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Downtown Lexington jewelry store burglary, 1956

Posted on July 24, 2017 | in Uncategorized | by

Lexington patrolmen John Johnson Jr., left, and James Perkins looked at the damage after a burglary on June 21, 1956, at Kirk Jewelry Co., 301 West Main Street. Eight Bulova watches, valued at $400, were taken from the store. The two officers discovered the shattered window, which had been broken by a large railroad spike. Ten minutes later, a suspect was arrested, and an hour later, a second man was arrested. The quick arrests were a result of the two officers’ descriptions of the suspects. For their work, the department’s third platoon, particularly Johnson and Perkins, were given a commendation by Maj. Wallace McMurray. Both officers were graduates of Lexington’s old Dunbar High School and went on to long, decorated careers in the police department. Johnson, who died in April at age 88, spent 29 years with the department and retired in the 1980s as a juvenile detective. His daughter, Norma Johnson, said that at his funeral, his fellow officers described him as a mentor and a confidante, and they said he was a calming influence in tense situations. Here is a link to Johnson’s obituary. Perkins, who died in 1984 at age 58, four months after retiring, was Lexington’s first black sergeant, lieutenant and captain. Then-Police Chief John P. McFadden said Perkins wasn’t much for paperwork but had a knack for getting people to trust him enough to give him information. McFadden said Perkins once, in one day, got information that led to solving three unrelated homicides that had been unsolved for weeks. Herald-Leader File Photo

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