“Ghost Sniper” Fires on Store in Cramer Hill

Ghost Sniper - AI Stock Photo

Camden Courier-Post – January 26, 1928

Mystery Baffles Police as No Bullet is Found Inside Shop


Camden’s “phantom sniper” has made his appearance in Cramer Hill.

Using the same mysterious method as that employed by the unknown gunner who has shot holes in the windshields of five automobiles and a motorbus in the last few weeks, someone yesterday fired a missile through the plate glass door at a store conducted by Gottlob Mayer, 868 North Twenty-seventh Street.

It was the eighth time since early December that an incident of the same sport had become known and came close on the heels of a baffled investigation by Camden bridge police, one of whom was struck and knocked down by a blue marble apparently fired from a powerful compressed air gun.

Shooting the hole through Mayer’s door also closely followed in time and circumstances, the penetration of the windshield of a Philadelphia-Pennsauken bus by a bullet or other missile.

Although Bridge Policeman John J. Rogers found the blue marble which struck him early yesterday morning, investigators declare that the missile which bore a clean round hole through the heavy glass of the bus and store window must have been a bullet. The possibility that the compressed air gun which is believed to have been used in firing the marble at Rogers, might have been used to fire a steel ball bearing at the bus was one theory advanced yesterday. If this were the case, it was agreed by investigators, the air gun must be one more powerful than any known to police.

No Bullet Found In Store

Mystery in the latest incident that hit Mayer’s store is heightened by the fact that no bullet or other missile was found inside the store, although it was apparent that the shot or whatever it was entered from the outside. Similarly, an inspection of the motorbus which was fired upon on the Camden Bridge Tuesday disclosed no missile. In these two cases at least, authorities investigating the incidents have been faced with the additional problem of attempting to discover the nature of a missile which to all intents and purposes, disappears as though into thin air after striking. In none of the cases has any report as of a gun been heard.

Mayer did not report the incident to police and, although it occurred at 10 o’clock yesterday morning, it did not become known until today. Mayer explained that he had insurance on his plate glass, that he had no enemies and thus did not believe he was the intended target of the mysterious marksman, and that he had thought little of the incident until he read of the activities of the “phantom sniper” on the Camden Bridge.

The Mayer store is at the corner of Hayes Avenue and North Twenty-seventh Street, directly across from a Camden Fire Department station. Candy, newspapers, magazines and tobacco are dispensed at the shop, which also contains an ice cream parlor.

Heard Crash In Store

“I had been out in the store, waiting on six or seven children,” Mayer said today.” It wasn’t two minutes after the children left that this shot was fired. If it had come two minutes before it would have hit one of them because they were standing right near the door.

“When the shot — or whatever it was — was fired I was in the kitchen. I heard a crash and came out into the store. Nobody was in sight. I looked at the windows and then I found the little hole, like a bullet hole, through the glass of the door.”

The firemen at the firehouse across the street had seen or heard nothing. Neither had several persons who were passing and others in buildings nearby. A search of the interior of the store followed. Every inch of wall and floor space was gone over but there was no sign of a bullet or any other missile.

Bridge police, still investigating the activities of the sniper on the span, had no results of their inquiry to make public today. They admitted that more than 24 spent in investigation had brought them no nearer to a solution of the weird mystery than when they began.


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