Friday, January 31, 2020

The Covered Wagon Gang

"Robert Harrington, of Salisbury, and Edward Tingle, of Delmar. were arrested by Chief of Police William R. Purnell after a seven-mile chase on the Snow Hlll-Salisbury Road exactly 25 minutes after they had broken into a store of Roy Morris of Whiton, In Wicomico county. Mrs. Morris heard the alleged burglars and called her husband. He Immediately got up and fired several shots toward them In the dark and scared them away. Chief of Police William R. Purnell, of Snow Hill, was called and apprehended them 25 minutes later.

It Is said that these men were members of the "Covered Wagon Gang" which Invaded Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland two years ago. Both of them have records and have served time In the New Castle work house. It was also stated."
Above from The Wilmington News Journal 27 March 1931

The Covered Wagon Gang was active in 1927.  They were called the covered Wagon Gang because in the initial robberies they drove a strange automobile truck covered with white canvas not unlike the covered wagons of frontier days.

The only people arrested for being in the gang were (Robert) Fulton Harrington 18 year old, son of a farmer in Salisbury Maryland, and Edward Tingle 17 year old, son of a mill owner in Salisbury Maryland.  There was suspicion of a third member who would case the business before it was held up but he was never captured.  The gang was blamed for about every unsolved  robbery that took place on Delmarva in 1927.  Numerous train station attempted safe break-ins were suspected.  Over 60 businesses that were robbed from Exmore Virginia to Wilmington Delaware and blamed on them.  They were suspected of killing James Owen Clare, a filling station attendant in Wilmington, who was robbed of eight dollars then shot.  Yet when they were caught and tried in Delaware there were only two charges of robbery bought against them. 

The two young white men were caught because criminals are stupid.  In their case while robbing the J R Walker Bros store in Bear Station (outside of Wilmington) Fulton Harrington dropped his driver’s license and registration which gave Delaware Detectives George D Sutton and William J Warren a name and a car description.  The two were found at a boarding house in Wilmington with stolen goods in one room and them in the other. 

The two were tried and given three years in the New Castle Workhouse.  They avoided receiving any lashes on the whipping post due to their young age.   As we can see from the newspaper article after they got out of the workhouse they returned to their evil ways. 

No comments:

Post a Comment