Thursday, November 1, 2012

Burglar Terrorizes Southside District

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press of November 1, 1937. A midnight to dawn marauder terrorized residents on the south side of the city between one and four-thirty o’clock Sunday, molesting four homes, choking an aged woman, and obtaining 65 cents for his night’s work. Entering the home of Mrs. Anna R. Ewell, 115 Hawkins St. about 4:30 a.m. by removing the screen in a downstairs bedroom where she was sleeping, the thief demanded her money. When Mrs. Ewell, who is 74 years old, refused, he choked her and left her in a serious condition. She is resting fairly comfortably today, however, and her daughter, Mrs. James Bell, who lives with her, said that when her mother heard the man removing the screen she thought it was someone upstairs closing a window. Mrs. Ewell was alone in her room on the first floor, she said, the rest of the occupants of the house, Mr. and Mrs. Bell and their two children being asleep upstairs. The marauder did not make a very thorough search of the room, Mrs. Bell said, and left as suddenly as he had come. She said, that her mother reported he had talked a great deal, and although she could not see him, would remember the voice. He seemed to be of average height, talked with no trace of an accent and reeked of tobacco smoke although there was no indication that he had been drinking. The Ewell report was the fourth received by police, the first being at 1 a.m. when Douglas L. Cruickshank, 205 E. Ainsworth Blvd. reported a colored man had tried to crawl in through an open window on the second floor. Mrs. Cruickshank saw the man, he said, and when her husband started to get out of bed the marauder fled. The next report came from a home in the next block when Elmer L. Peters, 303 E. Ainsworth Blvd., said that about 2:30 a.m. he had seen a man prowling around their house as though trying to gain entrance, but he that he had fled on finding he couldn’t get in. The next attempt at entrance was successful, however, when at 4 o’clock a man broke into the home of Mrs. Lillian Acre, 520 Jefferson Ave. through a rear door, took a billfold containing 65 cents from an upstairs bedroom, and left through the front door. Later the billfold was found discarded on Hawkins St. and was returned to Mrs. Acre. The police are not certain the same person is responsible for all the crimes, but the similarity of technique used in entering, the proximity of the four places entered to each other, and the time element during which the offenses took place all point to the same origin. Finger prints have been secured and are being checked. Reports from the residents molested indicate that the man is colored, was wearing a grey cap and old blue coat.

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