50 Years Ago: Robberies plague Harford; two arrested in Joppa incident

As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, January 17, 1963:

A rash of robberies plagued Harford County this week in 1963. Two New Jersey men were arrested after a holdup at the Magnolia Esso Station on Route 40. The attendant promptly notified State Police of the crime and less than an hour after the robbery was committed the two were apprehended on Route 1 in Bel Air. Two other robbery victims were the Miller Appliance Store on Main Street and the American Legion Post on Bond Street. The thief took three portable television sets and a portable record player from Miller's Store. Value of the merchandise was estimated at $750. At the American Legion, the burglar went directly to the cash register and stole $186 in cash.

In the same week, 78 cartons of cigarettes and a check writing machine were stolen from Street's Amoco Station at Ady and Emory Church roads. The same evening, Lineberry's Community Grocery Store on Route 1 and Gibson Road was broken into and cigarettes, bubble gum and shirts were stolen. The week ended with a robbery at Joe, The Motorist's Friend store on Bel Air Avenue in Aberdeen, where approximately $300 in cash was taken.

A local savings bond "pyramid club" was in the news this week. A person could invest in the club by buying two $25 bonds, one of them would go to the seller and the other one would go to the name at the top of a purchased list. As soon as the purchaser would sell two more persons the letter with the list of names, he gets his initial investment back. The letter itself claimed that the purchaser, within a few weeks, could receive a total of $38,000 in savings bonds that would be worth $51,000 in seven years from the date of issue. Local attorneys questioned the legality of the club because the purchasers were warned not to send lists through the U.S. mail.

Gov. Tawes introduced legislation in the General Assembly which would close the Bel Air race track. Under the new bill the 36 race days allotted to the Bel Air track would be divided equally among Pimlico, Bowie and Laurel. Another measure brought before the General Assembly by Delegate Hess would require an annual inspection of motor vehicles at private garages and filling stations under the supervision of the superintendent of the State Police. Gov. Tawes wanted to see those inspections take place at state owned and operated stations.

While cleaning her house, Mrs. Milton Creswell of Bel Air found an April 16, 1853 edition of the Baltimore Weekly Sun. The contents of the paper had a good deal of general reading material. There was a brief notice of the marriage of a Rouse, who was an ancestor in the Rouse family once prominent in Harford County. The value of stock cattle ranged from $2.25 to $4.75 per 100 pounds and fresh cows were priced at $15 to $38 each. There was also a lengthy article on the B&O Railroad's profitable operations over a six-month period.

In an ad entitled "Snow Shoveling Practices," because of the great increase of back injuries coming in to chiropractors' office because of improperly shoveling snow, The Maryland Chiropractic Association issued hints to remove snow. 1. Never try to do the entire job in one prolonged effort. 2. Do not pick up more snow on the shovel than it is designed to hold. 3. In lifting the shovel bend the knees, lift with the large muscles of the legs and not with the back. 4. Do not tax the spine any more than you overtax the heart; both are essential to good health.

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