In the early 1900s, the downtown area was a busy metropolis, with every storefront filled. From reading numerous articles, it was “the place to be” when it came to socializing and shopping. It was also a place where break-ins seemed to be a common occurrence, keeping the nightwatch men busy and always on the look-out for any suspicious behavior.
This especially held true in the 1930s, during the time the nation was in a depression. The following article, published in The Fowlerville Review was one of many reports I came across while researching The Fowlerville Chronicles:
Burglars Break Into Blackmer’s Store~~Effect an Entrance Through the Front Door; Take about 24 Suits~~Sometime during Tuesday night, burglars broke into the S.T. Blackmer clothing store and carried off 24 suits of clothing. The cash register was not molested, nor were any other goods taken, according to the still incomplete check-up. The suits taken were all new goods lately received in stock and were all in one locker near the door.
The robbers made their entrance through the front door, which was iron-bound and had what was supposed to be an almost burglar-proof lock and bolt. They chiseled out the wood and then pried off the outer part of the lock and in some manner, were able to turn the bolt holding the door.
It appears that whoever did the robbery had made a survey of the store and knew just how to open the door and where the goods taken were located.
State Police were called this morning when the robbery was discovered and fingerprints were taken. The robbery was broadcast to all state police to be on the lookout.
Suspicion is directed to two strangers who were seen about town Tuesday afternoon. One of these men was in the store and looked at several suits of clothing on the pretense of buying.
Deo Blackmer waited on them but made no purchase. The men were seen separately in other business places and a fairly good description of them is known. An effort is being made to determine the kind of car they were driving.
The above picture shows Deo M. (Minto) Blackmer at a young age ca. 1929. His middle name of Minto was his mother's maiden name.