Following the Trail of Cat Burglars

burglar8Following the path of area burglars in Akron Daily Democrat articles during the summer of 1902. Do they catch them or do they escape into the darkness?


Scaring Cuyahoga Falls Folks

Burglars have been exceedingly active in Cuyahoga Falls during the last few nights, and the residents of that village begin to believe that they are in for another siege by the light fingered gentry similar to the one of a year ago.

The residences of Charles Shuler and Charles Keeny were entered Tuesday night, and valuables aggregating two silver watches, one gold watch and a gold bracelet were taken.

Wednesday night the marauders made another visit, this time at the residence of C.M. [Cornelius] Walsh, on South Main St. Doors had been left unlocked, so that an entrance was gained very easily, and then the burglars ransacked the house, securing a gold watch and a purse containing $10 in money and stamps, and some valuable papers.

The officers at the Falls have now taken an especial “brace” and will watch with increased vigilance during the next few nights. The robberies have been reported to the Akron Police and a description of the property sent to the outside towns.

Akron Daily Democrat – July 10, 1902




Were Busy in East Akron Friday Night

Burglars invaded East Akron, Friday night, and tried to do considerable business, though they were successful to the extent of only $10. This was obtained from a trunk, which was stolen from the home of Mr. John Wilson, 205 Kent St., sometime during the night. The trunk contained property valued at $50, including the $10 in money, and was found Saturday morning, in some bushes near the house, and all the property, with the exception of the money, was still intact.

The marauders also attempted to get into the residence of Robert Force, on Roswell St., but they were frightened away.

Akron Daily Democrat – July 12, 1902



Burglars Dined First

East Akron was visited Saturday night by a gang of burglars who first ate enough food to last them through the rest of the week.

The hungry burglars first broke into the residence of Attorney L. D. Seward on Irvin Court, and while they were there they evidently filled a long felt want, for there was a dearth of provisions when the family awoke Sunday morning.

Nothing else was missed. Entrance to the house was obtained through a window, the screen of which was cut for the purpose. Having refreshed the inner man, the burglars went to the residence of Mr. George Wilcox, next door, and when they left they took $3.25 with them. The residences of Messrs. Albert Ruckel and Byron Barder, near there, and were also visited, but the burglars were unable to get in at either place.

Akron Daily Democrat – July 14, 1902




Believed That a Gang is Operating in Akron

The police are becoming more and more convinced that there is an organized gang of thieves and burglars operating in the city at the present time, and their attention becomes closer day after day because of the fact that there are new cases reported almost every morning.

For several evenings past there have been suspicious characters reported as hanging around that part of extreme East Akron known as the White Grocery, and Monday night there were operations which revealed the motive of the lingerers. The houses of Fred Rhodes, Milton Welrick, and Marion Spade were entered. At the first place property and money to the value of $26 was taken; at Welrick’ $15 covers the loss, and at Spade’s nothing is missing. In each case the marauders entered the houses through windows.

Charles Norris’ house, 307 Hazel St., was also entered, and a pair of pantaloons containing $1.50 in cash was stolen from Norris’ bedroom.

Max Adler, who conducts a pool room on South Main St., reported to the police Tuesday morning that some one had entered his place during the night through a cellar window and made away with cigars and gum valued at about $5.

Akron Daily Democrat – July 15, 1902




Entered In Akron by Burglars Tuesday Night

The Burglars’ convention, which continues to hold sessions in or about Akron is a busy body, and every night new evidences of their activity are left for the edification of the police and public on the following day. The burglars got busy on North Hill Tuesday night, and entered seven houses before desisting for the night.

The goods obtained did not amount to more than $25. W. E. Fouse, 111 Butler Ave.; E. C. Beyerle, 119 Butler Ave.; Mrs. C. A. McDonough, 123 ½ Dayton St.; Abraham Garman, 115 Dayton St.; Patrick Sullivan, 111 Dayton St.; and Harry Hogarth, on Dayton St., were the entertainers, though they knew nothing about it until the next morning, with the exception of Mr. Sullivan, who was awakened by hearing a man  in his room shortly after midnight. He arose and saw a man run out of the room. He started after him, but collided with the center table and fell with the table and a loud crash.

By the time he had extricated himself the burglar had fled.

At Fouse’s a gold watch was taken; at Beyerle’s a shirt stud is missing, and at Hogarth’s the burglars indulged in a light lunch of milk and pie.

An attempt was also made to enter the residence of Officer S. M. Taylor, 117 Butler Ave., but Officer Taylor was too strongly fortified and though there are plenty of marks where attempts were made to pry open doors and windows, the burglars left without getting in.

