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Check Forger Nearly Nabbed Fleeing From Harvard Trust

Lewis Chases Criminal Through Square Only to Lose Him in Wilds of Matthews Hall


First news of a series of check forgeries that have been occurring during the year leaked out Tuesday afternoon, when an unknown person attempted to cash a forged check in the Harvard Trust Company, it was learned yesterday.

The forger presented at the window of the Bank a check signed "Alden V. Haskell", and upon questioning insisted that he was Haskell. Mr. Sayward of the Bank, who was questioning the suspect, had seen the real Haskell, a Freshman from Boston, the day before and becoming suspicious, questioned the man more closely.

The penman, becoming uneasy, then turned and raced out of the Bank to be followed by Geoffrey W. Lewis '32, assistant Dean of the College, who was near the door at the time, Sayward and Lewis lost the fleeing check passer in the Square traffic, but it was later learned that he had raced into the Yard by Lehman Hall and disappeared into Matthews Hall and been lost coming out the other side.

Dean Lewis was of the opinion that he had seen the rapid criminal before, and Sayward, interviewed at the Bank, was positive he would recognize the man again. Pictures of both students and employees will be examined in the next few days in an effort to identify him. He was described as fairly tall, young, and "dressed like an East Boston boy might think a Harvard student dressed."

Further questioning at the bank revealed that Haskell was not the only student who has suffered by forging during the year. "There is always a certain amount of it, of course," said Sayward, "but this year it has been heavier than before." There was some evident that the same man had been responsible for more than this one offence. The forging was described as extremely careless in this case, although in the past it has been done in such a fashion as to defy detection.

Colonel Charles R. Apted '10, Chief of the Yard Police, is working on the case, as are also the Cambridge police, and the Burns Detective Agency, with whom the Bank has an arrangement.

The amount of the checks in each case was never large, generally being in the vicinity of $35 to $50. With three agencies working on the forging, it was not believed that the culpit could remain at large very long. It was furthered believed that he was a man well acquainted with the procedure of the University and the Bank, and that he lived, or had lived near the Yard for some time. In many of the other forgeries, students whose names were signed to checks they never wrote, had noticed that papers bearing their bona fide signatures had been removed from their rooms a short time before the forgery occurred.

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