The Independent Patriot
Lamoni, Iowa
December 6, 1894


Lamoni had another unpleasant visit from safe blowers Wednesday night, November 28; and had it not been for the virtues of a time lock vault, a very severe loss would have been sustained. The burglars secured some tools at the black smith shop of Joseph RABIDOU and prying open the back door of the bank building, proceeded to open a way to the money through fire proof vault and time lock safe.

A hole was first bored in the outside vault door, powder blown in with a bellows provided for the purpose, the lock shattered by the explosion, and the door opened. Poser was blown into the key hole of the second vault door, and it was opened in the same manner. Then they attacked the safe, the huge doors of which were blown off their hinges by the terrible explosion, excepting the lower hinge of one. The one blown entirely off was thrown several feet, and burst to pieces. The robbers were now at the time lock vault. However, they found some small packages of money before trying to enter it amounting to about $200. They failed to enter the time lock vault, or cripple it so that it could not be opened, though it bears the marks of the use of acids to soften the metal so that it could be drilled.

The loss in money and to the vault and safe is between four and five hundred dollars.

The burglars left their brace, bits, bellows, wet blanket, etc. lying about the room which presented a woeful appearance the next morning.

Mr. Frank STODDARD, the cashier, came first, about eight o'clock, and discovering at once the trouble, placed his foot upon the burglar alarm and called to his side immediately his nearest business neighbor, Mr. A. P. OLSEN. Mr. STODDARD then entered the vault, and found things as described.

The time lock is uninjured; but the firm have ordered a Mosier screw door safe, which has been upon the market seven years and never burglarized once.

Telegrams were at once sent in all directions and all points were thus at once put under watch. A reward of $350 has been offered for the apprehension of the burglars, $250 by the bank, the rest by citizens outside of it.

Copied by Stacey McDowell Dietiker
August 22, 2003

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