LOUIS SHECTMAN was born in Russia on April 23, 1885. He is not listed in the 1914 Camden City Directory, however, by September of 1918 he was in business in Camden, and remained so through the early 1930s. His draft card shows he was living at 2316 Broadway with his wife Jennie. He at operated a general store at that location. The 1924 City Directory shows that property vacant, apparently the Shectman's were in the process of moving there home and business to 708 Broadway, adjacent to the Towers Theater. They were at that location through April of 1930. By that time there were six children, and children Esther, Minnie, Goldie, Rosie, Nathan, and Gussie.

By 1933 the Shectman family had moved back to the Eighth Ward, to 2374 Broadway, opposite the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard. The business was by then known as "Mom Shectman's". Jennie Shectman was living at 1506 Wildwood Avenue by the time the 1947 City Directory was compiled. The business was gone, a restaurant then occupying 2374 Broadway

Louis Shectman died on January 9, 1955 at the age of 68. He was buried at Crescent Burial Park in Pennsauken NJ. His wife Jennie joined him on March 19, 1965.

Philadelphia Inquirer - April 13, 1917
 Line Street - Raymond L. Warren - Ellie McCarthy
Thomas Gordon Coulter - Louis Schectman
Lester Terrace - Broadway

Camden Evening Courier- January 20, 1928

Broadway Shop Bandit Nabbed After 2-Mile Dash Through Streets
Mystery Marks Arrests as Police Keep Information on Arrest Secret

Pursued for more than two miles in a wild chase through the heart of Camden about noon today, two “shiek­bandits” were captured by the man whose store they had robbed of two gambling machines. 

Police later said they had arrested one youth in connection with the case. He was Walter S. Nowak, 22 years old, of 442 Jackson Street, they said, and he had been booked on a charge of “holdup in a store.” They knew nothing, they said about two men being caught. 

How he followed two “young fellows” through the streets of the city after they had dashed from his store with the machines in which they had “lost $2,” was repeated by Lewis Shectman, proprietor of a general store at 708 Broadway.  

The chase began when Schechtman commandeered an automobile in front of his store. It ended when he and the driver of the automobile captured the youths at the corner of Fourth Street and Kaighn Avenue

There, according to Shectman, the youths were turned over to the patrolmen of the Second District, Police Officers Nathan Petit and Edward Carroll.  

When asked to confirm a report that the young bandits had been arrested, Sergeant James Clay of the desk of police headquarters, refused to show the ‘police docket’ to newspaper reporters. Members of the patrol crew refused to give information concerning the arrest of anybody connected with the robbery, or any charge on which they may have been booked.  

Rivalry of Syndicates  

It is generally believed that the thieves are representatives of one of the several “syndicates” which place gambling machines in stores, saloons and poolrooms about town. It was pointed out that often there is intense rivalry between the competing syndicates and that it is sometimes carried to the point where they steal each other’s equipment. 

“It was 11:45 this morning when two young fellows, well-dressed, came into my store.” declared Shectman.

“They started playing a nickel machine which is out of sight of passers by in the corner of the store. I heard them say they lost $2. My attention was taken up by a salesman who came into the store to collect a bill. I went to the rear of the store to get ink with which to write a check. I heard my wife scream murder, thieves, police, help.” 

According to Shectman, his wife, Jennie, 40 years old, and his 16-year old-daughter Esther saw the youths run out of the store with the slot machine in their arms, load them into a car parked in front of the establishment and drive away.  

Shectman said he and the salesman took up the chase. After he saw the bandit car pass a red light at the corner of Broadway and Line Street he commandeered an automobile, ordering the driver, whose name he did not obtain, to follow the touring car which then had turned left into Line. 

Details of the chase were told by Shectman.  

The bandits were followed west on up to Fifth street. Their car swerved from Fifth to Chestnut, and turned southwest on Newton Avenue until it reached Kaighn Avenue.

“They then swung west on Kaighn Avenue and drove toward the ferry. We were about a half a square behind them, all the way.” Shectman declared.  

Down to the ferry plaza, the bandits swung their car around in the ferry driveway, and dashed back up Kaighn Avenue until they reached Fourth Street.

‘We yelled ‘murder, police, robbers’ all the way.’ Shectman declared.

Two Fugitives Caught

After they had turned the corner on to Fourth Street, the robbers, apparently frightened, jumped from their machine and ran north on Fourth Street. Shectman and his friend followed, caught up with them and collared them.  

A telephone call brought the Second District police patrol.

The slot machines which contained about $50 were confiscated by the police, Shectman said.  

