I Love a Parade…You Fools!

May 8, 1907
Los AngelesOne expects Fiesta-time to be fortuitous to the light-fingered gentry (e.g., V. S. Hawley had a $30 gold watch taken from his pocket; E. E. Leech was relieved of $7 while standing on Main Street watching the floats) but when goods are taken by the wagon-load, then we’ve got serious business afoot. No fewer than nine major break-ins were reported last night. The thieves in each case were evidently experienced operators, who feared little for being molested during their duties, especially given as in every instance the intrusion coincided with the Fiesta parades between 8pm and 12am. Further, the thieves had discriminating taste: at the home of S. H. Garrett, where entrance was gained through a rear window, purloiners went through the wardrobe and selected the finest of silk dresses and evening clothes to purloin; they even absconded with the better bedclothes. At 2629 Orchard Avenue, W. W. Taylor lost a gold watch, chain, necklace, and locket; at the same address Mrs. William Fleckenstein was relieved of her opera glasses and solid silver flask. Most astonishing was the haul from Mr. Nelson Douglas of 2500 Vermont Avenue, wherein unpacked suitcases belonging to his Shriner guests were lifted in toto. Watches, jewelry, money in the children’s bank; all are in the hands of Los Angeles’ dark and shadowy underworld this day.

Of Human Bondage

May 5, 1907
Los AngelesMary Hawn is by all accounts an attractive twentysomething, average enough perhaps, save that she has a Superior Court case today. And she was bound and gagged in her bed by an intruder last night.”Being very much exhausted and having retired rather late, I fell into a sound sleep. When I can next remember I seemed to feel someone’s breath above my head. My mouth hurt me and someone was cramming it full. I opened my eyes and tried to move. Then I was frozen with horror. A masked man was leaning over me and was finishing the work of gagging me.

“Oh, it seemed for such a long time he bent foreward, gazing into my face. Then I tried to move and found my hands and feet bound together. After what seemed to me a long time, the man raised up and walked to the bureau. He searched it and then returned, he whispered that he would kill me if he did not find my papers before long. After making other threats at my life, he left.”

This occurred in her room at the Golden West Hotel, 412 South Main Street. Which Miss Hawn owns; she purchased the hotel from a Covina man in May of 1906. Little is known about their relationship, except that a) the hotelman died a short time later, and b) he left his life insurance to Miss Hawn, some one thousand dollars.

And the Superior Court case? The mysterious man’s widow is suing Miss Hawn for the insurance money. It is papers relating to this case that Miss Hawn alleges her visitor was after.

P.E.O. Sisters Boosted on Budlong

May 1, 1907
Los AngelesThe Sisters of the P.E.O. are a mysterious bunch. So much so that no-one knows what the initials P.E.O. stand for. What began as an Iowa sorority has morphed into a powerhouse of sisterhood, its guarded secrets forever hidden from the world of men.More mysterious, however, was the daylight robbery at the P.E.O. meeting held in the home of Sister Frederika Friend, 2302 Budlong Avenue. Sister Friend had made elaborate arrangements for a delightful afternoon, and as the Sisters talked business, and the cateress and coffee-colored assistants prepared the luncheon, Mrs. W. H. Faust of 2869 West Eighth Street strode upstairs to the dressing-room on the second floor where the ladies had left their wraps and pocketbooks. Mrs. Faust opened her clutch to get money with which to pay her dues, and found twenty dollars missing. She appeared white-faced at the top of the stairs, and in trembling tones exclaimed “Sisters! We have been robbed!”

The sisters rushed upstairs and drove their hands into their pocketbooks and indeed, most every sister had lost some of their cash contents. Police were summoned but they could find no evidence of a “second-story man,” and further determined that no-one could have gained ingress through the rear door without detection. At this information, Sister Friend reportedly broke down and cried. She was joined by others. A search was made of the house (and of the aforementioned cateress and “coffee-colored assistants,” we assume) to no avail. With this, the patrolmen departed, and the sisters sat down and cried some more, after which ice cream was served.

Of course, no suspicion attaches to any member of the Sisterhood.

And there the mystery rests.

Do Not Mess with a Woodman

April 26, 1907
Los Angeles

Thomas Cash, State Deputy Treasurer of the Woodmen of the World, was sleeping in his room at 852 Stephenson Avenue early this morning when awakened by a rustling in his adjoining office. Cash armed himself with what was nearest—a sturdy shoe—and advanced on the burglar, who fled, but Cash gave chase. Cornering the housebreaker at the end of the hall, Cash dealt a fearsome blow to the intruder’s face with his shoe. From there they grappled and struggled and rolled onto the rear porch, where the burglar made a wild leap sixteen feet into the back yard and, after having to clamber over a barbed-wire topped fence, disappeared. As a relic of the desperate battle, Cash has the collar and shirt front of the burglar. Other than that, Cash came away without so much as a scratch.

The Big Pickup

April 25, 1907
Los Angeles
Fiesta is coming!  And men of low standing are being swept from the streets—today one M. Lawrence was arrested on the charge of peddling worthless jewelry.  The police are making a special effort to remove from our midst swindlers of all stripes before Fiesta.  Sometimes they have help:  a Mr. Johnson was admitted to Receiving Hospital with cuts and lacerations to the face; he was recognized as being C. W. Draper, the recently paroled forger.  While attempting to sell goods to a woman at 115 North Olive Street, an unknown man leaped upon him and beat him severely.

Toe-Bling, 1907 Style

April 22, 1907
San Bernadino
The trial of R. Patterson begins here today, wherein the accused must answer to the charge of robbery.  Patterson, a brakeman on the Santa Fe line, became acquainted with a young Pole, a tailor, en route from New York to Los Angeles.<!– D([“mb”,”

Highwayman in Pasadena

April 15, 1907

As criminality reaches epidemic proportions in sleepy Pasadena, the citizenry grumbles about Chief Pinkham’s skills as police head, and makes noises about replacing him.

The latest outrage was visited upon George Syer, a public carriage driver who was called out to 876 Lincoln Avenue this evening, ostensibly to take some women to a train. The address should have been found north of Mountain, in an unlit area. He did not find the house, but while looking was acosted by a man with a thick Irish brogue who demanded his money. Syer parted with a dollar in change, but kept the contents of his other pocket. No mention was made of a weapon being brandished, but it is well known that one can’t be too careful with Irishmen!