Archive for Saturday, August 25, 2012

100 years ago: Hiding in plain sight a bad plan for train robber

August 25, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 25, 1912:

"Lawrence figured conspicuously in a bold train hold up last night and had the Lawrence officers been given a little time by the train officials the entire affair would have culminated here. As it was the bandit was permitted to get past and was arrested in Topeka. When Union Pacific train Number 101 arrived in Lawrence last night at 11:17 the mail car was not opened and the local clerk was unable to put the mail aboard. He tried the door and found it closed but a minute later one of the clerks on the inside raised the bar and opened the door. Then it was learned that the train had been robbed and that the bandit was at large. Six mail clerks were grouped in one end of the car with their hands tied behind their backs and handkerchiefs over their mouths. One of them had succeeded in opening the door while his hands were still tied behind him. They told the story of the hold up to the officials and immediately the search for the man was begun. Lawrence police officers were notified and hastened to the depot, but the train pulled out before they could search every car and they did not locate the man. Lawrence police and railroad officials suspected that the man was still on the train and immediately wired Topeka authorities to be on the lookout for the man and to watch No. 101 when it came into Topeka.... At Lawrence the robber had slipped out of the mail car, leaving his six victims bound and gagged, and carrying several bundles of registered letters, boarded the Pullman car and went to bed. At Topeka officers attempted to arrest the man. He struggled desperately while lying in the berth until he realized he was fighting a losing battle."

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