October 6, 1899


Burglars Crack the Safe and Get Away with $1,700.

The Commercial bank at Rippey, owned by Johnson Bros. was entered by professional safe blowers Thursday morning at 2 a. m. The burglars gained entrance by prying open a back window. The drilling and blasting were done by the best modern methods. The vault and safe were considered quite secure, but this morning showed everything wrecked, a piece of the safe having been blown through the plate glass window. The burglars obtained $1,700, and at present there is no positive clue to their identity.

A number of citizens heard the report but did not investigate and the burglary was not discovered until half past six in the morning. The heavy tools with which the work was done were obtained from the railroad tool shed while the drills and bits were stolen from Sleighman’s blacksmith shop in Angus.

Angus seems to have been their starting point. From there they drove to Berkley, where two of the gang left the south-bound Minneapolis & St. Louis train and the whole party drove across to Rippey. Two of the gang had rubber heel plates on their shoes and were easily tracked in their wondering about town. From the tracks it is evident that their conveyance was a one-horse rig.

At 4’o’clock Dr. O. W. Lowery of Grand Junction was awakened by a team passing on the street. When opposite his house, something of iron fell out of the buggy, and one got out and picked it up. The tracks made were the same as those made in Rippey, which proves that the burglars, after finishing their work, drove directly to Grand Junction. Searching parties have been out all day and several suspicious characters located, but so far no definite evidence has been obtained.