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Arvada Police News From 1960

Arvada's newspaper, The Arvada Enterprise, carried the most important weekly news to its citizens in every Thursday edition.

The paper was filled with such important things as the PTA meetings, who was engaged and getting married, what the Boy and Girl Scouts were doing, highlights from the Sewing Guild, and keeping up with the local servicemen in the military.

In April, Arvadans were encouraged to see the movie "Ben Hur," opening at the Denham Theater in downtown Denver.

In May, 1960, headlines announced that the census placed Arvada's population at 19,167.

The J. W. Metz Lumber company at W. 57th Avenue and Wadsworth went up in flames in on May 14, 1960, grabbing the attention of the entire town since it could be seen from all over. It was the biggest story of 1960, described as the "worst disaster in Arvada history" and involved the entire community.

And the new Jefferson County airport was dedicated in October, 1960.

Here are the police-related articles from The Arvada Enterprise during the first year of the new decade of the Sixties:

February, 1960

Thursday, February 11, 1960: Arvada Police and Robot Are Teaching Safety to Students

A safety program designed to make children safety conscious and to start them forming good safety habits has been launched by the Arvada police department with the aid of "Robbie" the robot.

The program is being carried out in Arvada elementary schools by Patrolmen Ed McCarthy and Ed Jones, along with Robbie.

The patrolmen give the children a short lecture on safety habits and rules they should know. Then "Robbie" conducts a question and answer period which is the most popular part of the program. Following the question and answer period, "Robbie" hands out safety literature to youngsters.

"Robbie" is an ingenuous robot made by the Fort Collins police department and on loan to the local police. Its head is a medium size tin can; its ears are door knobs, mouth a pipe bracket, and its eyes two flashing electric light bulbs. Its neck is a coffee can; its body is made of two barrels, with a red light proving that "Robbie" has a heart.

Two drain pipes make up the legs; and two small cans attach to two by four's are the feet. The robot's arms are wooden and its hands contain springs so that the machine can "hand" out literature.

An electric motor and fishing line make "Robbie" move and a speaker in his head provides his voice.

"Robbie" may not look like much to an adult, but he is a big favorite with the children," Patrolman McCarthy said. "With 'Robbie' we have no trouble getting and keeping the youngsters' attention on this important subject," he added.

McCarthy said that he believes that "Robbie" has been signed up to appear at all Arvada elementary schools. However, any school in this area wishing to have the police put on their safety program may make arrangements for it by calling the Arvada police department at HA4-5556.

Thursday, February 18, 1960: Arvada Police Break Up Drag Races

Fifteen persons are scheduled to face charges of disturbing the peace in court on February 24, according to Sergeant Fred Wilson of the Arvada police department.

Wilson and Patrolman Dave Greeno and State Patrolman Arnold Ketcher broke up a group of 37 persons including several children last Friday night at West Seventy-second avenue and Simms street. Residents of the area had made numerous complaints about drag racing at the location and police, making the raid about 10:30 p.m., found 12 carloads of drag racers. Many belong to the Eagles Car club in Denver and some were Jefferson county residents. None of the accused was racing at the time the arrests were made.

Ages of the men, women, and children involved ranged from 8 to 37. The 22 persons, all under 18, were released to their parents pending a hearing in county court which handles juvenile cases. The other 15 were arraigned Saturday morning.

March 1960

Thursday, March 24, 1960: Bakery Robbed Friday Night

The Arvada Bakery, 5721 Wadsworth boulevard, was broken into sometime last Thursday night, with the thief carrying away the store's cash register and the approximate $35 it contained.

Joseph N. Buergisser, owner of the bakery, reported to Arvada police that he found the rear door of the shop open when he came to work at about 3:00 Friday morning. A window on the west side of the bakery building was also open.

Arvada police theorize that the robber entered the establishment and removing the screen and forcing the window. The intruder fled out the back door with the store's cash register.

The register was found Sunday by Rubin Craig, owner of Craig Chevrolet company, on Eldridge street between West Fifth-eighth streets and West Sixty-fourth avenues.

