A band of gypsies hit town Wednesday morning, gathered in a considerable amount of money from several victims and came very near getting away before they were apprehended.
The party drove into town form Algonquin about 10 o'clock. Immediately the women with the outfit scattered over town, going from business house to business house, working he usual fortune telling game. About 11:30 rumors began to get around that various business men and citizens had their pockets picked by the aforesaid Roman beauties.
Marshal Purvey hunted up three of the women and held them. In the meantime Charles Tegtmeier reported that his register had been robbed of $15. After counting his cash again - Mr. Tegtmeier was a bit excited - he discovered that $21.75 had mysteriously disappeared white the gypsy women were in his place.
Wm. Kniebush reported the loss of a five-dollar bill and F.J. Weber reported that he had been touched for $1.25. Mr. Weber, however, discovered his loss before thee ladies left him, and threatening a pair of them with violence, secured his money before they left.
Mayor Goodwin and Marshal Purvey questioned the three women who seemed to have been the most active, and after much wrangling and noisy chatter they sent for one of the men in the tribe, and he paid over the money taken from Mr. Tegtmeier and Mr. Kniebush. The gang was then ordered out of town and left immediately.
It is reported that the same outfit operated in Algonquin earlier in the forenoon, where they secured $20 from A.E. Dahn, who, however, recovered his money before the gang left.
In pilfering Mr. Tegtmeier's cash register one of the women occupied his attention with her chatter while the other rifled the cash drawer.
One of the women begged a nickel from Wm. Kniebush at the Public Service company power house. He took out his pocketbook to give it to her, and after she had gone discovered that a five-dollar bill was also missing. How she got the bill from his purse without him detecting her in the act, Mr. Kniebush does not know.
Frank Weber was at home in his flat in the Dehmlow building when one of the gypsies appeared. Knowing their propensities, Mr. Weber put his hand in his pocket and held tight to his loose change while she was there. Despite this he was a dollar and a quarter shy when she departed. Frank says he does not know yet how she got the money out of his pocket while his hand was still in it, but five quarters had disappeared in some manner.
Whether anyone else was touched has not been learned. If there were others they have kept quiet about it.
H.J. ("Dad") Bauer runs a garage, and consequently he always has money about him. But running a garage teachers one to become foxy - to get the money and hang onto it. "Dad" had $70 or so in his vest pocket. Incidentally, if the writer ever got that much money in his vest pocket at one time he'd hire Marshal Purvey and Nightwatchman Ehlert as bodyguards; but then the writer does not run a garage. Anyway, and as aforesaid, "Dad" had $70 in his vest pocket when the gypsy beauties went into his place. They edged up to him and began fingering around "Dad's" vest, just as though they smelled the money. "Dad" grabbed the roll, and, holding it high above the gypsy damsels' heads, ordered them in stern language to "beat it." This they did, but first each of them with scorn threw a penny which "Dad" had given them on the floor and then left, heaping vile imprecation upon "Dad," who immediately sat down and resumed the work he had been doing when interrupted - figuring out lucrative repair bills, gasoline statements and tire invoices.
Pilfering Gypsies Caught
Crystal Lake Herald, May 16, 1918