At 10:40 o'clock last night Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh telephoned the New Jersey State Police Headquarters at Trenton that his son had been kidnapped from the Lindbergh home in Hopewell, N.J. Within ten minutes every communication method of modern science had been utilized to broadcast the alarm and to mobilize the police systems of four States and scores of communities in the search.
Colonel Lindbergh had scarcely poured out his tale when the vast machinery of cooperating police systems began to function. While one man was calling the State police barracks at Lambertville, N.J., ten miles from Hopewell, on the telephone, another was writing out this message to be flashed over the police teletype system:
"Colonel Lindbergh's baby kidnapped from Lindbergh home at Hopewell between 7:30 and 10 P.M. Boy, 19 months, dressed in sleeping suit. Search all cars."
Pair In Stolen Car Hunted
Shortly before 1 o'clock this morning the Princeton Police Department sent over the network of wires the first message containing anything approaching a definite clue. It read as follows:
"Information received that two men in blue or black sedan bearing New York license plates stopped a man working on highway and asked to be directed to the Lindbergh home in Hopewell."
Relayed to every outpost, this message gave the searchers their first indication of the possible description of the kidnappers' car. It was so vague, however, that they did not permit it to stop them from questioning the occupants of cars of other descriptions.
As the first alarm was being typed out the telephone connection with the Lambertville barracks had been established and Lieutenant Arthur Keaten, in command of that post, had been informed of the situation. With every man who could be spared, he started at once for Hopewell.
Upon their arrival Corporal Joseph Wolf, at Lieutenant Keaten's direction, telephoned back confirmation of the kidnapping, but he was not at that time able to add further details to the few which had been furnished by Colonel Lindbergh.
Meanwhile picked detectives were sent on the rounds of known underworld haunts to see if they could pick up any clues as to the identity of the kidnappers.
Window Found Open
An open window in the nursery of the Lindbergh home at Hopewell indicated how the kidnappers had gained entrance to the house. A close watch has been kept on the baby since it was born, but apparently no member of the family dreamed of the possibility of a kidnapping and no one remained in the nursery last night after the nurse had placed the child in his crib and made sure he was asleep.
The small force under Lieutenant Keaten at once began a careful search of the woody areas surrounding the Lindbergh home, on the possibility of uncovering some clue to the kidnappers and the remote hope that perhaps somehow the baby had managed to make its way out of the house alone.
Troopers meanwhile were speeding from the barracks at Morristown to the north, and from Trenton, to augment the searchers on the scene, while additional details were posted at every cross road to complete a cordon about the neighborhood and stop all cars for questioning.
Through the agency of the teletype the alarm reached the police of New York, Newark, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Camden, and Philadelphia within a few minutes of the receipt of the first alarm at Trenton. All of them quickly swung into action, as did the New York and Pennsylvania State police.
The word reached Police Headquarters here at 10:45 P.M. and was immediately relayed to Commissioner Mulrooney, Chief Inspector John O'Brien, and Assistant Chief Inspector John J. Sullivan, in command of detectives, all of whom rushed to headquarters to direct the New York efforts to assist in the search.
Orders were flashed to every precinct by the police telegraph system to be on the alert for suspicious cars, while the new police radio station, WPEG, flashed word to the shortwave station of the patrolling detective cars to join in the watch.
Similar steps, though on a smaller scale, were being repeated simultaneously in every city for many miles around the Lindbergh home. Posses of motorcycle and bandit squad policemen from Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania and New Jersey State troopers, clamped down a heavy guard on every bridge over the Delaware River.
The special police who patrol the Holland Tunnel and the new George Washington Bridge over the Hudson took similar precautions here last night.
Meanwhile through the "major control" of the State signal system at Hawthorne, N.Y., the word was being relayed to all the up-State cities.
The Baby's Description
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