The Leon Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, September 19, 1912, Page 1



Yeggmen Blew Outside Safe Yesterday Morning.
Secured $800 and Made Their Escape.


Yeggmen did a successful job of safe blowing at Grand River yesterday morning, when they blew the outside safe of the First National Bank of Grand River, and escaped with about $1,000. The bank has two safes, one in their vault and another which is kept outside the vault in which money comes in after regular banking house is placed, and it was this safe which was burglarized. It is thought that the bank robbers were five in number, judging from the platform which they had rigged up on the railroad tricycle which they used in making their escape.

They first burglarized the hardware store of J. L. Latta, trying first to gain an entrance at the back door, but no succeeding went to the front of the store and broke in the glass door. They took from the store a quantity of ammunition, a repeating rifle, several pocket knives, and brace and bit, coal chisels and other tools to use in blowing open the bank safe.

Several parties at Grand River heard the explosions which were five in number, and covered a period of 35 or 40 minutes, the first one being about 2 o'clock. The door of the big safe was blown open with nitroglycerine, and the money soon secured. The burglars evidently came from Van Wert, where they stole a railroad velocipede on which they traveled to Grand River, having rigged up a board platform on it so that more men could be carried than there were seats.

After blowing the safe open they made their escape and started back toward Van Wert, leaving the railroad track a couple of miles east of DeKalb, which would leave them about four or five miles from Van Wert, where the country is very broken. They carried the velocipede a distance of 25 or 30 yards from the railroad track so that it could not be seen from the tracks.

A short time after the robbery was discovered sheriff Andrew was phone for and left for the scene in his auto, accompanied by a posse and they were making every effort to track the robbers. A pair of blood hounds were telegraphed for from Ottumwa, and the place where the men left the velocipede is being guarded so as to give the dogs a chance at the scent when they arrived, being expected about 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon, but no report from them could be secured up to the time The Reporter went to press Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock.

The First National Bank of Grand River has a capital of %25,000, A. L. Ackerley, of Leon, being president and J. C. Brothers, cashier. The bank is protected by insurance in the National Surety Co., of New York, who will put detectives on the track of the robbers and run them to the earth if possible, and the insurance will cover the bank's loss.

There seems to be a well organized gang of safe blowers located in southern Iowa, who have been very successful in blowing safes and making their escape, but they will be captured one of these days.

The Leon Reporter
Leon, Decatur County, Iowa
Thursday, September 26, 1912, Page 1



No Clew to the Grand River Bank Robbers.
Blood Hounds Refused to Follow Their Trail.


The yeggmen who blew the First National Bank at Grand River on Tuesday morning of last week, see to have made their getaway without leaving any clews. As stated last week they went to Grand River on a railroad velocipede which they stole at Van Wert, and abandoned it on the return trip about a mile east of DeKalb station, carrying it some distance from the tracks. As they did not leave Grand River until almost 4 o'clock, it is presumed that daylight overtook them and they feared being seen, so took to the corn fields and brush land and made their escape.

When the velocipede was found a guard was placed over it to keep everyone away, and a pair of blood hounds owned by the sheriff of Wapello county, were telephoned for at Agency, Iowa. The dogs were sent to Osceola that afternoon, where they were met by an auto and taken to DeKalb, arriving there about dark. They set up a great howl around the velocipede, but would not follow the scent any distance from it, coming back to the velocipede each time, and it is thought that the burglars either used some dope in their shoes to throw the dogs off the track or else changed shoes to avoid being tracked.

Detective Gus Patek, of the Burns Detective Agency, the man who ran down the fellows who blew the Derby bank about a year ago, has been assigned to the case and is working hard to find a clue, but has not given out any information to the public.

The total amount taken from the safe was $889.01, $400 of it being in new bank notes of the Iowa National Bank at Des Moines, and had never been used. There were also about $18.00 in pennies, and they left nothing in the shape of money. The interior of the bank building was pretty badly shattered, the door of the safe being blown through the counter, and the safe is ruined, but it is thought that the loss will be about covered by their burglar insurance.

Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2015
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