Four Suspects Nabbed by Cop

This article is from October 1931.  Newspaper unknown.

1931 10 Four Suspects Nabbed by CopFour Suspects Nabbed by Cop

One Picked As Holdup Bandit — 3 in Jail for Investigation

Nabbed as they are alleged to have been attempting to break into a Ridgefield filling station, three New York City men have been committed to jail until their police records can be investigated, and a fourth has been partially identified as a participant in a recent $30 Hackensack store holdup.

The arrest, made early Wednesday morning by Patrolman Paul, of Ridgefield, was disclosed last night when Recorder Harry F. Baker, of that borough, sentenced three of the quartet to 10 days in the Bergen County jail on charges of acting as disorderly persons.

The fourth, who identified himself as Mario Bilello, 20, of 75th street, Ozone Park, Queens, was picked out of a police lineup by a delivery boy employed by the American Stores Co.  Inasmuch as the youth was not certain of the prisoner, the clerk and an assistant will view the suspect today to effect positive identification before Bilello is charged with the robbery.

Police Records Found

The three taken to jail at Hackensack last night gave their identity as Michael Spinelli, 21, of 155 East 110th street; Joseph Guardino, 23, of 147 Elizabeth street, and Charles Bruno, 24, or 238 East 30th street, all Manhattan.

Unable to account for their presence at Quinn’s gasoline station, Broad avenue and Marion place, at 2 o’clock Wednesday morning, the four men were held overnight in Ridgefield cells.  Their photographs, fingerprints, Bertillon measurements and other identification were sent to the New York City police, where it was learned Guardino was arrested in 1928 for robbery, and Bilello was held once before that for grand larceny.

Although partially identified as having participated in the $30 Hackensack robbery October 28 last, the four men have not been definitely connected with other Bergen County holdups committed in the past four months.  None of them is believed to have participated in two recent Palisades Park and Ridgefield offenses of this sort.

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About the Criminals:

Joseph Guardino can be found on the 1920 U.S. census at age 11 living with his Italian immigrant parents, Frank and Jennie, at 143 Broome Street in Manhattan.  He appears to be an only child, but his parents are aged 60 and 46, so there may be older siblings who no longer live in the household.  In 1930, he is found with his mother, now a widow, and a brother Vincent, who is 2 years older than Joseph, and who I am fairly certain was called “Vinnie.”  One has to wonder where his brother was living during the last enumeration.  In 1940, Joseph is married to Gussie and has 4 children – 3 sons and a daughter.  Under occupation, he is listed as a “new worker,” though he is 33 years old and claims to have been living in the same house in 1935.  I was able to locate Vinnie in 1920 at the New York Catholic Protectory, a home for destitute children and juvenile delinquents that was in operation from 1865 until 1938.  It was located in the area now known as the Parkchester housing development in the Bronx.  Apparently, the whole family led a life of crime.

I was unable to locate any positive information on Mario Bilello, Michael Spinelli, or Charles Bruno.

 

Sgt. Gallagher Aids Catch by Clever Work

The drama continues … you can read from the beginning here and here.

1931 08 09 Sgt Gallagher Aids Catch by Clever Work p1 (fake feds)SERGEANT GALLAGHER OF RIDGEFIELD AIDS CATCH BY CLEVER WORK

Revolver Shot Halts Pair As they Attempt to Escape by Window to Roof – Ridgefield Police Lauded

Charged with impersonating Federal officers and with demanding $2,000 from Anthony Monti, manager of Blue Bird Inn, Teaneck Road and Cedar Lane, Teaneck, to halt padlock proceedings against the inn on charges of violation of the dry laws, two men late last night were being held without bail by Sheriff Harold V. Reilly, of Bergen County.

The men had in their possession credentials from Amos W. Woodcock, chief of the Federal Prohibition Bureau, which, county detectives are certain, were stolen.  The men also had other documents from the prohibition office tending to show that they were bona fide agents for the bureau.  The detectives say that these either were forged or stolen, more likely the latter.