Police questioned one suspect in the robbery Friday, but later released him.

Thursday, March 24, 1960: Denver Man Dies on Street

A Denver man died in his car at Wadsworth boulevard and Grant place last Thursday evening, a victim of a heart attack.

Paul Barenburg of 5884 Secrest drive, was walking north along Wadsworth when he noticed the car pulled into the curb at an angle, and the driver slumped over the wheel. Barenburg opened the car door and asked the driver is he needed help. The only answer was a groan from the driver.

Barenburg called the Arvada police and the Arvada fire department rescue squad who administered oxygen to the man until he was pronounced dead by a physician.

The victim was identified as Paul Everett Reed, 62, of 1185 Belair street, Denver.

April 1960

Thursday, April 21, 1960: Police Can't Find Car That Hit Train

An automobile ran into the side of a moving Denver and Rio Grande Western freight train Tuesday evening, but up until late Wednesday afternoon, the State Patrol had not been able to locate the car or its driver.

The accident happened at 9:29 Tuesday evening at the Simms street crossing, northwest of Arvada. It was reported by officials of the railroad company after the train crew had reported the accident.

Arvada Police Sergeant Jack McGraw and State Patrolman Jack Blough responded to the call. At the crossing they found debris from the front of an automobile, but no automobile or driver.

Thinking that the train might have pulled the car up the right of way, the two officers searched along the tracks for any sign of a car or an injured person. They found nothing.

Wednesday Blough stated that the auto had hit cars seven and eight in the westbound freight and had caused damaged to the steps on both cars.

From the parts picked up at the accident scene, the automobile apparently was damaged on the right front side, but apparently was not damaged enough to keep the driver from leaving the scene, after the train had passed.

Whey the driver did not wait for officers to arrive at the scene or report the accident himself is a mystery, Blough said.

Both Blough and Sergeant McGraw stated that the driver of the car was extremely lucky to have run into the freight and escaped without injury, let alone suffering no serious damaged to his or her car.

Thursday, April 28, 1960: Police to Give Safe Driver Summons to Careful Drivers

A program to honor the safe drivers of the Arvada area was inaugurated this week by the Arvada police department.

The program includes bicycle riders, motor scooter drivers and teenage and adult automobile drivers.

When any of the above are observed by an Arvada policeman using above average safety habits in their driving or acting in a courteous manner to their fellow motorists they will be stopped and issued a Safe Driver Summons which will entitle the driver and companion to a free motion picture show.

The program, under the direction of Patrolman Ed McCarthy, went into effect this week with the following persons being "ticketed" for their safe driving habits:

Janet Petrehm, 12, 94 9643 West Fifty-sixth place and Dennis Ervin, 13, of 7930 Ralston road were given ticket for their safe bicycle riding.

Terrell D. Adams, 16, 5619 Brentwood street, was given a safety summons for the efficient and courageous manner in which he drove his motor scooter.

Gary Gosage, 17, 5345 Iris street, was selected as the teenage safe driver of the week. Gary is president of the Tread Traders, an Arvada hot rod club formed to promote safety and the knowledge of automobiles among teenagers.

An outsider won the adult driving award as Arvada policemen stopped Benson G. Bates of Edgewater for the same and courteous manner he was driving on Arvada Streets.

May 1960

Thursday, May 19, 1960: Girl Injured When Truck Slams Into Parked Automobile

A 16-year-old girl was injured and a parked car severely damaged in an automobile accident Sunday afternoon at Independence and West Fifty-fourth place.

Injured was Paula Daley of 6865 West Fifty-fifth place, who suffered minor injuries when the truck in which she was a passenger went out of control and slammed into a parked car belonging to M. B. Landell of 9575 West Fifty-fourth place.

Arvada Patrolman Ned Warner reported that the driver of the car was Jimm K. Harvery, 16, of 5470 Garland street. The truck belonged to Jimm's father, James Harvey Sr.

