Sunday, January 08, 2012

Black Sheep Sunday : New Harmony Bank Bandits Elude Capture

Source: Evansville Courier, March 11, 1925


Trail of Grey Sedan Lost Near Poseyville; Left State, Belief

New Harmony, March 11 - "Shoot to kill."  This order was flashed over the entire tri-state district yesterday following the failure of authorities in more than 24 hours to apprehend the four bank bandits who shortly before 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon held up and robbed the New Harmony Bank and Trust company of $9300 in cash and bonds.

The trail taken by the bandits, who fled from the small village in a large grey sedan, was picked up near Wadesville where the fleeing automobile was seen Tuesday afternoon.  From there it led north through Poseyville where it was lost.  Yesterday morning a report from King's Station in Gibson county said the bandit car had been seen there.

Left State Belief

Police authorities throughout the Pocket district, notified of the robbery within a few minutes after it had occurred, scoured nearby cities and towns and stationed guards on the highways throughout the Pocket.  Late last night, however, the bandits had not been apprehended and it was believed they had made good their escape into some adjoining state.

The latest clue possessed by authorities in regard to the movement of the large grey sedan and which has strengthened the belief that the bandits have left the state was received yesterday from Charles Chamberlain, a farmer living near Griffin. Chamberlain reported that he had been stopped by four men riding in such an automobile six miles south of Griffin on the Wabash river.  They asked him where they could get a boat across the river and handing him $80 in cash, telling him to keep still.

Heavily armed

The fact that the bandits were bold enough to stage a robbery in a town like New Harmony from which escape could easily be cut off, has led to the belief that they were desperate men and were prepared to shoot their way to freedom if cornered.  This fact, and the fact that they were all heavily armed, caused the warning to police officers in Pocket to take no chances in affecting a capture.

After a thorough check of the bank's funds yesterday, it was learned that the take was $ 9300  .  Of this amount, $ 4,800 was in cash, $300 in gold, and $4,000 in bonds.  All is amply covered by insurance.

This article is another in a series of stories of Indiana bank robberies by a group of robbers, led by my paternal cousin, Harry Pierpont (1902-1934).   Harry later became famous as part of the "Terror Gang" with John Dillinger. 

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