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.