Warner's report states that Harvey was driving north on Independence at about 40 miles per hour. The boy apparently lost control of the car, drove over the lawn of City Councilman J. A. "Red" Miller, and then crashed into the Lindell auto.

Damage to the Lindell vehicle was estimated at $400 and to the Harvey truck at $150 by Warner.

The accident occurred about six o'clock Sunday evening.

Thursday, May 19, 1960: Metz Fire Highlights

To accurately describe all the happenings at last Saturday's fire at the J. W. Metz Lumber company and to give all the credit where credit is due is humanly impossible.

However, the following records, not in any set order, some of the proceedings at the blaze, and the doings of some of the people involved.

The fire was the worst disaster in Arvada's history and it showed that Arvadans can meet such emergencies with calm efficiency. . . Everyone pitched in to help. Citizens picked up fire hoses and helped firemen when they were needed. Boys and girls spent many hours passing out sandwiches, coffee, and milk to the fire fighters, police, and others battling the blaze. . . Local restaurants operators and grocery stores donated their supplies to provide food for the firemen. . . Local doctors appeared at the scene and kept their offices open during the night in case they were needed (and luckily they weren't) . . . Civil defense officials, Boy Scouts, and officers from the State Patrol and County sheriff's office all helped out during the emergency. . . The alarm was first broadcast over the fire radio at 5:19 p.m. The first fire truck report in at the scene of the accident fire at 5:20…The last fireman left the scene at 7:30 Sunday morning. . . At one time Fire Chief Fred Sedlmayr had over 75 firemen under his command battling the blaze . . . No serious injuries were reported as a result of the blaze. Four or five firemen were overcome by the dense smoke and two or three suffered burns, but all were treated at the scene and most of them went back to battling the fire . . . Those looking for Metropolitan co-operation couldn't find a better example of it than the way in which the various fire departments responded and worked side by side without a hit . . . Denver offered to send help; but was not needed. Denver will not leave the city limits unless requested to do so by the fire chief in the area needing the aid . . . Some members of the Arvada police department worked 27 hours before being relieved as Chief Leonard Smith ordered every man on duty. Off-duty police radio dispatchers helped serve coffee and sandwiches to the firefighters . . . There were almost as many photographers as firemen at the blaze as amateur shutter clickers had a field day . . . A complete photographic record of the fire is on display at The Enterprise office . . . The crowds viewing the fire were as big as those that come to Arvada for the Fall Festival. They were orderly at all times and moved back when and where officers asked them to . . . Curiosity seekers Sunday created a traffic jam in the downtown business area and State Patrolmen were called upon to direct traffic at the intersections . . . The lumber yard was built in 1922 by the late Newt Olson who operated the yard until he sold out to the Metz firm in 1945. The local yard, in appearance, was a twin to the yard in Thermopolis, Wyoming, which burned several years ago . . . When the fire spread to the Thode building, merchants and tenants of the apartments in the Thode and Davis Building began moving out their belongings. Some merchants on Grandview packed out their cash register and business records, "just in case." . . . The dentist on Webster street disconnected his chairs and had them sitting on the sidewalk for fast evacuation if necessary . . . Arvada firemen have known that someday one of the local lumber yards would catch fire and have always planned for the dreaded day. . . When it finally happened they were not found wanting . . . There has been nothing but praise for the firemen, Fire Chief Sedlmayr stated Tuesday, "I've yet to receive one word of criticism about the manner which the firemen handled the blaze." This is most unusual, usually there are lots of sidewalk firemen who sit back and tell how it should have been done.

June 1960

Thursday, June 30, 1960

Two Policemen Get Wyoming Diplomas

Two members of the Arvada Police department received diplomas in exercises held at the University of Wyoming on Saturday evening, June 18, for successful completion of an intensive two-week Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy.

Receiving diplomas were Patrolmen Richard Ray Hansen and Howard Franklin Kuhlman of the Arvada department. A total of 57 local and state law enforcement officers received their diplomas.

