November 13, 1934: Cold Case Reopens, Sends Thief to Prison


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

November 13, 1934: On a Saturday night in March, 1933, two armed men entered the Atlantic and Pacific Grocery Store on East Philadelphia Avenue and ordered the employees, Walter Bickel, Louis Nye and Lewis “Pete” Leidy and one customer, Mrs. L.P.G. Fegley to get their hands up. Mrs. Fegley screamed, but was admonished to “shut your mouth or we’ll blow your head off.” She obeyed.

One man rifled the cash register of about $40 while the other stood armed guard at the door. Detective Paul Kleinspehn was called and the victims were shown the local “rogue’s gallery.” They identified a picture of B. Duane Kehl, from Palm, as the guard at the door. State police and Kleinspehn trailed Kenl to Philadelphia and then to a hotel in Atlantic City, but there the trail was lost until May when Kehl was picked up in Lansdale on another charge and served a one-to-three year sentence at the Eastern State Penitentiary.

Upon his release, he was picked up by Reading State Police and taken to their barracks, where the four victims of the A & P robbery positively identified him as the armed guard at the door and back to prison he went.

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