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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: A 14-year-old repeat offender stole thousands in securities, plus a rifle from his dinner host

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 17, 2021

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )

The criminal career of 14-year-old Elliot Michener (or Mitchener) ended in another arrest – this time with $14,500 in securities in his possession.

Elliot stole the bonds and securities from his father in Coeur d’Alene and headed up to Northport, Washington, where he cashed a few Liberty bonds. Authorities were tipped off to his presence there by a Canadian border officer who had encountered the boy.

Soon after, a Northport woman said she had invited the boy into her house for something to eat. He repaid her generosity by stealing her rifle and fleeing.

Police traced Elliot to a Northport hotel, where he locked himself in his room. When police arrived, Elliott jumped out the window and escaped.

But not for long. A day later, the sheriff saw the boy stroll back into Northport, where he arrested him.

This was his second major theft. A few months earlier, he had stolen $4,200 from the Philadelphia company where he worked as a messenger boy. Police traced Elliot to a New York hotel, where he was busy spending the stolen money.

“In an effort to make the boy lead a straight life, he was allowed to come West to stay under the care of his father,” the Chronicle wrote. “He had been home but a few weeks when he stole the money from the trunk and ran away.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1930: Photographic evidence of Pluto was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.

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