In April of 1925, a train watchman in Kalamazoo was on duty for what seemed like just another normal day. Trains came and went from the station and people went in and out to reach their destinations. But the watchman, identified as William Webster, was about to become the victim of theft for a very important item related to his work.

A stranger arrived and at some point during the day and tried to claim that he was a railroad detective. The unknown man tried to use his phony job identification to get into areas where he didn't belong. By Saturday night, the man left the vicinity of Webster's watchman shanty near a crossing. Then the stranger was last seen stealing a ride on a Michigan Central train as it was leaving the station.

But something else was stolen along with the train ride...

Webster reported to police that his watch (yes, the watchman's watch) had disappeared. He said his stolen watch was valued at $4. As far as we know the mysterious stranger and the watchman's watch were never seen again.

(Some details of this story are credited to a history piece from the Holland Sentinel)


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