Among subjects the officers studied at the academy were criminal investigations, accident investigation, juvenile delinquency and handling juveniles, counterfeiting, alcoholism, administration of law enforcement, laws of arrest, searches and seizures, public relations in law enforcement, testifying in court, handling of mentally disturbed persons and records and crime reporting.

Boy Accused of Setting Weed Fires

A 16 YEAR-OLD Arvada boy, suspected of setting "about 90 per cent" of the Arvada area weed fires over the weekend, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and is now being held in the county jail at Golden.

Specifically, the boy was arrested by Arvada Police Sergeant Fred Wilson for setting a fire at West Eightieth avenue and Wadsworth boulevard Tuesday afternoon. Wilson picked up the boy after local police had been tipped off that the fire had been set by the youth while shooting firecrackers.

Nel Coy of the Jefferson county sheriff's department has been questioning the boy about other weed fires in this area over the weekend. No charges had been filed Wednesday afternoon.

The rash of fires broke out Sunday morning and from 9:12 Sunday morning until 11:50 Monday night, the local fire department answered some 22 calls. At several of the fires, firemen were told that a boy shooting firecrackers had set the fires.

Arvada Chief of Police Leonard Smith said that the boy admitted buying six dozen two-inch salutes Saturday night at a stand on North Federal boulevard. Smith said he was almost sure that the investigation would reveal the youth was responsible for about 90 percent of the weed fires that occurred over a three-day period.

July 1960

Thursday, July 7, 1960:

Police Investigator Names for Arvada

The addition of a plain clothes investigator to the Arvada Police department was announced this week by Chief of Police Leonard Smith.

Appointed to the job was Sergeant Jack McGraw who has been a member of the police force for about four and one-half years. The creation of the job was approved by the city council at their June 27 meeting and McGraw's appointment was effective July 1.

Smith also announced that Patrolman Howard Kuhlman had been promoted to Sergeant and would be in charge of McGraw's shift, and Ed Jones, former city dog catcher, has been added to the department as a patrolman.

Phil Steinman has been appointed to fill the dog catcher's position. This job is under the police department's jurisdiction.

Cement Truck Sinks into Arvada Road

A loaded ready mix cement truck tipped over Tuesday morning when it parked on the shoulder of a road made soft by a leaking water main.

Arvada Patrolman Ed Jones reported that the truck, driven by Victor John Phillips, 57, of 7303 West Fifty-ninth avenue, became stuck in the 6800 block on Estes drive when it ran off the street onto the soft shoulder. While Phillips went to get help to pull the truck out, the vehicle settled in the soft ground and tipped over on its left side.

To get the truck out, it was necessary to cut a hole in the side of the cement mixer and flush out the concrete before it hardened and to lighten the load. An Arvada fire truck, under the direction of Assistant Chief Robert Henderson, was dispatched to the scene to wash the concrete from the vehicle.

The cement truck was owned by Suburban Reddi mix company of Arvada.

The accident occurred shortly after 8:00 Tuesday morning.

Thursday, July 21, 1960

Two Injured When Police Car Hits Auto

Two persons suffered minor injuries last Friday afternoon when an Arvada police car, on an emergency run, collided with another auto at the intersection of Grandview avenue and Wadsworth boulevard.

The patrol car, being driven by Patrolman Robert Beghtol, with Assistant Chief Doug Wilkie as a passenger, was on its way from the Arvada police station to Ketner lake in North Jefferson county with skin diving equipment to aid in the search for Richard Butler who drowned in the lake.

Heading east on Grandview, the patrol car smashed into the side of a car being driven by William George Standage, 59, of Loveland, Colorado. Standage was driving north on Wadsworth at the time of the accident.

Standage told police that he heard the police car's siren but did not have time to pull his vehicle over to the curb and stop.

Injured were Mrs. Sphere, 49, also of Loveland, a passenger in the Standage auto, and Beghtol. Damage was estimated at $200 for each auto.

Standage was given a ticket for failure to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle.

15-Year-Old Arvada Girl Raped Monday

A 15-year-old Arvada girl was raped Monday afternoon. Police have jailed one 17-year-old boy and are looking for two others believed to be involved in the crime.

