Ironton-Russell Motor Company

Motor Company Safe Blown; Thieves Enter Three Other Places

Robbery Points

Ironton-Russell Motor Company
Sloan Motor Sales
Ryan-Gilfillan Garage
Scherer Plumbing Shop

Submitted by Peggy A. Wells

Thieves went on a rampage in Ironton during last night and early this morning and police are reasonably certain that at least two gangs were working. Two men have been arrested and are being held for investigation.

Four places in all were entered with the major “job” being reported from the Ironton-Russell Motor Company of Second and Adams streets. A safe there was blown and cash ranging in the neighborhood of $60 secured. Several tool boxes were entered but nothing of value taken and the thieves made a quick getaway after a heavy blast had rocked the neighborhood. The blast occurred about 5:30 o’clock and one hour later thieves were arrested by Patrolmen Elmer Blackwell and Andy Basham, at the Shore home at 614 Lawrence street. Both denied their guilt but police charge the $8 taken from McCauley and $36.71 found on the thieves represent part of the loot secured at the motor company. There were several packages of coins in the safe, according to Charles Wagner, proprietor, and police say similar packages of coins were found on the suspects.

Following arrest of the two men, police were notified that some articles had been thrown in a garbage can at the Shore alley by a member of the family. A second visit there netted one wrecking bar, said to be similar to the tool used in “jimmying” the Ironton-Russell windows, and a half-gallon of moonshine whiskey. According to police both men were seen driving in the business district at 4:30 a. m., but ***  mother denied he was out of the house after midnight. McCauley, she says, came to the *** home at 6:30 o’clock this morning.

Entrance to the motor company was gained by prying a rear window. Another window into the office building, which is directly back of the main display room, was jimmied and handles were knocked from two safes kept in the office. Only one, and curiously enough the one which contained company money, was blown. The other, used as a filing cabinet, was untouched after the handle had been smashed.

An overcharge was used in blowing the safe and police termed it a crude job. The explosion was terrific and was heard by bridge toll collectors, at the McMahon-Litteral taxi office and other points. Patrolman Garland Wileman, traveling from his South Side “beat,” was riding a bus in the neighborhood, conducted an immediate investigation was first on the scene of the robbery. The fact that he says he saw *** and *** earlier in the morning led to their arrest at the **** home.

The safe door was wrecked in the blast, a hole nine inches in diameter being blown through the outer casing. Cement, used as reinforcement in the door, was blown over the whole office and there was a heavy odor of powder when police opened their investigation.

Loot at the Sloan Motor Sales Company consisted of two revolvers, police were informed, and they are of the opinion the same gang committed both these burglaries.

Entrance to the Ryan-Gilfillan garage gained during the night but nothing was missed here today.

The Scherer Plumbing Shop of south Third near Walnut reported its tool house had been entered and practically every tool of value taken.

According to police, Jack McCauley, one of the suspects, has a prison record. He has served time in the Kentucky penitentiary, they say, and was practically run out of the state of Kentucky. He has been in Ironton several months and he and his companions were under suspicion for the Crystal Ice Company safe blowing of several weeks ago. ***  is a son of ***, who is now serving a federal prohibition sentence at Atlanta, Ga., and is a brother of *****, sentenced to the Ohio penitentiary on a burglary charge. He is the youngest son and was acquitted some time ago on a charge of burglary at the E. J. Merrill Drug Company. He provided an alibi to prove to the satisfaction of a Common Pleas court jury that fingerprints taken at the scene of the burglary could not have been his. Fingerprint men testified emphatically his prints tallied with those taken at the Merrill store. His mother, *****, was convicted of possessing liquor recently and was released on her promise to pay the fine assessed.

Ironton Tribune, 17 March 1932, Thursday, Page 3.