The men were caught, according to Sheriff Reilly’s men, shortly after Monti had handed over $300 to them in an upper room in the Half Way House, on Edgewater avenue, between Ridgefield and Ridgefield Park.  The money was found on the men who attempted to escape from the hotel by way of the roof.  A shot from a revolver of one of the detectives halted them.  They offered no further resistance and were taken to the Bergen County jail at Hackensack, where they said they were Rudolph Hayes, alias Rudolph Brunt, and Robert Davis, alias Stewart J. Dunn.  The latter had identification papers from the prohibition bureau made out in his name, the detectives say.  Sheriff Reilly will make a ther [sic] investigation into the records of the two men today.  The Federal authorities have been notified, and men from the prohibition bureau are expected to be in Hackensack today to question them.

For several weeks Sheriff Reilly has been receiving complaints that two men representing themselves as from the prohibition bureau, have been visiting innkeepers and restaurant owners in Bergen County and endeavoring to “shake them down” by threatening to padlock proceedings unless they handed up large sums.

Monti had been warned regarding the two men.  They went to the Blue Bird Inn, which recently was raided by Acting Prosecutor Hobart’s special mopper, Abraham Weinberg, now under indictment, and told Monti that he was threatened with padlocking, but that they could “fix it for $2,000,” according to the detectives.  The men produced their prohibition “credentials.”

“But,” Monti is alleged to have replied. “I can’t raise that much money. Can’t you come down a little?”

According to the story Monti is said to have told the detectives, the men finally agreed to settle for $500.

According to the information received, Monti arranged to meet the men over the money.  In the meantime, Monti telephoned to Sheriff Reilly, who immediately got in touch with Police Chief Hart of Teaneck, and Dawson of Ridgefield.  A plan was arranged.

Sergeant Walter Gallagher, of Ridgefield, did a clever piece of work in locating the room in which the alleged transaction was to take place, and in tracing them down.  As a result of his work, there was no hitch in the move to round them up.  In the police party were Detectives Henry Lustman and Patrolman Masterson of Ridgefield, and Undersheriff Ward.

1931 08 09 Sgt Gallagher Aids Catch by Clever Work p2 (fake feds)When Monti entered the room he is said to have told the men that he could not raise $500, but had succeeded in raising $300 and asked if it would be satisfactory.

The two men are alleged to have said that they were disappointed, but that if $300 was all that Monti could raise they would take that.  The money was passed over.  About the same time there was a knock at the door and a demand to open.  The two pseudo Federal officers attempted to escape by climbing out of a window and onto a roof.  The shot halted them.

It was Sergeant Gallagher, who for a week or more had been on the trail of the men, and worked to get sufficient evidence to cause their arrest.

George Armstrong, owner of the Half Way House, accompanied the two men to the inn.  Armstrong is a former dry agent.  The men were fingerprinted.  A checkup on their records was started last night by the Ridgefield copes, who were commended upon their good work.  It was Masterson who fired the shot halting the attempt to flee from the inn.

 

Fake Feds – More to the Story

I originally wrote about Walter’s role in this story here.  Here’s a little more on that story:

1931 08 09 Fake Federal Agents Nabbed‘Fake’ Federal Agents Nabbed in ‘Shakedown’

Sheriff Reilly’s Men Trap Pair As They Accept Money from Teaneck Inn Manager

DETECTIVE’S GUN HALTS ATTEMPT TO FLEE SCENE

Charged with impersonating Federal officers and with demanding $2,000 from Anthony Monti, manager of Blue Bird Inn, Teaneck road and Cedar lane, Teaneck, to halt padlock proceedings against the inn on charges of violation of the dry laws, two men late last night were being held without bail by Sheriff Harold V. Reilly, of Bergen County.

The men had in their possession credentials from Amos W. Woodcock, chief of the Federal Prohibition Bureau, which, county detectives are certain, were stolen.  The men also had other documents from the prohibition office tending to show that they were bona fide agents for the bureau.  The detectives say that these either were forged or stolen, more likely the latter.

The men were caught, according to Sheriff Reilly’s men, shortly after Monti had handed over $300 to them in an upper room in the Half Way House, on Edgewater avenue, between Ridgefield and Ridgefield Park.  The money was found on the men who attempted to escape from the hotel by way of the roof.  A shot from a revolver of one of the detectives halted them.  They offered no further resistance and were taken to the Bergen County jail at Hackensack, where they said they were Rudolph Hayes, alias Rudolph Brunt, and Robert Davis, alias Stewart J. Dunn.  The latter had identification papers from the prohibition bureau made out in his name, the detectives say.