The girl was picked up by the boys as she left the North Jeffco Swimming pool Monday afternoon. They took her to a place near Leyden lake, northwest of Arvada, where the attack is alleged to have taken place.

Tuesday Arvada police had a 17-year-old North Denver youth jailed after the girl had named him as one of her attackers. The boy is presently in jail at Golden.

Arvada Detective Jack McGraw, who has been assigned to the case, said he is looking for the other two boys who are believed to be involved in the case. Criminal charges are expected to be filed against the trio in Golden district court by the district attorney's office.

Woman Reports Loss of Diamond Ring

The loss of a diamond ring valued at between $3,000 and $5,000 was reported to Arvada police Sunday by Mrs. Frances S. De Rose of 7655 West Sixty-first avenue.

Mrs. De Rose told police that she had worn the ring to a neighbor's house Saturday evening. When she left the neighbor's at 11 o'clock, Mrs. De Rose said she stopped out in front and chatted a moment and while talking, tossed the ashes out of an ash tray she held in her hand into the street.

"It is very possible the ring came off my finger at that time," Mrs. De Rose told police. However, a search of the area failed to find the missing jewelry.

The ring contained a four-carat solitaire diamond in a platinum mounting, surrounded by nine diamond chips. The ring had been in Mrs. De Rose's family for 40 years.

August 1960

Thursday, Aug 4, 1960: Three Youths Face Rape Charges

Criminal charges against three Denver youths were filed in the district court at Golden this week charging them with the rape of a 15-year-old Arvada girl on July 18.

Charged with rape, attempted rape and conspiracy to commit rape are Gary Allen Nelson, Jerry Thomas White, alias Jim White, and Gary Dean Crouse, alias Gary Dean Krause.

Nelson has been arrested and is presently in the Jefferson county jail at Golden. White and Crouse are still at large and are believed to be in Des Moines, Iowa.

District Judge Christian D. Stoner set bail for Nelson at $4,000. The complaint was filed by Deputy District Attorney Anthony Vollack.

According to Arvada police reports, the three youths picked up the girl at the North Jeffco swimming pool and took her to a place near Leyden lake where the attack took place.

Rear-End Accidents Reported by Police

Two minor rear end collisions were reported by Arvada police this week. Both happened on Saturday at an intersection on the Wadsworth by-pass.

Saturday morning at 9:30 a car being driven by Charles L. Neal, 32, of Williamsburg, Kansas, was headed south on the by-pass. At the highway's intersection with Grandview avenue, Neal stopped for a stop light and was struck from the rear by a car being driven by Ronald Dean Nester, 21, of Arvada.

Arvada Patrolman Eugene H. Stark reported damage to both vehicles at about $30 each.

At 3:00 in the afternoon of the same day, William James Morley, 55, of Longmont, was driving North on the by-pass, approaching the Ralston intersection. As he stopped for the red light at the intersection his car was struck from the rear by an auto driven by Clifford F. Bowles, 44, of Denver.

Arvada Assistant Chief of Police Doug Wilkie and Patrolman Ned Werner estimated damage to the Morley car at $75 and $200 to the Bowles vehicle.

No injuries were reported in either accident.

September 1960

Thursday, Sep 29, 1960: Arvada Budget for 1961 Goes Over Million Dollar Mark

A preliminary budget calling for the expenditure of $1,260,000 for the fiscal year of 1961 has been submitted to the Arvada city council for consideration. No increase in the property tax mill levy is called for.

….The largest increase, percentage wise, is found in the sewerage department which is up 152 per cent over the 1960 figure….

….The general government budget is up 17.4 per cent over 1960 expenditures. Part of this increase is due to increase in salaries and increases in personnel showing an increase for the coming year is the police department, which will have one additional patrol car and five additional patrolmen added to the force during the coming year.

One man will be added to each of the department's four shifts and the assistant chief of police will be put in charge of all shifts, thus making another opening on the department as one of the present patrolmen move up to sergeant to take over the shift formerly under the assistant chief of police.

