July 23, 1907: A Belated Tribute to Heroic Officer

Jul 23, 1907, Burglar Captured

Note: This is an encore post from 2006.

July 23, 1907
Los Angeles

John Conroy, a career criminal, planned his work carefully: He would wait until 10 p.m., pry open the skylight of J.C. Fleming’s jewelry store at 531 S. Broadway, climb down a rope and help himself to whatever he wanted.

But Conroy didn’t know that along with putting alarms on the front and back doors, A.D.T. security service, 118 W. 3rd St., had put a sensor on the skylight as well. As soon as the circuit was broken, supervisor J.P. Quinn called police while he sent Herbert Johnson to watch the store.

 

image
The 500 block of South Broadway, via Google Street View.

In panic, Conroy struggled to escape, first by the front door and then by the back, but he couldn’t get either one open. The police arrived and people gathered on Broadway to watch, until the crowd was so large that it blocked the streetcars.

Officer Walter H. Osterloh climbed to the roof and slid down the rope even though witnesses in the crowd said Conroy had two guns.

“Conroy could be seen from the street rushing around in his excitement to escape,” The Times said. “The crowd cheered and then there was silence until Osterloh grabbed his man, who was standing on the north side of the store near the back room.”

Former Police Officer Walter H. Osterloh died in 1935 at the age of 53.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1907, Books and Authors, LAPD, Streetcars, Transportation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.