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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Bank robbers get away with $1,200 cash

Published in the Jan. 19, 1921 Spokane Daily Chronicle.  (S-R archives)
Published in the Jan. 19, 1921 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Two gunmen walked into the Spokane State Bank at Division and Nora and ordered two employees and a customer to hold up their hands.

“I couldn’t realize what they meant when they stuck that gun in my stomach,” said customer D.A. Kelly. “I looked at the bandit maybe five seconds before I realized what he meant. When I did, I put up my hands. Neither of the men were masked and they were sure cool ones.”

“I thought it was a joke when they first ordered us to hold up our hands,” said bookkeeper Eunice Duncan. “While one of the men held the gun on us, the other walked behind the counter and helped himself to all the currency in sight. He did not touch the silver, nor a sack containing about $200 in gold.”

Then they forced the cashier, A.W. Sawins, to go in the vault and open the safe. There was nothing but silver in the safe and they didn’t take any of that either.

They tried to lock all three in the vault, but it proved to be impossible, so they ran out of the bank and jumped into an auto that they had left idling at the curb. As they roared off, the cashier called police.

But when police arrived, the robbers were long gone. Police tried to follow the tracks of the car – it had been equipped with snow chains – yet they had not been caught as of mid-afternoon.

They got away with an estimated $1,200 in cash.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1937: Millionaire Howard Hughes set a transcontinental air record by flying his monoplane from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, in 7 hours, 28 minutes, 25 seconds.

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