100 Years Ago in Warren: Bungling burglars
Taken from the pages of the Warren and Barrington Gazette this week in September 1912:
It seems almost like a joke. The joke however will be on the other fellow if he is caught. Somebody tried to get into the building of the Industrial Trust Co. at 11.55 Tuesday night. That he or they succeeded is evidenced by the fact that the cellar window on the SOuth side is broken out, nothing but the outside sash and fragments of glass remaining of it. Mrs. H.K. DeWolf was awake at the time and heard the noise very distinctly. Dr. F. P. Drowne and Frank Bliss stood in front of the Hope Drug Co.'s store when they were attracted by the noise of blows and breaking glass. They rushed across the street thinking that it came from the store of C.H. Sparks. Finding his windows intact they started to investigate further, but decided first to call the police. Officer Cronin was found and came on the jump being there inside of three minutes. It was as black as pitch between the buildings, but the electric search light of the officer discovered that the attempt was made upon the bank. Officer Bergeron also appeared on the scene and so did C. H. Sparks, who had been notified It was not long before Mr. Cady manager of the bank arrived. A vigorous search had been kept up all the while for the miscreants, but there was no trace of them to be found. It was the daylight that revealed fully the nature of the job. The southeast corner of the structure looks like a slaughter house or a shambles. The first attempt was made, probably, at the basement window on the east side of the Trust Co's building. Here the man cut his hand or hands and they bled freely. Finding an iron grating at this point they abandoned it, and went to the south side. Breaking through the sash, they entered the basement and found an axe, with this they completed the task of demolishing the sash of the window. Then with the blow streaming over brick-work, wood work and casements, they broke out two lights of glass in the window above the cellar window. It was at this time, evidently, that they were scared away, and left behind them no trace save some excellent thumb impressions on the glass. A strange thing about this. The home of Dr. F. Drowne has some of its sleeping rooms quite near this corner of the Trust Co., although the Doctor's house faces on Child street. Shortly after 9 o'clock that evening his two children were awakened by the noise of breaking glass. They called their mother, informed her and so impressed her with the story that hse searched about looking for trouble. What the burglars hoped to get passeth all understanding that they had a notion that they could get to the vault, seems preposterous. Policemen Cronin and Bergeron made a thorough search of the place and scoured the town, but to no avail. The next morning it was discovered that the bold, bad men had broken into the rooms of the Swiss Textile Co. and borrowing some cloth and water washed off the blood and dirt. They then made off, where is yet to be revealed. Of all the ludicrous jobs ever pulled off in town this is the limit. It looks like the work of some of the dime novel readers of the town, who are seeking to imitate some Dare Devil Bill or Texas Whirlwind Charlie. It was a great fiasco.
John Balinski of West Warren captured in the Quabong river, a mile below Willimantic, a giant eel with a dog collar on its neck. the eel was forty-seven inches long, as large around the body as the wrist of an ordinary sized man and weighed 13 pounds. Balinski killed the eel in low water, it evidently having been caught in the pool where it was captured when the tide went out. The collar, of the sort worn by a small dog, was securely locked about its neck and so tight as to cause the skin to bulge out around the edge. The initiatls "W. R. C." and the name "Prince" were engraved on a silver name plate. The eel's back was badly scarred, showing where it had been speared on various occasions. Four fish hooks with lines attached were found in the monster's mouth. "It was almost impossible for me to hold the eel after I grabved it," said Balinski. "For it would twist and squirm abouit in my hands with ease. I finally got it betwen two stones and drawing my knife cut its throat. About the only thing it is good for is to chop it up and feed it to the chickens. The collar I will keep as a souvenir."
About 11.30 Tuesday morning the horse belonging to P. H. Nadeau and hitched to his bakery wagon was elft standing in front of the Garceau home on Market street. A rope and hitching weight were attached to the animal. But he became frightened, and thereupon made a mad dash up the street. At the corner of Main, the animal cast a shoe by getting caught in the track. He swerved down Miller street and again struck the track. This time the wheels of the wagon were caught and regardless of consequences, the cart rolled over and over, landing on its side. Scarcely any damage was done, strange to say, the contents of the wagon; bread,doughnuts and pies kept their place with small exception. One spoke of a rear wheel was broken; the top was smashed a little; and that's about all. The driver came running up, he was delivering goods at the start; the crowd turned the wagon over onto its wheels; the horse was secured;and e're long the outfit went on its way.