Published in The New York Times, August 7, 1911
FUGITIVE GREEK RUN DOWN
Detective Ditsch Gets Clue in Longshoremen’s Tale of a Swindle.
A message from Lead City, S. D., was received at Police Headquarters yesterday, asking for the arrest of John Papas, a Greek, wanted in Lead City for grand larceny. Papas was known to have bought a ticket for Greece, the message stated, and the number of this ticket was given. He had left Lead City on July 20, and therefore might be expected to be in New York now.
Detective Ditsch, armed only with the meager description of the Greek given in the dispatch, set out to find Papas. He went down into West Street, hoping by accident to strike on his Greek. He had almost given up hope when a couple of longshoremen told him as a good joke how a Greek had been swindled out of $30 and his watch. It was the old pocket-book trick. The Greek had picked it up, and finally had been bullied into buying it from the supposed owner. In it was some cheap jewelry and a Confederate $50 bill.
Ditsch’s interest revived at the story. A Greek with $30 to spend was worth looking over, and, guided by the longshoremen, he finally found the man, still disconsolate over the swindle of which he had been the victim. Into Ditsch’s sympathetic ear he quickly poured the whole tale of his trouble, ending with the extra complaint that the swindle reduced his resources just when he was sailing for home.
He readily showed Ditsch his steamship ticket, and the detective noticed with satisfaction that the number it bore was that contained in the Lead City dispatch. Ditsch immediately invited the Greek to accompany him to Headquarters, and there locked him up as a fugitive from justice.
The Greek refused to tell his name, but his appearance fits the description sent of John Papas, and with the added evidence of the steamship ticket number the police telegraphed Lead City to send on some one to identify the prisoner.
To view a copy of the actual article go to
The New York Times - Archive 1851 - 1980