The Herald Democrat
100 Years Ago
FOUR YOUTHS PLAY BANDITS
Perpetrators of Recent Robberies Captured at Allentharpe Sheep Ranch — Camping Auto Held Up Near Arkansas River.
MUCH LOOT IS FOUND
Wednesday, June 15, 1921
The Western Hardware and Leadville Automotive company garage robberies of some weeks ago, as well as Monday night’s holdup of two Kansas City tourists two miles out on the Glenwood Springs road, were solved yesterday with the arrest by Sheriff Schraeder of four youths camping at the Allentharpe ranch who give Indianapolis, Indiana as their home city. All of the loot from the garage burglary and Monday night’s holdup, as well as the bulk of the hardware store haul, was recovered yesterday and brot to town along with the prisoners by Sheriff Schraeder and Deputy Otwell. The Studebaker Six that the youths brot to the Leadville garage at 409 Harrison avenue about two weeks ago for repairs is still waiting at the garage. It is expected that the rest of the loot will be recovered tomorrow.
The youths, who give their names as Huel Hollowell, James R. Thomson, Francis M. Anderson and Raymond M. Payne, were tracked to their cabin on the Allentharpe ranch yesterday morning from the scene of their holdup yesterday morning at 3:30 of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Findlay of Kansas City, tourists camping at the side of the Ocean to Ocean Highway a couple of miles out of the city. The sheriff traced them by their footprints in the mud from the car at the side of the road to the cabin in the yard of the Allentharpe place where they have been living for some weeks. Sheriff Schraeder and Deputy Otwell waited till the youths had left the cabin to go out and dig postholes on the ranch, a job which they had secured from Mr. Allentharpe in order to earn enough money to get their car out of the garage, as they explained the matter to the ranch owner. While they were off on their posthole digging, the sheriff searched the cabin and surroundings. Four silver knives and a tablespoon with the Community trade-mark caught his attention. He let the Western Hardware store know about the matter and asked them to send someone out to identify the articles. Harry Nichols, employed at the store, went out and identified the articles as having been stolen from the store. Further search in the neighborhood of the cabin revealed guns and ammunition hidden under rocks and culverts and buried in the ground. When the youths came back from their work in the middle of the afternoon, the sheriff put them under arrest.
When questioned about their whereabouts the preceding night, the youths denied having been out at all. The culprits denied everything at first, yielding slowly and bit by bit before the questioning of the officials. The smallest of the gang, who says he is 14 years old, was taken aside by Mr. Allentharpe as the sheriff was taking the quartet out to his automobile. Mr. Allentharpe tried to persuade him to tell what he knew, but the boy refused, saying that he wouldn’t tell anything to implicate his companions, and that he would be willing to tell only if the others would agree to it. Another of the youths was then taken aside and questioned. Finally the four gave in and confessed to the garage and hardware store robberies. Further sharp questioning by one of the officers brot out of them the confession that they had had the ring taken from the tourists, but had thrown it away. They finally took the officers to the place nearby where they had hidden it under a rock.
The holdup of the tourists occurred about two miles out of town on the Ocean to Ocean Highway at 3:30 this morning. Altho the victims of the holdup thot there were three persons in the party that robbed them, the authorities seem to believe there were only two. The tourists are Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Findlay of Kansas City, Missouri. They are making their way by slow stages to the coast and their trip is a pleasure jaunt. They were caught on the road by engine trouble early Monday night and decided to camp by the roadside. They arranged their auto-bed and crawled into it. They had dozed off toward morning when they were awakened by the glare of pocket searchlights thrust in their faces, one from each side of the car. The auto-bed is the kind that stretches over the seats of the car and out over the turned-down windshield. They were sharply ordered to “Stick ‘em up!” and did so. One of the boys had an automatic pistol, one of those stolen from the Western Hardware store.
Mr. Findlay had put the bulk of his money, stuffed into a purse, under his pillow, a precaution that he says he has never before happened to take, and when the demand came for his valuables he managed to push the wallet farther under his pillow till it slipped out and fell into the bottom of the car unnoticed. The other purse, containing about $4, was lying on a seat in the car. Forgetting that he had put a valuable diamond Masonic ring in this purse, he told the robbers where they would find it. That purse was the amount of the loot. The Findlays hailed the first car headed for town and sent a message to a garage to help them into town. Their message to the sheriff brot him out before they had succeeded in getting away from the place.
The youths told Allentharpe during their stay on his ranch that they hailed from Indianapolis, Indiana. The car that they brot into the garage for repairs to one of the springs about two weeks ago has Indiana license number 13094, 1921. The leader of the gang, Huel Hollowell, said that they had been invited by an aunt in California to come out and visit her. Upon receipt of that invitation, Hollowell said that he had been given the car, a Studebaker Six, by his father for the purpose of driving to California. He said that his father is a dentist in Indianapolis. Mr. Allentharpe of the Allentharpe Live Stock company characterized the boys as well-behaved. “There never were nicer kids than these four seemed to be. They were as clean-cut as any youngsters that I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Practically all of the booty was found by the sheriff in his search of the premises while the four were working away from their cabin yesterday. There may be a few trifling articles from the hardware store as yet unrecovered.