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Here is a detailed report from the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal that appeared on Nov. 27, 1934 under the headline below.

“Thieves Steal Fowl, Haul to City ‘Fences’:”

A band of chicken and turkey thieves are operating from Harrington and Milford to the Delaware-Maryland line at Delmar, and hundreds of the fowl are reported to have been stolen within the past few weeks. The thieves are believed by authorities to be hauling the fowls by trucks to the city markets.

In the Milford area, farmers are setting up gun traps in the coops for thieves.

Sunday night they visited the farms of Isaac and Berry Truitt, relatives living between Seaford and Bridgeville, and made away with 30 chickens at Isaac Truitt’s farm and 18 turkeys at Berry Truitt’s place. They also visited the farm of William Conaway, but were frightened away after stealing one turkey.

Thief Falls Over Fence

Conaway heard the thieves at work in his hennery and gave chase. One of the thieves in his haste to make a getaway fell over a fence, but was too far in advance of Conaway to be caught. A waiting motor vehicle was parked down the road some distance for the thieves.

In the yards of Isaac and Berry Truitt, motor vehicle tracks were found, and it is practically certain that one set of thieves did the stealing at both places.

Chicken and turkey thieves every season become more active as the holidays approach. Both state and county police are using every effort to apprehend the thieves.

Gun Traps Set at Milford

With turkey thieves rampant again in the Milford section, many farmers have suffered in the last few weeks. Last week Andrew Donovan had most of his large flock of turkeys stolen on Saturday night while he and his family were in Milford shopping. Farmers with large flocks are now leaving one member at home at all times.

This condition has also led the turkey growers to adopt methods for their protection that were used successfully last year. Many turkey raisers are now loading shotguns which they are placing and fixing with trip for the trigger. If the fowls are in a house, the trip is fixed up so the gun will be discharged as the thief enters the building. If they roost outside, special trips are made so the gun will be discharged when the thief steps on a trap.

–posted by Jim Duffy on Nov. 26, 2020 for Secrets of the Eastern Shore/Whimbrel Creations LLC.

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