Tricky Bandit Nabs $300 in 4 S. L. 'Jobs'
Salt Lake Telegram, 9 January 1948, page 1
Salt Lake police Friday sounded a western states alarm for a neatly dressed bandit who kept policemen on the jump Thursday night with four cleverly executed holdups in which the loot totaled more than $300.
On the bandit's list of “visiting places” were three service stations and a theater, which he held up at gunpoint between 6:45 and 9:12 p.m.
Major suspect in the series of crimes, which police are confident were committed by one man with possible help of an accomplice in the theater job, is a man who recently applied for a taxi driver's license and who was reported as missing by his wife shortly after the series of holdups began.
Taking description of the man, police at headquarters noted it tallied closely with that given by victims of the robber, and a photograph on the license application was identified Friday by two of the victims.
The search for the bandit took on a larger scope Friday when Ogden police reported seeing a 1941 model green cope, answering the description of one believed to be used by the bandit, heading north towards Brigham City.
Ogden police, who had only the first report, radioed back to Salt Lake City for additional information, but by the time it was received the suspected car could not be located.
Other information received by police indicated the suspect may be headed for California, driving a light green coupe with California license plates.
First place to be visited by the gunman was the Utah Oil Co. service station at 21st South and State sts., where Leon Daley, 18, 1970-3rd East, was pushed into a rest room while the gunman rifled the cash register of about $100.
Leaving the service station, the robber fled east on 21st South, but Fred L. Young, South Salt Lake deputy marshal, who was only a block away in a radio car when word of the robbery was given, was unable to find the bandit in that vicinity.
While police were still investigating the first holdup, the gunman struck again, at 8:15 p.m., this time at the Apollo theater, 3605 S. State, where he ordered Gladys Siouris, 18, daughter of Mrs. Alice Siouris, 3579 S. State, to turn over theater receipts totaling about $70.
Miss Siouris told police the gunman left in a car, and police theorized the get-away machine may have been operated by an accomplice.
A scant 15 minutes later, the bandit put in a third appearance, entering a service station at 1504 S. State, where Rondal Wigginton, 16, 3652 - 2nd East, was studying his school lessons in front of the cash register.
Drawing a gun, described as a 25-caliber automatic, the bandit rifled the cash register of $40, demanded the victims' wallet, and then, appearing nervous and undecided as what to do, pushed young Wigginton into the rest room, ordering him to stay there. The youth, however, kept the door ajar and it was he who gave the police their first good description of the gunman.
With all available police and county peace officers alerted following the three robberies, the daring gunman next shifted his activities closer to the center of town, with a holdup of the Standard service station at 501 E. 4th South.
Here, Max L. Housekeeper, 699 Milton ave., attendant, reported the holdup man took between $20 and $25 from the cash register, tried unsuccessfully to open the station safe, and fled north after telling Mr. Housekeeper to “skip it.”
Mr. Housekeeper, whose description of the bandit tallied with that of the other victims, told police a “revolver” was used to threaten him, but police believe this description may have been a misunderstanding as to the nomenclature of the weapon.
Police, after questioning the four victims, issued the following description of the bandit:
A man between 28 and 30 years of age, about 6 feet 2 inches in height, of slender build and weighing about 160 lbs. He was wearing a tan gabardine overcoat, beige trousers, brown shoes and a light hat. He was clean shaven, had black eyebrows, brown eyes and a prominent nose.