Smokehouse robbed

Published 5:44 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Looking Back

Clyde Parker

Smokehouse robbed

April 11, 1919

Following a well-defined trail, the bloodhounds of Hurricane Branch Jr. of Norfolk’s detective force were instrumental in the arrest of Arnold Carr, son of Burwell Carr, by Chief C.A. Bell early Monday morning. The bloodhounds were brought up from Norfolk at the instance of Elvin H. Whitley, of Isle of Wight County, whose smokehouse was entered into Saturday night, and looted of a considerable portion of its contents. The trail was picked up and followed with unusual consistency by the dogs. They did not halt until they had tracked the scent to Arnold Carr’s house on First Avenue, near Mayor Joe Bynum Gay’s office. The arrest was not made until Monday morning, although the dogs finished their work Sunday night.

After investigating Carr and locking him up, Chief Bell was informed that another man was implicated in the crime. It developed that Joe Kee had hidden the meat for Carr under the feed houses of Ed Parham, and upon investigation, the meat, five pieces valued at $30, was found in the spot indicated. Kee declared that Carr had brought the meat to him Sunday morning at seven o’clock or a little earlier, and asked him to keep the meat for him, admitting that he had stolen the meat from Mr. Whitley. Kee was accordingly taken into custody, but was bailed in the sum of $350 for his appearance July 1 for trial before Mayor Gay on the charge of receiving stolen goods. Carr was taken to Carrsville Wednesday for a preliminary hearing before Magistrate Duke, of Isle of Wight County; he pleaded guilty and was sent on to the Grand Jury.

In the Mayor’s court Monday morning, Jesse Branch was fined $2.50 and costs, the whole amounting to $8.50, for running into Henry Smith with an automobile, and knocking him down and otherwise doing damage to his person. Several unfortunate crap-shooters were hauled before Mayor Gay and made to feel the cruel hand of the law.

Automobile thieves active in Franklin

On last Friday night, a Model T Ford car owned by E.S. Winbrow was stolen from the garage of Junius T. Duck on lower Fourth Avenue by an unknown party. The car was tracked by Chief C.A. Bell and Constable I.E. Howell as far as Suffolk where the trail was lost.

On Sunday night, a Cadillac touring car belonging to Army Lieutenant Vaughan Camp was stolen from the home-garage of his father, Robert J. Camp, whose property is located at the foot of Clay Street and the upper-end of Fourth Avenue.

Hearing of this theft, Chief Bell called the Suffolk police in regard to the Ford AND the Cadillac. He was told by Sergeant James Waller that a Cadillac and an unfamiliar Ford had been seen at the village of Magnolia, in Nansemond County on the Norfolk-Portsmouth roadway, just a few miles east of the Town of Suffolk.

Hearing this news, Chief Bell asked Suffolk Chief of Police Percy Powell and Nansemond County Sheriff James Wagner to go to Magnolia and investigate the matter. In about an hour, Chief Powell called Chief Bell to inform him that Lieutenant Camp’s car IS at Magnolia and he thought that the Ford there was the one stolen from Mr. Wimbrow and for which a reward of $25 was offered.

Chief Bell went to Magnolia forthwith and found both cars in the yard of B.F. Culpepper, a farmer of that community. Culpepper was holding the cars demanding the rewards and, although he had gone to Norfolk, he had left word to not let anyone have the automobiles until his return. When Chief Bell arrived on the scene, he paid Culpepper the $25 offered by Mr. Winbrow, but Chief Bell, tired and unwilling to wait, demanded the Cadillac and advised Culpepper to take up with Lieutenant Camp the matter of any reward. The farmer deemed the advice worthy of consideration. Both cars were then brought back to Franklin without further delay.

At first glance, it was unclear and somewhat puzzling as to how Mr. Culpepper came to be in possession of the two motor cars in the first place. When questioned about that, the two chiefs found that the vehicles were abandoned at Culpepper’s property. So far, investigation has not led to the identity of the person or persons responsible for the thefts.

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is