The touring car used by the bandits in their attempted get away had no rear license tag. On the front was a license p1ate with C-16207 N.J.  

Shectman said he believed the car had been stolen. The car was a Flint touring car.

Investigation this afternoon revealed that this license was issued for a 1927 blue Chrysler sedan, on January L to Richard Gondolf, 3037 Fenwick Road, Fairview, at the agency of Samuel Weinstein, 411 Kaighn Avenue. Gondolf is a son of Peter Gondolf, former policeman and who is now in the con­tracting business. The son works with his father.  

Store Robbed  

Sometime between 9 o’clock last night and 7 o’clock this morning the store of William Henion at 517 Clinton Street was broken into.  

Two slot machines of the “penny’ type, containing a total of $80 were taken. Ten boxes of cigars and an amount of candy were also stolen by the robbers, who gained entrance by forcing a door in an unoccupied house at the rear of the store.  

A box containing $8 in pennies which lay near the machines and $2 in a cash drawer were overlooked. The break was discovered by Henion when he opened up this morning. He figured his loss at $100.

Camden Evening Courier- January 20, 1928

Bertman Doubts His Story After He ‘Shifts’ Loot to Cigars
Grand Jury Probe is Hinted by Judge- Reporter Takes Stand

Lewis Shectman changed his story in police court today and declared that it was only a box of cigars, not a gambling machine that was stolen from his store, 708 Broadway, yesterday by two bandits. Police Court judge Bernard Bertman characterized Shectman as a prevaricator.

Shectman denied statements published ion the Evening Courier yesterday, in which he and his wife and daughter related in detail how two men had carried away a gambling machine in an automobile after losing $2 playing the machine.

William Gaffney, Evening Courier reporter, was called to the stand and repeated the facts published in yesterday’s paper.

“I cannot help but believe you are lying”, Bertman said to Shectman. At the same time Bertman intimated that he would recommend a further investigation of the matter by County Prosecutor Wescott before putting the evidence before a grand jury.

Denies Stealing ‘Cigars’

Shectman appeared in Court today against two men the police arrested in the case The defendants are Walter S. Nowak, 22 years old, 442 Jackson Street and Martin Bertherlet, 25 years old, 1218 Pavonia Street. Each was held in $500 bail for the Grand Jury after Samuel P. Orlando, counsel for the two men, had waived a hearing.

Orlando, after the hearing today, stated that both men deny the charge of stealing the cigars. He would not comment on the case further, how­ever.

Nowak was caught after a two-mile chase through the streets. of Camden yesterday  by Shectman and Frank Helm, 2909 Stevens Street, who offered his car as Shectman cried “Help! Robbers!” in front of his store.

Nowak was turned over to Patrolmen Nathan Petit and Edward Carroll of the Second District patrol crew.

Both Are Identified

Bertherlet was arrested. Police said he called at headquarters yesterday afternoon and reported that his automobile had been stolen from Hyde Park, Second and Kaighn Avenue. Police said they doubted his story, investigated, and placed him under arrest today.

Both Novak and Bertherlet were identified as the two men who rushed from his store yesterday noon, by Shectman.

A stir was created in court when the Broadway store proprietor said he did not own a gambling machine, and said that the thieves had stolen a box of cigars.

When Shectman, answering a question put to him by Bertman, denied that he had been asked to “change the story” Gaffney was called to the witness stand.

Gaffney recited in detail an interview with Shectman yesterday shortly following the robbery. How Shectman had said that be had been robbed at a slot machine by two well-dressed bandits and how he had pursued them through the principal streets of South Camden—account of which was printed in detail in Fridays Courier—was told by the witness.

Shectman Questioned

Questioning of Shectman by Bertman followed statements by Detective Louis Shaw and attorney Orlando.

Shaw, asked the nature of the case against Nowak and Bertherlat said that it was over the “larceny of cigars.”

Orlando said that he understood that the matter invoilved his clients with the theft of a slot machine from Shectman’s store. Orlando said that his clients denied stealing cigars.

Neither of the defendants were called to testify.

Following Gaffney’s testimony, Judge Bertman said that he was tempted to hold the complainant under bail.

Shectman then again tried to “explain” the alleged discrepancies in the interview Friday and the statements made in court this morning.

“I don’t want to talk with you” was Bertman’s answer to Shectman’s request for a “few minutes” with the judge.

Police today said that they had arrested Harry Simons, 44, of 1447 South 4th street “on suspicion” last night. After Shectman positively identified Nowak and Bertherlet, Simons was released.

An erroneous report of the license number found on the Flint touring car used by the men on their flight from Shectman’s store was made yesterday. The license number, police said, was C16209 and not C16207 as reported yesterday.

