the water could not run away. Each time they found an empty whiskey bottle stuck in the pipe. It takes a good deal of gall for a man to seek the seclusion of another person’s building to drink his whiskey, but it is certainly the limit of meanness to follow that action by throwing the bottle down the pipes.

This petty mischief should be stopped by the police if vigilance on their part can do it. It is difficult to catch people in such acts and some good detective talent will be necessary.