Two thieves take advantage of service station customers' goodwill to steal their cars and credit cards, which are used to purchase auto accessories for sale. They victimize Janice Carlisle and tie her up in a remote area, but she manages to free herself and notify the Highway Patrol. Service station owner Jimmy Haden recognizes Ms. Carlisle's car and foolishly tries to capture one of the thieves himself. A scuffle ensues in which the thief is killed and Haden is seriously wounded by his partner, who flees and subsequently hijacks a hunter's station wagon and deer rifle. Dan and Officer Dennis follow him into a heavily wooded area and find that they must use a ruse in order to draw him out into the open. Written by
After they rob Mrs. Carlisle, the thieves stop to change a tire on her car so as to allow them to appear to need new tires. They produce an unmounted (not on a wheel) worn tire from the back of the truck and then are seen beginning to change one of the good tires for the worn one. The problem is that they do not have any tools to dismount the good tire from the wheel and then mount the bad tire. As such, their scheme using the worn tire could not have been completed. See more »
Nowhere is the endless war between the criminal and the peace officer brought more sharply into focus than on the highways of the nation. Here, the men of the Highway Patrol work around the clock protecting the lives and property of our citizens. Last September, the law enforcement agencies of ten states were on the lookout for two unknown criminals who operated solely along the highways. Their crimes always started at service stations.
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This is one of those episodes of Highway Patrol that doesn't emphasize the item and reason behind the theft or crime (this case credit cards from kind motorists who offer one of the crooks a ride while his accomplice awaits them at a distance to steal from them) as much as the pursuit and capture of criminals. Instead the focus detours to a stubborn gas station owner/attendant who doesn't heed the advice of Highway Patrol warnings of not trying to apprehend these two crooks on your own (when they pass they are to instead phone the police when they encounter the criminals), pulling a gun on one of the thieves while his partner (hiding in a paneled truck out of plain sight) shoots him in the back for his attempted heroism. Of course the attendant's wife is coming out of hysterics because despite her pleas for him to leave the gun in the house living room drawer, he insists on taking it "for protection." Meanwhile the Highway Patrol (led by Broderick Crawford's Dan Matthews) work from different locations (at headquarters, cars stationed at pinpoints where the latest hold up and theft took place, at the home of the gas station attendant (badly wounded but surviving) and his wife, etc.) hoping to get a position on where the remaining criminal at large might be passing through. Matthews doesn't mince words but is of few. He does agree with the attendant's wife that her husband shouldn't have gotten involved, but he knows she is a wreck and holds his tongue. The frustrating part of the job as seen in this episode is what neither the attendant nor wife was able to get in details/description to assist in the apprehension of the crook on the lam. Conclusion has Matthews and a HP officer having to outwit their criminal who is packing a high powered rifle from the car of a hunter he steals (he pops that hunter across the noggin pretty good, too!) in the woods in rural California. Not a bad episode at all, the plot is very, very simple, but there's a message here about trying to do the job of the trained police, not prepared to face the consequences of playing hero. The criminals in this episode aren't as developed as typical of the show which likes to give them as much time as the cops pretty nondescript, colorless thieves who steal credit cards and use them to buy things they need. The crime of the episode that sets everything off starts as if the two are going to take a woman driver into the woods for something quite sinister, but thankfully they just tie her up, taking her car and credit card.
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