Beware the long arm of the law. It just might reach out and tickle you.
We’re keeping it light today with a collection of 10 offbeat police reports gleaned from the Beacon Journal in the 20th century.
If you don’t enjoy these, it will be a crime.
Where's my car?
Enoch Jones was indignant. He had parked his car outside the Akron police station in May 1919 to attend a brief meeting at City Hall. When he returned 15 minutes later, the vehicle was gone.
Jones berated a desk sergeant for allowing the auto to be stolen in plain view.
“Can you beat it?” he fumed. “They’ll be getting the police records next.”
Ten minutes later, officers pulled over the car and arrested the driver. The frightened guy behind the wheel begged to talk to Jones on the phone.
“Say, Dad, it’s Jimmy,” the voice said. “They’ve pinched me for stealing your car.”
The youth didn’t think his pop would mind if he went for a ride.
“It’s some police force, believe me,” Jones told the sergeant. “You get real action out of our bluecoats.”
Wearing the pants
Akron police arrested Elmer Frymoyer, 39, on suspicion in 1928 when they noticed his pants pockets were bulging.
Officers conducted a search and found a blanket in one pocket, a dress in another pocket and a lace curtain and long-haired wig in a third pocket.
Frymoyer, who was bald, said he was drunk and didn’t understand how those items got into his pants.
“I can understand your need for a wig,” Akron Municipal Judge Carl Hoyt told the suspect in police court. “But you wouldn’t need a wig with long hair unless you were a musician.”
“It’s a mystery to me, Judge,” Frymoyer replied. “I don’t know how them things got in my pockets.”
Intruder in house
Patrolman Cecil H. Miller was sound asleep in his East Avenue home when he heard a pounding on his front door in 1936.
He found his neighbor Etta Squires and her four kids, Dorothy, 21, Marjory, 17, Jimmy, 10, and Dolly, 7, shivering outside in the cold.
“There are burglars in our house,” Jimmy Squires cried. “We heard them in the kitchen.”
Miller grabbed his revolver and a flashlight and raced to the Squires' kitchen.
Hearing a loud commotion, the officer gingerly opened a cupboard door and found the intruder: a gray mouse.
Ten minutes later, Miller was back asleep in bed.
Don't touch that dial
Akron detectives arrested General Hopkins, 63, after a neighbor complained in 1950 that he was standing outside a North Adams Street apartment building and gazing into a window.
Hopkins vociferously denied being a Peeping Tom. Standing before Akron Municipal Judge A.D. Zook, he testified that he didn't own a television and wanted to watch his favorite program. In fact, he often watched TV that way, and others could vouch for him.
Police believed the story. All charges were dropped.
Trial and error
A Barberton mother ordered her two sons, 15 and 16, to skip school and watch the 1959 trial of a habitual criminal in Summit County Common Pleas Court. She wanted the boys to learn that crime didn’t pay.
During the trial, a spectator realized that a wallet containing $7 was missing from her purse. Assistant Prosecutor George Pappas recalled seeing the boys near the victim and detained them until police arrived.
The wallet was recovered.
“I can’t handle this case yet, but if you keep on the way you’re going, I will be able to later,” Judge John Kelly scolded the lads before they were escorted to the detention home.
Don't mind me
A polite gunman tried to hold up P & J Wine House at 335 E. South St. in 1961, but didn’t have much luck. The clerk, Hazel B. Luchkiw, refused to turn over any cash.
The bandit, who wore a felt hat, pegged trousers and black trench coat, tried repeatedly to take money from a register, but couldn’t figure out how to open it.
Before exiting the store empty-handed, he shrugged and told the clerk: “Thanks.”
When it rains
Akron resident Ruth Kelly, 42, was walking to work in 1968 at Arlington and Exchange streets when she noticed a car following her in the rain.
Two teen boys were inside. One jumped out and grabbed her purse.
Kelly lowered her umbrella and began clubbing the robber over the head until he gave up. He jumped back in the car and she picked up the purse.
Nary a peep
Akron police were called to Glover Elementary in 1970 after a neighbor spotted a faint light in the school about 11:30 p.m.
Three cruisers arrived at the scene. Police entered the building and left chuckling.
The light was from an incubator in William Cline’s sixth-grade classroom. It was keeping eggs warm so chicks would hatch.
The cops had no trouble cracking the case.
An unfamiliar customer approached Akron barmaid Jean Leyman at the Elbow Inn at 6 E. Exchange St. in 1975.
“Give me a piece of paper and a pen, sweetheart,” the customer said.
After she lent the materials, he scribbled a note: “Give me some money or I’ll kill you.”
The robber escaped with $76 but police busted him five minutes later on South High Street.
Good luck posting bail, sweetheart.
Buzz J. Cohen of Lodi heard a knock on his door in 1980 at the Cascade Holiday Inn in downtown Akron.
Two gunmen pushed their way into the room, robbed Cohen of more than $750 in cash and jewelry and then gagged him and tied him up in the bathtub before fleeing.
Two hours later, Cohen managed to wriggle out of the tub and get to the telephone in his room. He tried to call the front desk about 15 times before finally loosening the gag enough to speak.
“I thought someone was just making prank calls because at first all we could hear was breathing,” night manager Bryan Kephart explained. “After the first few calls, we just started hanging up because we get a lot of prank calls on this shift.”
Mark J. Price can be reached at 330-996-3850 or email@example.com.