Pepper Thief Makes Narrow Escape

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pepper will make you sneeze
pepper will make you sneeze

This is a story about a creative, and poorly armed, burglar in Kalorama back in the 19th century. Below is an amusing article from the Washington Post from June 21st, 1898.

The burglar who entered the home of John C. Fill, 1846 Wyoming avenue, Sunday morning, and threw pepper into the eyes of Mr. and Mrs. Fill, had a narrow escape from capture by the police of the Eighth Precinct. Officer Kennedy was just turning in for the 2 o’clock call at Nineteenth street and Columbia road, half a block from the scene of the robbery, and Sergt. Jones and Officer Bannigan were at Eighteenth street and Florida avenue, not 200 yards away, when they heard the screams of Mrs. Fill. All of them ran at once toward the house. Kennedy quickly shut the patrol box and caught the sleeve of his coat in the door in his haste. As he arrived in front of the Fill residence, one of the sons of the house called to him to stay where he was and expected the burglar was about to make a break in that direction, he waited for him. Sergt. Jones and Offier Bannigan ran directly toward the house, and as they approached a pistol was discharged in the air from one of the upper windows. Their eyes were naturally on the house, and the burglar, taking advantage of the opportunity, dropped down in the long grass on the lot, and concealing himself until the police had passed on to the house, made his escape.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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