November 1960

Thursday, Nov 3, 1960: Woman is Injured When Struck by Car

Mrs. Nellie Coker, 83, a longtime Arvada resident, was seriously injured last Friday morning when she walked into the side of a car near the intersection of Grandview avenue and Wadsworth.

According to Arvada Patrolman Ed Jones, Mrs. Coker was leaving the Arvada bank and stepped off the curb, 15 feet east of the crosswalk, to cross Grandview avenue and walked into the side of a car being driven by Mrs. Beverly Joan Langhorn, 22, of 5910 Vance street.

Mrs. Langhorn was making a right hand turn onto Grandview from Wadsworth boulevard at the time of the accident.

Patrolman Joens said that the impact knocked Mrs. Coker almost nine feet, resulting in a fractured hip and lacerations to the woman's hands.

Mrs. Coker was taken to Rocky Mountain hospital and later to Rose Memorial hospital for treatment.

Mrs. Coker lives at 5721 Zephyr street.

Patrolman Jones said no traffic summons was issued in the case.

Thursday, Nov 17, 1960: Police Volunteering Labor to Enlarge Department's Offices

Through the volunteer efforts of members of the Arvada Police department, Arvada will have an enlarged police building, including a two-cell jail.

Arvada Chief of Police Leonard Smith this week announced that a 20 foot by 30 foot addition to the present police offices will be constructed on the front of the present building, located west of the city hall.

The new addition will be a one story structure with a basement. The upstairs will contain offices for the police dispatcher and clerk, while the basement will have two maximum security jail cells.

Cost of the new structure to taxpayers will be negligible, Smith said.

Members of the police department have been working the past week to tear down the cement storage sheds on the site of the old J. W. Metz Lumber company yard at West Fifty-seventh avenue and Wadsworth boulevard. The blocks and lumber from this shed will be used to construct the new police addition.

Construction of the new building will be done primarily by members of the police department and local craftsmen who have volunteered their services.

The two cells for the local jail will be taken out of the old county jail at Golden. The two cells are out of the old jail's maximum security section.

December 1960

Thursday, Dec 1, 1960: Faulty Circuit Breaker Puts Lights Out

A large area of Arvada, south of Grandview avenue, was without electricity for an hour Sunday night when a circuit breaker failed.

The power failure occurred at 6:49 p.m. and service was resumed at 7:50 p.m.

Effected by the outage was the Arvada police department. The police and fire radios were out of service from the headquarters until a portable generator from the fire department was hooked up to provide power.

Arvada City Manager Karl Williams announced Tuesday that a permanent mounting had been built Monday to house the portable generator for duty at the police radio station.

"It has been mounted so that it can be readily moved if needed in a hurry at another location," Williams said, pointing out that the availability of the generator would allow the police and fire radios to be operated immediately on emergency power during any future power failure.

Thursday, Dec 8, 1960: Police Urge Registration of Many Items

Arvada Detective Jack McGraw, this week, urged all Arvadans to copy down the make, model, and serial numbers of their various personal belongings to aid in their recovery in the event they are ever lost or stolen.

"This list should be kept in a safe place," McGraw pointed out. "If residents would prefer, they may leave the list with the police department and we will keep it on file." He added.

McGraw suggested that a proper identification list should be maintained for such items as guns, typewriters, adding machines, radios, television sets, ditch pumps, power lawn mowers, and other items that usually have an identifiable serial number.

The police official pointed out that there have been several recent house break-ins where it has been impossible to trace the stolen articles because a complete identification list was unavailable.

With a complete run-down of the make, model, and serial number of any stolen or lost articles, the list can be distributed to other police departments and pawn shops for possible recovery.

McGraw pointed out that the recovery of stolen and lost bicycles in Arvada has been greatly facilitated by the fact that all such vehicles are registered with the police department when a license is purchased and positive identification can be made.

Persons desiring to register their belongings with the police may leave such a list at the police station, at city hall, at any time, along with the name, address and telephone number.