On the night of Friday, January 14, 1921, Roy Burrell saw a large Paige touring car on the east bound track of the Michigan Central Railroad, at the Wayne and Washtenaw county line. He notified Justice D. Z. Curtiss at Ypsilanti just after 10:00 p.m. Justice Curtiss in turn informed Constable William D. Schneff. He quickly formed a posse and hurried to the spot. There they found the car directly across the tracks, with the emergency brake on the in low.
“Just as they arrived the headlights of an approaching train was seen, but by quick work they succeeded in getting the car off the track just as the whizzed by,” reported The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Saturday, January 15, 1921.
“The car was taken off the track about one-half minute before the east bound passenger train, due here (Ypsilanti) at 10:55 p. m., whizzed by,” noted The Ypsilanti Record of Wednesday, January 21, 1921. “The officers are at a loss to know what motive prompted anyone to place the car on the tracks.”
“Nobody was in the vicinity of the crossing, and the fact that the emergency brake was set with the power being in low, makes Justice Curtiss opine that either somebody was after the car insurance or that an attempt was made to wreck a M. C. R. R. train,” reported The Daily Ypsilanti Press.
“Monday Elmer Harden of Belleville, appeared at police headquarters and stated the car was his and had been stolen from a garage in Belleville that same night it was found on the track,” concluded The Ypsilanti Record.