Sunday, July 17, 2011

Black Sheep Sunday: Laketon Bank Robbed Today

Call-Leader, Elwood, Indiana, March 31, 1925, page 1.

Laketon Bank Robbed Today

Wabash, March 31. – The unmasked bandits held up and robbed the Laketon State bank, north of here, shortly after it opened this morning, making away with between $1,000 and $1,800.  The bandits overlooked several thousand dollars in bonds.

The Laketon bank robbery in Wabash County, Indiana was one that was believed to be the work of Harry PIERPONT's gang.  However, after Harry's arrest, the clerk was unable to identify Harry as the robber.

I also received the following transcription from Wabash County Historian Ron Woodward, from his files on the robbery from the March 31, 1925 Wabash Plain Dealer:



     Armed with revolvers, two youthful bandits, calmly walked into the Lateton State Bank at 9 o’clock this morning and after covering E.L. Bright, cashier, and Mrs. Violet Ogden, assistant cashier, with guns, looted the money drawers of between $1,000 and $1,200.  they left the bank immediately and stepping into a Ford Touring car sped away to the north before an alarm could be given.
     Arriving at a point five miles northeast of Laketon the robbers abandoned the Ford and transferred their loot to a Willys-Knight coupe and proceeded on their way.  The Ford touring car was stolen in Milford, Ind., and it is presumed that the more powerful car was also a stolen machine.
     The bank opened about 8:15 this morning according to Mr. Bright and at about 9 o’clock, the young men stepped inside.  No one besides Mr. Bright and Mrs. Ogden were present at the time.  One of the bandits stepped around the counter and forced Mr. Bright and Mrs. Ogden to hold up their hands.  The other remained outside the cage to serve as a lookout.
     “I was backed up against the wall,” said Mr. Bright, “and told not to move unless I wanted to be shot.  The one fellow then scrapped the money off the counter and took change out of the vault and each drawers.  He passed it on to the other man and then the two of them backed out of the door and jumped into the Ford touring car.”

Loss Over $1000

     “I haven’t been able to make a check of the exact loss but it won’t run much over $1000,” said Mr. Bright.  Detectives operation Webster Bureau at Indianapolis informed the United Press today that they believed the loss would reach $2500 judging from the reports they had received.  Mr. Bright denied this statement.
     Residents of Laketon report that early in the morning they saw the Willys-Knight coupe in Laketon and that it contained three men.  The car was driven around the street and passed the bank several times.  The number of the license plates is known by authorities and may prove a big asset in locating the robbers.

Start Pursuit

     As soon as possible Robert Fulton, S.A. Pense and R. Stranglin, all of Laketon, jumped into a car and started in pursuit of the bandits but their efforts were of no avail.  The first car ahd too great an advantage in time and had disappeared.  Police in Northern Indiana cities were informed of the robbery shortly after it occurred an detectives are now at work on the rather meager clews.

Laketon in Turmoil

     Laketon was very much excited today.  The little hamlet which is accustomed to a peaceful existence suddenly became a hot bed.  The news of the robbery spread like wildfire and it was not long before autos bearing folks from surrounding towns began to arrive on the scene.
     Some of the depositors were anxious as to the amount taken thinking that perhaps the loss would seriously cripple the finances of the bank.  There was no cause for alarm as the bank was covered by insurance and business was carried on as usual following the excitement.

Bandits Show Craftiness

     The transfer from one machine to another in order to throw pursuers off the track was a craft move on the part of the bandits.  They had long before it was attempted, evidently carefully planed the job.
     Both were young men, judged by Mr. Bright, to have been ? ? of age.  They were of dark complexion and wore conventional clothes. 

Black Sheep Sunday – create a post with the main focus being an ancestor with a “shaded past.” Bring out your ne’er-do-wells, your cads, your black widows, your horse thieves and tell their stories. And don’t forget to check out the International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists (IBSSG). This is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

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