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Notes from the Saranac Lake police blotter

November 3, 2012
By HOWARD RILEY ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

I repeat this every time I publish one of the columns from the ancient police blotters; these are the most read and remarked-about of all the remarkable stories carried here, because in these yellowed pages lies the history of the mundane events in our beautiful little village going back 81 years or more.


May 29, 1931 - 3:05 p.m. Phone call from Jerry Walsh, Moody Pond, notifying police there was a body floating around in Moody Pond. Investigated by Chief Jennings who went out in a row boat about 150 feet and towed the body to the docks where he laid same until the arrival of the coroner, John Crowley of Lake Placid. Upon his arrival body was turned over to A. Fortune, Undertaker. Was positively identified as Gladimir Romer, who disappeared May 19, by Boris Stafford whose residence is at Colby Pond, an intimate friend of his.

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Turned over the $50 reward to the following: Curt Wamsganz, age 14, residence 16 Pine St. - $20. Robert Davis (sp), age 13, residence 19 Franklin Ave. - $20. Lawrence Carolina, (no age given) 134 Main Street - $10 - Accidental Drowning. - G. A. Utting

May 30, 1931, 2 a. m. - Received call from a resident of Neil Street wanting to know how late they were allowed to hold dances (these dances were at private homes). I told him until 12 o'clock and he said there was a dance going on at Peter Bombard's residence at 55 Neil St. and they were making quite a disturbance. Notified Officer Putnam who investigated and found that the dance was just breaking up.

2:50 a.m. - Received another call from Harry Brown to come to the end of Neil Street that there was some trouble up there. Notified Officers Coughlin and Putnam who investigated and found some of the crowd from that dance out in the road arguing. The officers seen to it that the crowd left immediately. - Officer Davis

June 16, 1931, 1 p.m. - Officer Duprey reported complaints about a mongrel dog, color white, with brown, rather long hair. Owner Dr. Elliot Lather, 123 Lake Street. The above dog has a nasty habit of running after cars, bicycles and motorcycles. Notified the owner that the next time a complaint came in he would be disposed of. The owner brought the above dog to the police station. Officer Davis took him to the incinerator and killed him. - Chief


Oct. 12, 1931, 11:30 a.m. - Call from Eddie Yopps, Alpine Hotel that his doorman, Frank Colman has not been seen since Friday night. Age about 45 yrs., height 5 foot, 6 inches, weight 140 pounds, light brown hair, blue eyes. Wearing a dark blue suit with pencil stripes, light gray felt hat and black oxford shoes. Found that he went to N.Y.C. Friday night with Christian Sweeney but did not come back with him. (is o'kay) - Officer Duprey

(I have often found in these police reports that people "disappeared" quite frequently and that the police apparently always first checked the train station. There were so many trains in and out, it was easy to go places quickly and get back, if one decided to come back.)


Oct. 13, 1936, 9:30 p.m. - Complaint from Fred Peck that while he was in the Tavern, Pat Dorty stole a pair of shoes from him. Said Pat was staying up at 98 Broadway. Officer Duprey and myself went up to his room, the door of his room was locked and he was so drunk we couldn't wake him up. Told Fred he probably took them by mistake. Peck was pretty drunk and he started in cussing and said the police were 'no good' and also wanted us to break down door to Dorty's room. Brought him down to the station and locked him up for P.I. (public intoxication) - Officer Tyler


Oct. 16, 1936 - 1:15 a.m. Call from 14 Depot St. A man and a woman were raising a rumpus by the Delaware and Hudson Station. Thought the man was going to hit the woman. Investigated and found them to be Peet Moss and one Miss Wilkins. Locked up Moss for P.I. Plead not guilty Case dismissed. - Bernard Brown & Ed Duprey


Oct. 18, 1936, 12:45 p.m. - Call from Troopers. About 15 or 20 minutes ago the bank at Antwerp, was held up. The robbers had a car with License Plate No. 6J76-46. Kind of car unknown.

1:45 p.m. - Another call from Troopers. Above car a black Chevrolet sedan. One man 45 years old, thick set, 5 foot, 8 inches tall, dark complexion. 170 pounds wore glasses, tan suede jacket, black R. R. cap. Carried revolver.

Other man 29 years old. 5-foot, 10-inch tall. 150 pounds. Blue lumber jacket. Blue trousers. Dark complexion. Took gun from bank. A 38 colt automatic. Took $8000 in bills. May be headed this way. - Matt Jones



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