Indianapolis Police Corral Potential Pickpockets - 1909

This is an interesting article focusing on the threat of pickpockets at the first automobile race meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, August 19, 20, and 22 (no racing on the Sabbath!), 1909. It was originally published in the August 18, 1909, Indianapolis News - the eve of the races at the track. Practice was going on and a week earlier the Speedway had wrapped up their disastrous first motorized competition event, the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) motorcycle meet.  
The article is written in a delightful, tongue-in-cheek style but also provides a periscope into the ways of another age. The Indianapolis police, apparently concerned that out-of-town visitors, as well as law-abiding Hoosiers, would fall victim to sleight of hand shysters attracted to big crowds, set about rounding up men they deemed suspicious and slapping them with charges of loitering. Check out the following excerpt.
" they sent them to the prisoners' dock in police court, charged them with being loiterers. Now they're making little ones out of big ones at Judge Whallon's employment agency in West Twenty-First Street. Six of them will now stand for an interview to the effect that it is all rot about this being 'no mean city."
The article shares the names of some of the arrested men. The first two mentioned are from Chicago - George Hogarty and James Ryan. They were processed by Captain of Detectives Manning. Judge (Thomas A.) Whallon presided over the hearing and passed judgment on the men. Both were fined $25 and sentenced tp 30 days hard labor. It's hard to tell if the report is in jest, but it indicates they were to crush rocks with sledgehammers.
The names of other men who were arrested were reported as well. These were Felix Jabines, James Longmeyer, Harry Higgins, and Ned Dry, who is described as "colored." Pickpockets were a particular problem of the times. Other reports can be found elsewhere on First Super Speedway.

IMSNewspickpockets081809.pdf1.94 MB