Leon
Grenkwicz


LEON GRENKWICZ was born on June 11, 1915 to Blanche and Konstanty Grinkiewicz. The family name has been spelled a number of different ways including Grynkiewicz, Grienkiewicz, and Grinkiewicz. The family was living at 1469 Louis Street by January of 1920. Besides Leon, there was an older brother Constantine, younger sister Jessie, and baby brother Sigmund. Konstanty Grenkwicz worked as a laborer in one of Camden's leather factories. Two more sisters, Helen and Regina, came by 1930. The family remained at the Louis Street address well into the 1930s.

In the early 1930s Leon Grenkwicz got involved with a group of young men who became somewhat notorious for their criminal activities. These included Joseph Putek, Stanley Geda, Leroy Jenkins, all of whom apparently frequented a poolroom at 1301 Decatur Street owned by Nicholas Kubiak. He was mentioned in the local newspapers of the day a number of times, and apparently was well-known to police in Camden and elsewhere in the 1930s and 1940s. He was arrested and questioned as a material witness in connection with a payroll robbery in 1933. A dozen years later he was sitting in a parked car with Romeo DeSanctis when gunmen in a passing vehicle machine-gunned the pair. De Sanctis died immediately, while Leon Grenkwicz, although wounded, escaped with his life, shot in the hands and face.  

Last a resident of East Camden, Leon Grenkwicz died on December 13, 1994. Brother Sigmund, whose last address was in Maple Shade, New Jersey, died the following year. 


Camden Courier-Post - June 3, 1933

4 YOUTHS HELD IN HOLDUP AT RADIO PLANT
2 in Jail at Time 'in on Plot,' Cops' Say; Booked as Witnesses
PAIR CAUGHT IN PENNA. TO FACE CHARGE TODAY
Condenser Company Payroll Robbery Planned in April, Sleuths Reveal

Two Camden youths, released from Camden county jail, were held by local police yesterday on suspicion of implication in the $11,790 holdup of the Radio Condenser Company, Thorne and Copewood streets, last Friday.

They are Leon Grinkewicz, 18, of 1469 Louis Street, and Stanley Geda, 19, of 1273 Whitman Avenue.

Although both denied knowledge of the payroll holdup, detectives said they admitted having been close pals of Le Roy Jenkins, 23; of 1161 Mechanic Street, and Joseph Putek, 23, of 1462 Louis Street, who were arrested in Lykens, Pa., on Monday.

Grinkewicz and Geda are being held on suspicion but, according to Detectives Clarence Arthur; Benjamin Simon and Clifford Del Rossi, they will be charged today with being material witnesses, while Jenkins and Putak will be charged with the holdup and will be arraigned in police court.

Grinkwicz and Geda were arrested yesterday morning on their release from county jail. They had been committed May 9 by Recorder Joseph Patton, of Haddon Heights, for 30 days on charges of loitering with intent to steal. They were questioned all day by detectives.     

Detectives said they learned Jenkins and Putak were with Grinkewicz and Geda in Haddon Heights "to do a job" but that the other two disappeared when Grinkeicz and Geda were arrested. Although they were in the county jail at the time, the detectives said they learned they had participated with Jenkins and Putak in planning the Radio Condenser job five weeks ago.


Camden Courier-Post - June 7, 1933

PANCOAST REFUSES TO LET COPS BARE HOLDUP EVIDENCE
Police Judge Then Holds Two Camden Suspects With­out Bail
CASH NOT RECOVERED

After refusing defense counsel's request that the city police bare their evidence, Police Judge Pancoast yesterday held two suspects without bail in the recent $11,790 Radio Condenser Company holdup and two other youths as material witnesses.

Frank M. Lario, attorney for the quartet, appeared in police court yesterday with William McDonald, court stenographer, and declared he wanted the police through witnesses on the stand, to reveal what evidence they have in the robbery.

But when Judge Pancoast asked Lario if he was willing to have the prisoners submit to cross examination by the court the attorney refused. Judge Pancoast thereupon declared that the formal complaints against the defendants were sufficient to establish a prima facie case, that no hearing was necessary and that the police therefore were not obliged to disclose any testimony.

Leroy Jenkins, 23, and, Joseph Putek, 23, who gave addresses at 1113 Mechanic Street and 1212 Lansdowne Avenue, respectively, were committed to the county jail without bail on charges of holdup and robbery. They pleaded not guilty.

Those held as material witnesses were Leon Grenkwicz, 18, of 1469 Louis Street, and Stanley Geda, 19, of 1273 Whitman Avenue. Lario pointed out they were in jail when the holdup occurred but, Judge Pancoast said he would hold them for the prosecutor's office which would probably fix bail for them.

City Detective Benjamin Simon, who signed the complaints, stated prior to the hearing that he has obtained information from North Jersey which is vital to his investigation of the robbery. But he would not reveal its nature.

None of the money stolen by the bandits, who herded 11 persons in a vault after forcing one of them to open the safe containing the payroll, has been recovered by the police. 


Camden Courier-Post - June 8, 1933

HOLDUP SUSPECTS FREE IN BAIL OF $3000

Held without bail for the Grand Jury by Police Judge Pancoast, two suspects in the $11,790 Radio Condenser Company payroll holdup were ordered released in $3000 bail by Prosecutor Clifford .A. Baldwin yesterday.