It was through the tracing of the license number and the report that Bertherlat’s car had been stolen, that the second arrest in the case was made this morning.

Police said they figured the car had been used in several south Camden robberies during the past month.

Under the law, had Shectman admitted to possession of the slot machine, he would have been subject to a fine.

Camden Evening Courier - September 18, 1928
Click on Images to Enlarge



David Hunt - Thomas Cheeseman - Walter Smith - Rox Saponare
John W. Golden - Howard Pike -  Samuel Johnson - Lewis Stehr   
William Beottcher - George Ward - Louis Shaw - Frank Malec - Joseph Moll
Lawrence T. Doran - Samuel P. Orlando - Louis Shectman
Mrs. Mary Brown -
Polack Joe Deven - Frank Smith
Walter Selby - Walter Wartmann - Charles Foulk - Mrs. Edward McGrath
Father John J. Henry -
Joseph "Mose" Flannery"  - James Bonner
William Bonner  - James L. Hawkins - Walter Novak - Joseph Novak
Garfield Del Duca - Eugene Murphy - Russell Sage - Patrick Driscoll
Joseph "Cuzzy" Scarduzio

Camden Evening Courier - September 18, 1928
Click on Images to Enlarge



David Hunt - Thomas Cheeseman - Walter Smith - Rox Saponare
John W. Golden
- Howard Pike - Samuel Johnson - Lewis Stehr
William Boettcher - George Ward - Louis Shaw - Frank Malec
Lawrence T. Doran - Samuel P. Orlando - Louis Shectman
Mrs. Mary Brown -
Polack Joe Deven - Frank Smith - Walter Selby
Walter Wartmann - Charles Foulk - Mrs. Edward McGrath
Father John J. Henry -
Joseph "Mose" Flannery"  Joseph Moll
James Bonner - 
William Bonner  - James L. Hawkins
Walter Novak - Joseph Novak -
Garfield Del Duca - Eugene Murphy
Russell Sage - Patrick Driscoll - Joseph "Cuzzy" Scarduzio

Camden Courier-Post - June 6, 1933

One Goes to Jail in Default of Paying $50 Fine

Two excuses offered by two men for the presence of beer in their stores failed to impress Police Judge Pancoast yesterday. One storekeeper went to jail for 30 days in default of a $50 fine and the other storekeeper was fined $200.

Charles Yatzus, 43, of 1036 Central Avenue, went to jail because he was unable to explain how he was able to purchase beer and whiskey when he was on the verge of becoming a charge of the city emergency relief administration.

After Lieutenant Ralph Bakley had testified beer and whisky were found in his store, Yatzus said he was expecting friends from Wilmington and had purchased the liquor for use while they were at his house. Then he said he didn't have any money and was running a small store to keep from becoming an emergency relief charge.

Angelo Teto, 42, of 1024 South Third Street, insisted Earl Foy, 1016 South Sixth Street, came into his store to buy a bottle of root beer and not 3.2 beer. Foy, who said he was directed by Lieutenant Bakley to make a "buy" of beer at Teto's store, testified Teto told, his 11 year-old daughter to get a bottle of beer from the ice box. Before the deal could be completed, Foy said, Detective Vernon Jones entered the store.

Foy said Teto ordered his daughter to return the beer to the icebox, saying he recognized Jones. The beer, Teto said, was purchased for his own use. Teto insisted that Foy had asked for root beer and was to be served root beer. Judge Pancoast said he did not believe Teto's excuse and fined him $200.

Because he refused to follow the friendly advice of a policeman and "go home to sober up," Louis Schechtman, 48, of 2374 Broadway, is in the county jail today, beginning a 60-day sentence, in addition to pay­ing a $25 fine.

He faces another hearing tomorrow on charges of selling beer illegally.

Schechtman, according to Motorcycle Policeman George Jefferis, was creating a disturbance at Broadway and Fairview Street yesterday. He became abusive when told, to "go home and sober up," Jefferis said, so he went to jail. Judge Pancoast sentenced him to 60 days on the charge of being intoxicated.

Robert Powell, 430 Stevens Street, a taxicab driver, filed a charge of disorderly conduct against Schechtman, alleging Schechtman refused to pay a taxicab bill of $12.35. The disorderly charge brought a fine of $25.

Lieutenant Ralph Bakley alleged Schechtman had been violating the temporary beer law of New Jersey by selling beer without a license. Judge Pancoast said Schechtman will be taken into court tomorrow morning for a hearing on the beer charge.  

2374 Broadway

January 1, 1939
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Mom Shectman's Store