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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Burglary suspect in trouble after cops seize shoes, silks and leather vests

Published in the Feb. 2, 1921 Spokane Daily Chronicle.  (S-R archives)
Published in the Feb. 2, 1921 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Mary “Billie” Fellows, part of the criminal gang responsible for the Spokane State Bank robbery, was in a heap of trouble.

When police searched the Greening Ranch, about seven miles west of Spokane, they found Billie in possession of about $500 worth of shoes, silks and leather vests. Those items had been stolen from Walker’s General Merchandise Store in Oakesdale weeks earlier. John “Dutch” Stokes, who was also living at the ranch, was already under arrest for perpetrating that burglary.

Now, Billie Fellows was on her way to Colfax to be tried for possession of stolen property.

“The police claim the woman has acted as a fence for the band of ex-convicts and criminals who made the ranch, 7 miles out on the Sunset Boulevard, their headquarters,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

The Greening Ranch had been rented out by several members of the gang. After the bank robbery, police raided the place. They found “an entire safe blower’s outfit, knobs from safes, knockout drops and other equipment generally used by desperate criminals.”

In addition, police found three big barrels of mash, ready for distilling. The gang had apparently intended to begin a large bootlegging operation.

Two other gang members were already in custody as suspects in the bank robbery.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1990: In a dramatic concession to South Africa’s Black majority, President F.W. de Klerk lifted a ban on the African National Congress and promised to free Nelson Mandela.

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