January 26, 1923: Veteran Escapes Roadway Mugging


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

January 26, 1923: Fred Becker, a soldier in World War I, was returning from Reading at 1:30 in the morning when he had a narrow escape from a hold-up attempt on the “cement road” (Route 562) at Yellow House.

He was alone in the car and came upon a touring car parked crosswise in the middle of the road with a “colored gentleman” standing in front of it signaling him to stop. Instead, Becker stepped on the gas and in passing, the man fired at him three times with a revolver and then jumped into his machine. A high-speed chase ensued. Becker had a good lead and was not caught.

When he arrived in Boyertown, he gathered several young men and with guns they returned to the scene, but the would-be bandit could not be found. Becker believes that the culprit had turned off at Morysville and headed for Pottstown.

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