Highway Patrol (1955–1959)
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Careless Cop 

A Highway Patrol officer is critically wounded after failing to properly frisk and handcuff a suspect during a routine traffic stop.


Leon Benson


Vance Skarstedt


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Episode cast overview:
Broderick Crawford ... Dan Mathews
Douglas Henderson Douglas Henderson ... Buck Lester
Robert Dix ... Officer Ben Willkie
Barbara Knudson ... Mrs. Lester (as Barbara Ann Knudson)
Vance Skarstedt Vance Skarstedt ... Officer Larrabee
Irene James Irene James ... Waitress
Yvonne White Yvonne White ... Dispatcher
Art Gilmore ... Narrator (voice)


During a routine traffic stop, Officer Ben Willkie fails to handcuff Buck Lester, who is on the run for a $62,000 payroll robbery that ended in murder. Lester escapes after shooting Officer Willkie in the back, and Dan Mathews and Officer Larrabee travel to the scene after the critically wounded officer fails to respond to several calls. Lester steals other license plates and, acting on local information obtained from a waitress, he and his wife steer their car onto a little-used back road in an attempt to flee the area. However, Dan knows that the back road is the only way to avoid the Highway Patrol's roadblocks and he and Officer Larrabee are able to set a trap for the cocksure couple. Written by Sam Spear

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

31 March 1958 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Buck Lester and his wife are on the run after a $62,000.00 payroll robbery which ended in murder, and then shooting officer Willkie after he neglected to cuff Lester. $62,000.00 in 1958 had the same buying power as $516,357.39 in 2016. Annual inflation over this period was about 3.72% See more »


After Lester (Douglas Henderson) is shot, Officer Larrabee (Vance Skarstedt) walks over to the passenger side of the car. Mrs. Lester (Barbara Knudson) gets out of the car and puts her hands behind her. Larrabee then says "Get out of the car please. Put your hands behind you." The actress performed her scene prematurely. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: The foremost concerns of every officer of the Highway Patrol are constant surveillance and caution. A single second of carelessness can well mean failure in his duty, and possibly the loss of his life. On June 10th of last year, Highway Patrol Officer Ben Willkie committed just such an act of carelessness.
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