In Police Dragnet

Philadelphia Inquirer – May 14, 1899

Successful Raid on an Alleged Pool Room in Camden

Seven Men Captured

Keefer, Who Says He Spent His Employers’ Money in the Place, Identifies the Prisoners

The Camden police yesterday raided the alleged poolroom at 25 South Third street, where Walter H. Keefer, former manager of the Merchantville Light and Power Company, claims he lost $254, belonging to his employers. Seven-men were captured in the raid, including W. Harry Getty and Charles Metz, who were committed in default of $1500 bail each as principals. The others were James Boone, of Fourth and Benson streets; George Armstrong, Charles Loriaux, George Smith and Victor Thompson. Each furnished $300 bail except Thompson, who was unable to get surety up to a late hour.

The police for months past have been trying to get evidence against this alleged poolroom. The place was so closely guarded that the officers could not get direct evidence that the law was being violated.

The details of the raid and the successful manner in which it was carried out were made known at the hearing before Recorder Nowrey last evening. The defendants were represented by Lawyer John J. Crandall. Mayor Hatch, City Counsel Bleakly and Councilman Silvers, ofthe Third ward, were interested spectators. Before the prisoners were brought in Deputy Sheriff Hartshorn appeared with Walter H. Keefer, who was brought over from the county jail to identify the Proprietors and employes of the alleged Poolroom. The prisoners scowled at Keefer as they were brought into the hearing room.

City Detective Hart was the first witness, He said he swore out the warrant for the raid from information obtained from Keefer.

Keefer, the star witness, was next called. He pointed out Metz as the man who operated the “ticker,” collected the bets and paid the winnings. Keefer said he had played the races there on Monday last and on several other occasions. He stated that W. Harry Getty guarded the door and scrutinized every one who applied for admission.

Police Captain Boyle testified that he made the raid, assisted by City Detective Hart and Officers Painter, Shaw, Robert Miller and George Anderson. When they knocked Getty opened the front door just enough to peer out at them. A chair prevented the door from being opened wide. The warrant was read, but Getty refused to admit them. They then broke the chair and forced an entrance. Rushing up stairs they found the door to the third story back room barred. They forced the door and found themselves in what appeared to be a furnished bedroom. Wires ran through a rear window, but there was no telegraph instrument or other evidence of a poolroom.

The men in the room were placed under arrest and a search was instituted for evidence. They found a man hiding
in a closet and took him into custody. A locked box was found on the mantelpiece in the front room. Mrs. Getty
claimed that it contained her jewelry. The officers finally found a key that opened the lock. The “jewelry” consisted of the missing telegraph “ticker.” Several books and papers containing information about the New Orleans races and betting were seized.

Policeman Shaw said that Loriaux told him the wires were cut and the ticker carried over inte the front room while the Police were coming up the stairs, Officers Painter and Anderson gave corroborative testimony.

Charles Lorigux swore that he, had been in the place only eight minutes when the police steeped down on it. He admitted telling Officer Shaw that the ticker was hustled out of the room when they heard the polite trying to get in.

George Armstrong admitted having been in the pool room before.

“What did you go there for?” asked Recorder Nowrey.

“Do you wish me to incriminate myself?” asked Armstrong, after hesitating some time,

The Recorder did not press the question.

James Boone, who said he had resided at Fourth and Benson streets for the past twelve years, claimed that he went to the alleged poo! room to hear the result of a handicap rece at Lexington. He admitted being there before to get similar news.

George Smith swore that he went there to hear the results of horse races. He admitted that he had bought pools there before.

For several terms of court there has been an indictment hanging over Getty’s head on a charge of conducting a pool room at Seventeenth and Federal streets with George W. Sterling, but for some reason it has never been moved. Chief of Police Foster stated last evening that one of the reasons for the dismissal of Police Captain H. Frank Pettitt was that Getty’s place on South Third street wae in his district an failed to suppress it or secure evidence on which a raid could be made.

That there is war to the death between the police and the policy dealers was shown yesterday by a bold retaliatory move of Washington Ketline, who brought guit for damages against Policemen Henry Miller and Isaac Brown. The officers furnished $1500 bail each. Ketline was arrested by the officers a few days ago on the charge of engaging in policy selling.

Ketline placed some pieces of paper in his mouth that the officers supposed were policy slips. Because he refused to open his mount, Ketline says, the policemen used him roughly. Ketline has already served a sentence for policy writing.

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