From the archives of Liberal’s hometown newspaper since 1886.
Researched and compiled by Amira Coleman, L&T Reporter
Thieves get away with cash, cars
Police officers were investigating the disappearance of $351.98 from the Wings Service Station in Liberal. It had been a day since the investigation began, and apparently, there was no progress.
The loss was reported on a Tuesday by the station manager, Fred Helmer. Liberal officers said Helmer reported the checks and cash were in a brown envelope, and he had slipped the envelope through a slot in the safe the Monday before it went missing.
When Helmer went back into the safe the next day, the money wasn’t there.The cash loss was reported to be $126.35 in one-, five-, and 10-dollar bills.
Two Liberal youths, Terry Holcomb and Lonnie Lucas, were awaiting trial on burglary charges in connection with a burglary of Pizza Hut. They were arraigned on additional charges involving the Liberal Senior High School. The additional charges were breaking and entering and grand larceny charges in connection with a previous burglary of the high school.
Holcomb and Lucas were being charged with taking approximately $53 from the vault in the principal’s office. An undetermined amount was also taken from vending machines in the building. Apparently, the two had gained entry through an unlocked window and the vault was also unlocked. Their bonds were set at $500 pending their trial.
A bus driver and his friend reported that they were walking along the sidewalk on South Kansas and were suddenly doused and nearly knocked over by a stream of water propelled from a passing car.
They were able to get the license plate number, and police corralled four teenagers in the car a short time later. The teens were using a farm spray gun filled with water, backed with 100 pounds of air pressure. The teenagers got by with a stern lecture, as the two wet men refused to sign complaints.
A car-stealing spree shocked Liberal citizens, with three cars reported stolen in the early morning hours. Liberal officers searched the town, suspecting that joyriding may’ve been involved. Keys had been left in two of the stolen cars, and the third car had a faulty lock.
The first car reported stolen belonged to Wanda Fields, and disappeared from Third and Kansas Avenue while she attended a movie.
The second car reported missing belonged to Gerald Meeker. The car vanished from his driveway at 816 South Calhoun.
The third car belonged to Leroy Campbell and had been stolen from the front of the Tiki Club sometime after midnight.
Authorities did not succeed in tracking any of the cars down.
A house fire severely damaged the garage and breezeway of a house belonging to Betty Carlile at 740 North Grant on April 13, 1964. The fire had gotten a good start when she reported it, and had roared through the breezeway from the garage when firemen arrived to put out the fire.
They were able to block the fire from reaching the house, and brought the flames under control after fighting them for about 15 minutes. The house and contents suffered heavy smoke damage, but the house residents escaped the home without injury.