Wirtz to Hear Fate in Bandit Quiz Today

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Camden Courier-Post – March 19, 1936

Colsey Doubts Cop Will Face Charges; Case to Go to Garnd Jury

Decision on any action to be taken against Stanley Wirtz, suspended Camden detective charged with having furnished the guns and automobile for a holdup, will be made today by Commissioner Mary W. Kobus and Police Chief Arthur Colsey.

Wirtz, with Sergeant Gus Koerner and Detective Clifford Carr, was questioned yesterday, and decision was reserved.

Prosecutor Samuel P. Orlando, however, said he would place the case before the grand jury.

The charge involved the attempted holdup of the Eavenson & Levering Company payroll, in which one of the alleged bandits was captured at the scene last Friday night.

“No charges have been preferred against Wirtz,” Mrs. Kobus announced after the investigation.

“And I don’t believe any charges will be made,” Colsey commented, adding:

“Commissioner Kobus and I are going over the reports and statements of all concerned at 10:00 AM tomorrow and a decision will be made then.”

Suspended Tuesday

Wirtz was suspended Tuesday after County Detective Chief Lawrence T. Doran announced Wirtz had admitted supplying the pistols and car, allegedly used in the abortive attempt to obtain a $800 payroll at the wool-scouring plant.

Wirtz was still under suspension last night, Colsey announced.

William B. Macdonald, court stenographer, recorded the statements made by each man,

Koerner and Carr were “planted” in the office of the company before the holdup and frustrated the attempted crime, capturing Walter Lewandowski, 24, of 924 Atlantic Avenue.

“All three made full statements to us;” Colsey said and then declined to reveal what the statements contained.

Denies Stories Clash

Asked if there was any conflict between the statements made to Doran and those made to Mrs. Kobus and him, Colsey said:

”No, I wouldn’t say so.”

Wirtz appeared briefly before the commissioner and chief at the start of their probe, which was conducted in Mrs. Kobus’ office. He left the room after about two minutes and told reporters, sitting outside:

“I refused to make a statement. I made one yesterday and that is enough.”

Mrs. Kobus, however, said Wirtz did not refuse to make a statement but, instead, asked for a little time to consider his statement.

“He said he had been In court all day and was nervous,” Mrs. Kobus said.

No Charges Made

Asked for a statement at the conclusion of the investigation, Mrs. Kobus said:

“No charges have been preferred against Wirtz. This was not a hearing on any charge. This was an investigation of reports which I read in the newspapers. It is the duty of the police officials to investigate any such report, and Wirtz and the other two detectives who figured in the case were called in to make statements. This was not, a trial and I do not care to make a statement now about what went on.”

The suspension of Wirtz came after an investigation was ordered into a statement made by Lewandowski.

Lewandowski charged that he had been “framed” by Joseph Powell, a police stool pigeon. He named Powell as the one who “planned the holdup and, said Powell then informed Wirtz of the plans.

Rearrest Made

Doran said Wirtz, admitted dealing with Powell and giving Powell two pistols and an automobile for use in the holdup. As a result Powell, who had been arrested and released by city police, was rearrested by the county detectives.

In addition, Leonard “Rags” Rogalski, 20, of 1219 South 10th Street, was arrested by the county detectives. They said Lewandowski told them Rogalski originally was intended to take part in the holdup but got “cold feet,” and backed out at the last moment.

Powell, Lewandowski and Rogalski are held in the county jail.

When informed last night of the statements made by Mrs. Kobus and Colsey, Prosecutor Orlando said:

“I have nothing to do with the discipline of the police department. I will present the full facts of this holdup to the grand jury and, that body may take any action it desires.”

Jury to Get Case

Asked if he would request an indictment against Wirtz, Orlando said:

“I will give the grand jury the full facts. The members will decide for themselves what action to follow.”

Doran was in conference briefly with Mrs. Kobus and Colsey before the three detectives were questioned. He said he gave them statements made by Lewandowski, Powell and Rogalski, and also by Wirtz.

Later Doran returned to Mrs. Kobus’ office with a copy of charge of carrying concealed deadly weapons, preferred in 1930 against Lewandowski in 1930, when Lewandowski was 18.

This charge was no-billed, Doran said.

“He was listed as a mental case,” Doran said, “and was examined by the county physician and pronounced O.K.”


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