Monday, September 8, 2014

Bank Robbery at Birds and Stores in Pinkstaff 1934

Daily Record September 24, 1934 Burglars entered Stores, Bank Saturday Night

Burglars who broke into three stores in Pinkstaff and the bank at Birds Saturday night received small pay for their work. One of the stores reported a loss of about $10, while the other two stores and the bank were unable to discover a loss except damages done by the thieves. An attempt to blow open the safe of the Birds bank was made unsuccessfully, but the combination was damaged so that the safe could not be opened in the morning.

The stores entered at Pinkstaff were Derr and Lindsay, Haines and Stoltz, and the Pinkstaff elevator. Haines and Stoltz reported a loss of about $10 in stamps, small change, and cigarettes. At Derr and Lindsay's, nothing was missed Sunday morning, and the elevator apparently escaped without loss. Several hundred dollars might have been obtained at the three places, but the burglars overlooked the money. At one place they handled envelopes, containing $50 and $65 without suspecting the nature of their contents.

The only clue as to the identity of the burglars was discovered at the bank, where circumstances pointed to the probability that they were well acquainted in the vicinity. The Birds bank had been robbed in 1921, the safe being blown after holes had been drilled through the door to insert explosives. When the safe was repaired, the holes were plugged with metal, and the door was repainted. Evidently the burglars were aware of the fact, for they went to work on the metal plugs, drilling one out, and trying unsuccessfully to knock out several others. A fuse and cap had been inserted in the hole drilled in the door, and it had been fired. However, if any explosive had been inserted with the fuse,  it failed to ignite.

At Pinkstaff, a resident stated that he heard a car about two o'clock in the morning. Officers believe that the same gang was responsible for all four burglaries, and that they went to Birds after failing at Pinkstaff.  It is believed that daybreak hastened their flight from the bank.

From the manner in which the jobs were handled, officers believed that it was the work of novices or drunken persons.