This column ran in the Oct. 26 edition of the Prairie Post.
You may have heard of the long arm of the law. It indicates the ability of cops to communicate with other law enforcement agencies to apprehend and arrest law breakers.
How about the long arm of the outlaw?
This case comes from the Feb. 4, 1960 edition of the Jamestown Sun.
Walter Walsh, owner of Walsh Liquor store reported the theft of 69 bottles of booze from his store that morning. The crime was committed during the overnight hours.
The thief hadnâ€™t even entered the liquor store. Instead party or parties unknown had broken a window and simply reached in through the window. Within his reach were 69 bottles, ranging in size from half pints to fifths of liquors, whiskey and gin.
The thief evidently wasnâ€™t fussy about what he drank as long as it was kept close to the window.
And evidently the crook was little butterfingered. The article reports a couple of bottles were dropped and broken.
So maybe he had a long arm but a weak grip.
It wasnâ€™t the only crime reported in the article.
At 4:20 that morning a whiskey bottle was thrown against the plate glass window of Olsonâ€™s Jewelry. The window broke, triggering the alarm. The store burglar alarms of 1960 didnâ€™t sound an alarm at police headquarters.
Instead it set off an alarm at the scene which could be heard for a six block radius. During the investigation the police checked the area around Walsh Liquor Store but didnâ€™t see anything amiss so it was assumed the Great Liquor Store Robbery occurred later.
And nothing was taken from Olsonâ€™s Jewelry according to owner Jacob Doerr.
Police were investigating both crimes under the assumption that both were committed by the same man likely under the influence of alcohol.
What I find kind of interesting about this crime story was its location in the Jamestown Sun. This article was in the center of the front page.
Other articles that day included the fundraising efforts of the local Democratic Party. They were preparing for a visit from a Senator from Massachusetts scheduled for the next weekend.
But Kennedy hadnâ€™t even announced his official candidacy for the presidency at that point although I think it was widely assumed he would throw his hat in the ring.
So a story about a thief with an arm long enough to grab 69 bottles of booze through a broken window made the front page.