Handyman Harve Case robs local businessman Fred Briscoe of $11,000 in donations to the "Mother's March" for the children's wing of the local hospital. The initial investigation points to beautician Mabel Wayne, a committee member who knew how the funds would be transported. When Dan Mathews travels to Mabel's Hill-Top Beauty Salon to question her, he finds that she had been assaulted by Case after she found him trying to plant some of the stolen money in her salon. Dan learns that Case had previously overheard Mabel and Lucy Briscoe talking about plans for transporting the money. Case fires at Dan and attempts to escape on a motorcycle, but he is soon hemmed in by strategically placed roadblocks. Written by
Linné Ahlstrand who played the dispatcher would be the Playboy playmate of the month for July 1958, which is the month the crime took place. See more »
Prior to the robbery, the total collected was described as $10,563.72. Mr. Briscoe was seen putting some bills and a small bag of coins in the briefcase, which was obviously very light. When he returns home after the robbery, his wife tells Matthews the tally was $2,200 in bills, $82.61 in checks, and the rest in change. This means he was carrying $8,281.11 in coins. In 1958, the highest value coin in general use was a half dollar, so Briscoe would have had to been carrying at least 16,000 coins were the sated figures correct. A Franklin half dollar weighed about 12.5 grams, so carrying 8,000 of them would result in a weight of over 220 pounds. The contents of the briefcase were seen when the robber transferred them to a bag and they did not match the stated amount of items. See more »
Mabel wouldn't have anything to do with this robbery - she's one of our best workers for the hospital.
Chief Dan Mathews:
Well, maybe she's doing her best work for something else.
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The plot of this episode is a charitable collection that is stolen. It's interesting to see how $10,563 in 1958 was collected for charity by going door-to-door, and then added up using a pencil and paper- no calculators or smartphones. This equates to over $87,110 in 2015, a great amount for a rural county. Nothing "viral", no hashtags, just face-to-face communication and generosity that is so rare in modern America.
It is neat to see people slide over and enter/exit from the passenger side of cars. The same with motorcycle riders with no protective gear- well I guess that part is still the same in many states in modern America.
Despite advice from his wife (Lillian Culver, who lived to age 103 as contrasted to Linné Ahlstrand the dispatcher who died at age 30), Mr. Briscoe refuses to ask for protection from the highway patrol and takes the funds to his store to put into his safe. Gun thug Harve Case is waiting for him and relieves him of his briefcase and blue convertible. Case unlike other criminals in the series does not wear a hat, suit and tie, opting instead for a ball cap and leather jacket.
While suspicion initially falls on a beauty shop owner that is part of the fundraising team, we soon find out she is an innocent party. Despite several goofs such as the suspect's description (Briscoe failed to answer most of Matthews' questions yet the officer put out a full description), the type/amount of money raised (over $8,000 in coins would weigh over 220 pounds), and Matthews' 8-shot revolver (it's actually 5 but TV cops rarely reload), Matthews and company solve the case and arrest the robber. All but $15 of the funds are recovered and Matthews "chips" in the difference. This was an enjoyable slice of an America that no longer exists.
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