These matters were not reported until several hours later, and the officers were unable to find any trace. They discovered, however, that visits to two houses in the vicinity were made the night before. Mrs. McGuckin, who was sitting up with a sick son, heard a man walking in the house after midnight. She soon found him and grappled with him, but he got away.

The Flanagan residence, also in this vicinity, was broken into the same night, but nothing was taken. These visits, also, were not reported to the police until this morning.

Thinking that perhaps the burglars might be encamped at the Gorge among the rocks of the Cuyahoga river bank, Officers Duffy and King were sent toward the Falls Wednesday morning. They climbed up and down the banks but did not find a man, although they discovered a place where men had been encamped within a short time. Charred pieces of wood marked the place of a camp fire and the top rocks of a big cave were smoke blackened to an extent that showed the place was used for some time.

Akron Daily Democrat – July 16, 1902



Five Houses Were Visited Wednesday Night.

The National convention of burglars which seems to be in session here continues merrily to do business, and five more robberies or attempts at robbery were reported to the police Thursday morning. The operations last night were confined to the extreme northern part of the city, and all the houses visited were on Cuyahoga Street or its extension.

At the home of W. H. Limrick, 368 Cuyahoga St., an unsuccessful attempt was made to pry open a cellar window.

At the residence of Casper Seitzer, 369 Cuyahoga St., a window screen was tampered with in the night, but nothing was taken.

William Haverly, who lives outside the city, heard some one trying to open the shutters of one of the windows of his house. He stood inside the house and tried to shoot the burglar. He snapped his revolver five times, he says, but it failed to shoot. Then he swore, and the marauder heard him and took to his heels.

At the home of Andrew Bickler, also outside the city limits, the visitor got into the kitchen and devoured two jars of canned fruit. As they left they were seen by Mrs. Bickler, who was awakened at 3 a. m. by the noise they made.

At the home of George Reichert, outside the city, an attempt was made to pry the window screens from a side window. Mrs. Reichert was awakened and saw a hand at work at the screen. She screamed and the hand and its owner disappeared. No other jobs were reported to the police, who are now thoroughly aroused and determined that the burglars must stop.

Akron Daily Democrat – July 17, 1902




Believed Those Notorious Burglars Will be Landed by Saturday

It is believed that the burglars who have been operating in the outskirt and suburbs of the city for the past week will be landed in jail within the next 24 hours.

Officers now feel certain that they know who the two men are who have been doing the work, and furthermore, that they have them rounded up in the swamp near Botzum. Lieutenant Alva Greenlese and County Detective James Burlison have traced the men to the swamp, and as the result of a conference between the city and county officers held Friday, more officers will be sent to Botzum to help bring out the robbers, if they are in the swamp. It is believed they will surrender, without much resistance.

Last night the burglars operated at Old Portage, entering two houses. In the residence of Geo. Botzum they secured $2.25 belonging to him and $3.20 belonging to his son. They are several boarders at the Botzum residence and their clothes taken out of the house by the robbers and searched. After the search, the clothes were piled up in the yard.

In rummaging through Mr. Botzum’s house, the robbers missed $357, which was in a pocketbook lying on a mantel. The money had just been collected the day before by Mr. Botzum.

Earlier in the night, it is believed the robbers entered the house of Henry Krohmer, near the Botzum residence, but were frightened away. Mr. Krohmer got up and followed them a short distance with a shotgun. They disappeared in the darkness.

An attempt was made to enter the residence of Mr. Kauffman.

From what residents in the neighborhood told the officers, the latter concluded that the robbers went to the swamp near Botzum, and later traces were found which seem to verify the conclusion.

Akron Daily Democrat – July 18, 1902




Two Burglars Successful in Their Daring Depredations.

Akron, O., July 19 – Two burglars, who for three nights have terrorized the North End [Cuyahoga Falls], are successfully eluding the officers who have trailed them through the gorges and caves of the Cuyahoga River glens and into a swamp near Botzum Station, which is now being watched night and day. Nearly 25 houses in the northern part of the Falls have been visited by the burglars and several times the men have been seen and twice they have been shot at.

Thursday night they secured about $40 at the home of George Botzum at Old Portage, but overlooked a wallet containing $357 at the home of Henry Krohmer. They were fired upon with a shotgun and answered the shots as they fled. Krohmer followed them to the swamp.

The Pittsburg Press–  July 19, 1902




Local Police Think Burglars Are Gone

The local police have given up the chase for the burglars who, they suppose, went northward from here down the Cuyahoga valley after doing a great deal of damage in Akron. The police believe that they were able to get to trains and that they have left the vicinity. One attempt was made to enter a house in Cuyahoga Falls, last night, and some of the officials are of the opinion that the attempt was made by the same persons who did the work at Akron and Old Portage. The house was that of John Gasser, and the burglars were frightened away before they got inside the house.

Akron Daily Democrat – July 19, 1902