Sheriff Reilly will make a further investigation into the records of the two men today.  The Federal authorities have been notified, and men from the prohibition bureau are expected to be in Hackensack today to question them.

Ends Three-Week Hunt

For several weeks Sheriff Reilly has been receiving complaints that two men representing themselves as from the prohibition bureau, have been visiting innkeepers and restaurant owners in Bergen County and endeavoring to “shake them down” by threatening padlock proceedings unless they handed up large sums.

Monti had been warned regarding the two men.  They went to the Blue Bird Inn, which recently was raided by Acting Prosecutor Hobart’s special mopper, Abram Weinberg, now under indictment, and told Monti that he was threatened with padlocking, but that they could “fix it for $2,000,” according to the detectives.  The men produced their prohibition “credentials.”

“But,” Monti is alleged to have replied.  “I can’t raise that much money. Can’t you come down a little?”

According to the story Monti is said to have told the detectives, the men finally agreed to settle for $500.

According to the information given out last night, Monti arranged to meet the men at the Half Way House and hand over the money.  In the meantime, Monti telephoned to Sheriff Reilly, who immediately got in touch with Police Chief Hart of Teaneck, and Dawson of Ridgefield.  A plan was arranged.

Sergeant Walter Gallagher, of Ridgefield, did a clever piece of work in locating the room in which the alleged transaction was to take place, and in tracing them down.  As a result of his work, there was no hitch in the move to round them up.  In the police party were Detectives Henry Lustman and Patrolman Masterson of Ridgefield, and Undersheriff Ward.

Accept $300

When Monti entered the room, he is said to have told the men that he could not raise $500, but had succeeded in raising $300, and asked if it would be satisfactory.

The men are alleged to have said that they were disappointed, but that if $300 was all that Monti could raise they would take that.  The money was passed over.  About the same time, there was a knock at the door and a demand to open.  The two pseudo Federal officers attempted to escape by climbing out of a window and onto a roof.  The shot halted them.

It was Sergeant Gallagher, who for a week or more had been on the trail of the men, and worked to get sufficient evidence to cause their arrest.

George Armstrong, owner of the Half Way House, accompanied the two men to the inn.  Armstrong is a former dry agent.  The men were fingerprinted.  A checkup on their records was started last night by the Ridgefield cops, who were commended upon their good work.  It was Masterson who fired the shot, halting the attempt to flee from the inn.

 

Walter and the Extortionists

This article is dated August 9, 1931, but as usual I have no idea what newspaper it is from; I can only assume it is the Ridgefield or Bergen County newspaper.  

1931 08 09 - Walter and the extortionistsAN ALERT POLICE OFFICER

Sergeant Walter Gallagher, of the Ridgefield police department, again exhibited this week some of the alertness which he is becoming noted for in Eastern Bergen County.  His heady work in the capture of two extortionists in Ridgefield this week merits official attention.

Detailed to trap two pseudo Prohibition agents who had demanded $500 from Anthony Monti, Blue Bird Inn manager, Gallagher took two policemen with him, filed with the county clerk the numbers of currency to be used in baiting the men, and arranged, with Monti, to indicate when the money was accepted by a tie-fingering signal.  The signal was to be delivered after Monti emerged from the restaurant where he was to meet the agents, and Gallagher, hidden in a building across the street, planned to swoop down and make the arrests.

Monti, on exiting, gave no signals.  So Gallagher, leaving one man to maintain watch, crept from his hiding place and met the inn-keeper several blocks ahead.  Monti said the men were suspicious and that they would not make themselves visible.  When they wanted a third party to accept the bribe he told them, he said, he had been unable to procure all the money.

Gallagher did not give up.  “Phone them from Teaneck and say you’ll be over with all the money,” he instructed Monti.  Monti did.  He re-entered the restaurant at 4 p. m.

This time, the tie-fingering signal was delivered.  Gallagher and his men scurried in and made the arrests.

The Ridgefield sergeant has distinguished himself at other times, capturing, with Patrolman Henry Lustman last year, a gang trio with which they engaged in gun battle.  Another time, Gallagher singlehandedly made a notable catch.

Alertness of this kind on Gallagher’s part indicates a brilliant career for him in police work.  New Jersey, and Ridgfield in particular, is fortunate to have so keen-witted an officer enforcing its laws.