A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 04, 2016
“No matter how fast your car is, you can’t outrun a police radio”

"No matter how fast your car is, you can’t outrun a police radio” is a policing adage. A speeding criminal, for example, often is tempted to go faster and escape the police. The police radios are usually successful in alerting other police cars.

“Sometimes they can outrun a police car, but they never can outrun a radio beam” was printed in The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) on August 16, 1948. “A mistaken idea that a stolen automobile can outrun a police radio network” was printed in the Windsor (ON) Daily Star on December 10, 1953. “But hot as that cycle of yours many be, we’ve got one special accessory you can’t outrun—a radio” was printed in the St. Petersburg (FL) Times on September 5, 1961. “You can outrun a police car, but you can’t outrun a police radio” was called an old bootlegger maxim in the Fort Lauderdale (FL) News on May 21, 1962.

The police saying has been printed on T-shirts.

Motorola is a popular brand of police radio, and “You can’t outrun a Motorola” is a version of the saying.


16 August 1948, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), pg. 5, col. 1:
SPEEDY ACTION
NIPS HIT-RUNNER
(...)
“Cooperation did it,” Officer Bradeen said. “Sometimes they can outrun a police car, but they never can outrun a radio beam.”

10 December 1953, Windsor (ON) Daily Star, “Dragnet Traps 3 Sought in Thefts,” pg. 3, col. 7:
A mistaken idea that a stolen automobile can outrun a police radio network sent one man to hospital last night with a bullet in his hip and his two companions to jail pending a court appearance.

5 September 1961, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “Police Beat,” pg. 2-B. cols. 7-8:
(Patrolman Clyde—ed.) Walter discussed motors and gear ratios with them for several minutes and then San Marco broke in, saying, “But hot as that cycle of yours many be, we’ve got one special accessory you can’t outrun—a radio—so don’t try it and save yourself a lot of trouble.”

21 May 1962, Fort Lauderdale (FL) News, “You Can’t Outrun A Police Radio,” pg. 2-B, col. 1:
BOYNTON BEACH—“You can outrun a police car, but you can’t outrun a police radio.”

This old bootlegger maxim was apparently ignored by a 17-year-old lead-footed youth last night, police here reported, as the law in three communities combined to halt his racing car.

21 October 1967, The Palm Beach Post-Times (West Palm Beach, FL), “Police Radio Outspeeds Car,” pg. 2, col. 1:
Allan Gerald McGee, 24, of 2723 Genessee Ave., discovered he could not outrun a police radio early Friday morning after he attempted to flee from pursuing sheriff’s deputies, according to authorities.

15 May 1968, The Pocono Record (The Stroudsburgs, PA), “Driver fails to out-run police,” pg. 5, col. 2:
LEHIGHTON—A driver may be able to out-run a police car but he can’t out-run police radios. Warren F. Hoffman, Jr., 24, of Stroudsburg, Box 341, learned this Saturday night.

Google Books
Holy rRder:
The Priest and the Gang

By Warren La Coste
Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press
1992
Pg. 176:
“Doesn’t he know he can’t outrun a police radio?”

17 March 1993, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Pilot Gave Viewers Show and Rerun Television: Veteran KNBC helicopter reporter was above scene of both pursuits” by Jon D. Markman, pg. 9:
“The suspects are somehow confusing fantasy with reality,” he said. “You cannot outrun a police radio. And you can certainly not outrun the CHP. I really praise the Highway Patrol guys now who just let the suspects run out of fuel. When there were no injuries despite speeds over 100 m.p.h., there is a lot of luck involved-but also lot of pure skill.”

Google Books
22 September 1994, Bangor (ME) Daily News, “Spiking high-speed chases” (editorial), pg. A8, col. 2:
The fastest car can’t outrun a police radio, argue critics of the chase. They’re right. The problem for police, however, is that no radio signal can force a fleeing driver to stop.

Twitter
Brett
‏@imdointheworm
Note to self: no matter how fast your car can go, nor how fast you drive it, you can’t outrun a police radio.  :(
11:16 AM - 23 Jan 2012

Google Books
Investigating Missing Children Cases:
A Guide for First Responders and Investigators

By Donald F. Sprague
Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press
2013
Pg. 70:
There is a saying in police work: “A wanted suspect can never outrun a police radio.” Many criminals have tried and most of them have failed.

Rapid City (SD) Journal
ROOKS: Criminals do the darndest things
By David Rooks
Sep 2, 2016
(...)
Apparently, the old adage: “No matter how fast your car is, you can’t outrun a police radio” has limits.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Sunday, September 04, 2016 • Permalink