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Tuesday, March 26, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago today in Spokane: Car theft earns groom jail time

A honeymoon “joyride” in a stolen auto resulted in a “heartbroken” bride, and an even worse outcome for the groom.

He was sent to jail for 60 days.

The auto belonged to his boss at the telephone company, who had put it up for sale. He had entrusted James E. McCord to drive the auto to a prospective buyer and take the buyer on a demonstration ride. Instead, McCord took out a marriage license, drove the car to Colville and got married to the former Miss Ina Jackson.

The boss grew suspicious when the auto was not promptly returned. When the boss went on a business trip to Colville, he learned that the bride and groom had left in his auto on their honeymoon.

The boss notified authorities, who located the auto outside a Spokane hotel. McCord was arrested for auto theft and sentenced to jail by Justice Stocker.

“This is a contemptible piece of business,” the justice told him. “But the penalty will fall hardest on the bride, to whom you have evidently been representing yourself as a man of some means and some standing. In former days, a man was sent to the penitentiary for stealing a cayuse off the prairie. Now young men take a car worth a dozen cayuses and seem to think it a small crime.”

Also from the joyride beat: In the same issue of the Spokane Daily Chronicle, a judge penned an open letter to parents of Spokane boys, telling them to warn their sons of the consequences of taking automobiles without permission.

Judge Hugo E. Oswald said parents of Spokane boys between ages 12-18 “have failed” to discuss the seriousness of joyriding.

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