Pages from the Past: Police follow trail in snow to capture man stealing from cars in Catonsville in 1961

Pages from the Past

November 30, 2011

An article in the Nov. 30, 1961 edition of the Herald Argus and Baltimore Countian reported that a thief left a trail that led to his arrest.

Footprints in last week's snow led police six blocks to a 44-year-old man who was apprehended for the theft of articles motorists complained had been removed from their cars. The man, who gave a Baltimore address, was identified as F.A. Fry and was charged with being a rogue and vagabond. Magistrate Donald D. Scholosser of the local police court sentenced him to one year in the Maryland House of Correction for the thefts from autos.


A little boy playing near his home on Thanksgiving Day found a loaded revolver containing two live cartridges discarded in the gutter at No. 16 Fusting avenue. The boy, Charles King of 104 Egges Lane, carried it into the house to show it to his father, who promptly called police.


Fifteen traffic accidents took place in the Catonsville area during the Thanksgiving holidays, resulting in injuries to eight persons. A deer was struck in one of the accidents.


The Greater Catonsville Junior Chamber of Commerce has just published a new map of Catonsville which is available to the public in some 60 local shops and stores which financed the project with ads appearing around the border and on the back of the map.

Printed in blue and black on white, the map covers the territory from the city line westward to Patapsco State Park and from Catonsville Manor southward to the 13th District line. It contains the newest streets.

On the reverse side is an index of streets, churches and schools and their locations; a picture of the Frigate Constellation, the Navy's oldest ship, and the Jaycee Creed.

75 Years Ago

An article in the Nov. 27, 1936 edition of The Catonsville Herald and Baltimore Countian reported on a disturbing trend of fires being set in Catonsville residences.

Returning to her home at 1102 Magruder Avenue on Monday after having been away all day, Mrs. Herbert J. Thurn found the house filled with smoke and upon investigation found the cause of the smoke on the cellar floor. Two pieces of wood and a rag saturated with turpentine were lying on the floor smoldering, causing smoke that filled the residence. Mrs. Thurn extinguished the blaze with buckets of water.

Reporting the incident to the police, the affair was placed under investigation by Lieutenant Poehlman and members of the Catonsville force. The police are convinced that the fire at the Thurn home was of incendiary origin, all evidence pointing to a clear case of attempted arson. No reasons for the attempt to burn the house have been divulged and the local police are working on the case.

The attempt to set fire to the Thurn home is the second case of attempted arson in Catonsville this fall. On the evening of October 23 police discovered evidence that an attempt had been made to set fire to the home of John Taylor, 9 Forest Drive. Police found shingles saturated with oil and a lantern had been taken from a piece of road material on Sanford Avenue. Police say oil from this lantern was thrown on the shingles at the Taylor home.


A pack of marauding dogs invaded the hog yards of the Laurel Lumber Co., at Hebbville, on Thursday night, killing several shoats and one large hog weighing about 200 pounds. One of the dogs was shot by Homer Weidemeyer and Clifton Poole.

The owner's attention was attracted by unusual noise among the hogs.


Seeing two men stealing corn from her cornfield on Monday night, Mrs. Truman C.S. Ritter, of Hebbville, took down her trusty shotgun and fired both barrels at the pilferers, who fled before the storm of buckshot.

In reporting the incident to the police, Mrs. Ritter told Sergeant Jesse Moore of the Catonsville police that she had been missing corn for some time and had been on the lookout for the thieves. At about nine o'clock Monday night, Mrs. Ritter said, she saw a man and a boy in the cornfield, took her gun and crept through the field, using the corn shocks as shields, until she saw them putting ears of corn into a bag.

She then pulled the triggers and the thieves made a fast get-away, so fast that Mrs. Ritter did not know whether she had hit the mark or not.

100 Years Ago

An article in the Dec. 2, 1911 edition of The Argus noted the painful consequences for an infant after coming upon a caustic chemical left unattended on the kitchen floor.

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