Judge Pancoast remanded Leroy Jenkins, 23, and Joseph Putek, 23, who gave their addresses as 1113 Mechanic Street and 1212 Lansdowne Avenue, respectively, to jail after defense counsel failed in an effort to have the city police reveal their evidence against the men.

Two others refused bail as material witnesses in the holdup by Judge Pancoast were released in $500 bail by Prosecutor Baldwin. They are Leon Grenkwicz, 19, of 1469 Louis Street, and Stanley Geda, 19, of 1273 Whitman Avenue.

Counsel representing Jenkins and Putek appeared before Baldwin and asked that the bail be set, inasmuch as the police had not disclosed any evidence against them.


Camden Courier-Post - June 9, 1933

FIFTH SUSPECT HELD IN PAYROLL HOLDUP
Police Say Pool Room Owner Knew of Robbery Plot

A fifth man was arrested in the recent Radio Condenser Company $11,790 payroll holdup and held as a material witness yesterday after city detectives alleged he attempted to escape from them in his automobile. He is Nicholas Kubiak, 34, of 1301 Decatur street, owner of a pool room on the corner of Decatur and Norris streets. Arraigned, before Judge Pancoast in police court, Kubiak was committed to the county jail without bail as a witness.

City Detectives Benjamin Simon, Clifford Del Rossi and Clarence Arthur stated they went to the pool room this morning and told Kubiak he was under arrest. He accompanied them to the sidewalk and suddenly stepped into his own automobile parked at the curb. The detectives said he started the engine, whereupon the police car was driven in front of him so he couldn't move. Simon declared that he jumped on the running board of Kubiak's car and reached in to grab the ignition key. Kubiak tried to push him off the running board. Simon said, and the key was obtained only after a tussle.

Simon said he has three statements signed by persons who charged they heard Kubiak declare the holdup was planned in his poolroom and that Leroy Jenkins and Joseph Putek were the actual bandits. Jenkins and Putek are charged with the holdup and are held under $3000 bail each. The bail was fixed by Prosecutor Baldwin.

Simon stated he previously had questioned Kubiak, but could learn nothing to warrant holding the man until he received the statements late last night. Simon said if he had been able to obtain the statements prior to yesterday, he doubted that bail would have been fixed so low. 

Two other youths, arrested as material witnesses in the case, were released by Prosecutor Baldwin today under $500 bail each. They are Leon Grenwicz, 18, of 1469 Louis Street, and Stanley Geda, 19, of 1273 Whitman avenue.

Camden Courier-Post * October 29, 1935

PAIR HELD FOR JURY IN THEFT OF LIQUOR

Charged with possession of stolen goods, Leon Grenkwicz, 21, of 1213 Louis Street, and George Sanders, 22, of 307 Walnut street, Haddonfield, yesterday were held without bail for the grand Jury by Police Judge Lewis Liberman.

Charges were placed against them by Detective Benjamin Simon after they had been arrested in Audubon for being drunk and disorderly. Simon said his investigation indicated they were the men who, on September 25, stole a liquor truck belonging to James Thompson, wholesale beverage dealer, from Fourth and Arch streets, where it was parked.

Simon said that he has the sworn statement of Hugh Gaffney, of 3 Albertson avenue, Westmont, and John Whelan, of 831 Linden street, that Grenkwicz tried to sell him some of the stolen liquor, for which Thompson is the sole agent in Camden.

Furthermore, said Simon, he has the evidence of a Merchantville man and his sister, whose names he  did not reveal, that Sanders sold them a case of the same brand.

Camden Courier-Post * July 28, 1943

Camden Evening Courier - March 23, 1945
CASABLANCA WITNESS MURDERED
ROMEO DeSANCTIS
lLEON GRENKWICZ
Romeo DeSanctis - Leon Grenkwicz - Leonard Andruzza

Camden Evening Courier - March 23, 1945
CASABLANCA WITNESS MURDERED
...continued...
...continued...
...continued...
...continued...
Gustav Koerner - Clifford Carr
"Cappy" Roman - Oliver Morgan
Charles Cooke - Joseph Putek
Wilfred Dube - Gene R. Mariano
Leonard Lutz - Stephen Burns
James McBride -  Romeo deSanctis
Leon Grenkwicz
- Mt. Ephraim Avenue 
Kaighn AvenueDecatur Street

Trenton Times - March 23, 1945
...continued...
Leonard Lutz - Stephen Burns - James McBride - Gene R. Mariano - Romeo deSanctis - Leon Grenkwicz

Camden Evening Courier - March 24, 1945
...continued...
  Gene R. Mariano - Walter C. Carley -  Romeo deSanctis - Leon Grenkwicz 
West Jersey Hospital

Camden Evening Courier - March 26, 1945
...continued...
...continued...
George W. Frost - Joseph Putek - Gene R. Mariano - Walter Keown
Leonard Lutz - Stephen Burns - James McBride
Romeo deSanctis - Leon Grenkwicz 
Lawrence G. Scrufer - Maurice Kirby - Raymond Whitmore 
Cooper Street - Arch Street -
Dudley Street - Federal Street - Decatur Street

Camden Courier-Post - December 2, 1945
...continued...
Thomas Murphy - August Pflederer - Romeo deSanctis
Leon Grenkwicz
Mickey Quinn - Mitchell Sadowski

Camden Courier-Post
November 15, 1949

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