Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When Crime was Horrendous In the Baldwyn Community



Mississippi Highway Patrolman Ralph Pennington, Lee County Constable Boyd Haygood, and City Marshal E. A. Surratt display a car trunk containing over 100 hub caps and several mirrors and fender skirts that were stolen by two youths from East of Baldwyn.

They were attempting a 3AM theft in Guntown, but were noticed and stripped the gears from their car transmission while attempting to get away. They ran but later showed back up at the scene in another vehicle and were apprehended and charged with grand larceny.

Did you ever, in your wildest imagination, think that we could wish for that type of crime only in our later years? The cars that those kids stole the parts off might even have had the ignition key left in it. They would never have taken the car, just the hub caps!

Back then, on Saturday nights downtown, kids would find an unlocked car to sit in and smooch - it didn't matter whose - and the owners didn't care. Fact was, the owner might leave the key in it so they could turn on the radio and listen to some music while cuddling....

If your grandchildren read this and ask, please take time to explain to them what "fender skirts" were!

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Photo clipping courtesy of Ellen Mink.

7 comments:

  1. Well, we never thought it would have to come to this (today's crime wave) that is being led by even pre-teen children!
    Take me back to those days and drop me off.

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  2. NOT FROM bALDWYN, BUT KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. BELDEN WAS THE SAME WAY BACK THEN.
    NOBODY HAD ANY FEAR OF ANYTHING BUT CROP FAILURE AND NOT ENOUGH RAIN FOR HAY MAKING.

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  3. Wow, such crime! Seeing Ralph Pennington's photo reminded me of the "great bank robbery" stunt pulled by Ralph and others on Roger Barnett? I think that was who it was directed at. I wonder if anyone could supply the details? I heard it several times over the years and it had slight differences but was hillarious.

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  4. I, too would like to hear the real story of the fake bank robbery, Jim. I have heard the tale of when Roger was a newly commissioned officer of the MHP his buddies told him that he was required to call the Memphis Zoo and report all large animals killed on the road (deer, etc.) and insist that they come and get the carcass for the tigers. When the zookeepers told him they wouldn't he was supposed to really get onto them for their refusal. He did so for a couple of times before he caught on, I heard.
    Just something hilarious to indoctrinate a new worker! Happens to a lot of us, me included....

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  5. Shelaine Pennington WiseOctober 1, 2008 at 9:14 PM

    I don't remember all of the details but Simon Spight was in on the "robbery" and can probably remember it all...I do know that Roger was always begging to ride with Daddy in the patrol car...the fake robbery was set up to scare Roger...after the "shootout" with the robbers and Daddy being hit with a fake bullet Roger fled the scene on foot...can you imagine pulling a stunt like this in todays times?

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  6. I don't know about the case depicted in the picture, but there was a "game" older teenage boys played in those days. I, of course, was too young to participate, but according to an "informed" source, teams would compete to see who could "collect" the most hub caps over a specified period, rendezvous at a designated location, compare their take, then leave them piled up on the side of the road. It was kinda like stealing watermelons, an activity in which I did take a very active part, but at least with them we could eat our lute!

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  7. Seems that there was always a rash of cotton theft in the Fall. Newly picked cotton in wagons waiting to go to the gin would get stolen at night.

    Some owners would sleep buried in the cotton until they were awakened by the thieves and a well placed shotgun blast of squirrel shot would usually prevent another attempt. Then the thieves that were deterred would try to sneak back at some point and burn the cotton.

    It was always wise to protect your cotton constantly until reaching the gin.

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