Highlights from

The Herald Democrat

100 Years Ago


Labored With Much

Ingenuity to Effect Entrance Into Isaacs’ Store, But Safe Proved Too Tough for His Tools.



August 27, 1921


Another Leadville safe has withstood the breast drill and tedious labor of yeggmen. An attempt was made yesterday morning or Thursday night on the safe in the Hyman Isaacs clothing store, 405 Harrison avenue, that proved entirely unsuccessful. The four holes bored in the door did not even disturb the mechanism enough to interfere with the opening of the door by the proprietor when he reached the store in the morning. Five dollars out of the cash register, two .32 automatic pistols, two suits of clothes, a sheepskin coat and a set of tailor’s instruments were the booty of the disappointed safe-crackers; not to mention the soiling of a pair of cooks’ aprons upon which the yeggs wiped their instruments. This last damage was the unkindest cut of all, according to proprietor Louis Isaacs. “The aprons were absolutely clean, and those yeggs wiped their tools on them so that I had to send ‘em to the laundry.”

The robbery was discovered yesterday morning at 8 o’clock when Louis Isaacs came to open the store. He had left at 9:10 the evening before, and nothing is known of the time of the robbery beyond that it happened between those hours. The man or men entered thru a back window in the upper story which is entirely empty and unoccupied. He reached the window by a stairway that leads up to a little balcony at the back of the building. The window, as well as another window and a door off the balcony, have iron shutters, but none of these were fastened. They were not even closed. Contractor A. E. Schmidt was busy yesterday putting them in shape so that they can be used against any further attempts.

The intruder had had but slight difficulty in getting thru the window. The frame showed only one light mark where the jimmy had pried it up. The intruder had then passed thru a door into a hallway, and from the hallway thru another unfastened door into an abandoned lavatory. There he had removed the bowl from its accustomed place and broken or pried a hole in the floor. The plastering and wallpaper on the underside of the floor gave way outward and downward when he let himself thru the floor to the store below. He brot with him considerable plaster litter as he came thru and stepped on the high glass-doored suit closet. Pushing aside stacks of suit cases piled on top of the closet, he let himself down to the floor.

The safe stands out on the floor rather toward the front of the store, but not within good view of the sidewalk. Four holes had been bored in the door of it; one at the edge of the dial, one above the handle, and two between and above the handle and the dial. The tampering with the door did no damage, for it was opened without any difficulty by the proprietor the next morning. The cash register that stands on a counter nearby was rifled of $5, and two drawers in that counter were opened. A leather case containing numerous surgical instruments had been pulled out and placed on top of the counter, and half the contents strewn about. The proprietor’s desk standing against the safe had been tampered with and the papers in it turned pretty well topsy-turvy. The two revolvers taken were secured from one of the front show windows. When he had finished his job the robber went out the back door, leaving it open. The sheriff’s office was notified and is working on the case.

Yesterday’s robbery is the latest in a series that is causing conjecture about town whether they are being committed by the same man or men. The previous one took place last Saturday night when the home of Alderman Charles W. Smith, 300 East Ninth street, was entered thru a window while the family was absent at the movie theater, and money taken to the amount of about a hundred dollars. The Zaitz safe cracking attempt, the Liberty Bell affair, and the postoffice near-robbery are essentially identical with yesterday’s affair. The burglar seems to have had a thoro knowledge of the premises and to have gone direct to his job, to have spent considerable time in drilling holes in the safe door with no success, and then, with morning drawing near, to have made his way out.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.