Historical Details

Lake Harris Captures Bandit, Three Escape

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 07/26/1934

Ivan Baker, about 20, of Tilden, Neb., alleged bank bandit was captured Friday night at Jay Em, Wyo., by Lake Harris, postmaster and owner of the bank, when he was found standing in front of the bank and post office building, presumably the lookout for thieves working inside of the building.

Three confederates who were evidently attempting to crack the safe inside the building, used jointly as a bank and postoffice, escaped immediately after Baker's capture, fleeing in a car which was parked by the bank. No trace has yet been found of the accomplices.

Baker was placed in custody of Sheriff DeWitt of Goshen county, who arrived in a short while after being notified.

Reports here state that nothing was stolen, the would-bandits being surprised before they could make off with any loot.

(By Herald's Jay Em Correspondent)

Jay Em was visited by bank robbers Friday night, but fortunately their presence was discovered soon after they arrived, and one was captured, the others frightened away before they secured any loot.

The robbers had forced open the door at the rear of the bank and had pulled all the shades down, but had not had time to start to work on the vault.

One of the gang posted outside of the bank was taken, but the rest of the bunch made their get-away. The man caught had a sack of tools and was armed with a Colts automatic.

All the men in Jay Em turned out with guns as soon as the alarm was given and Sheriff DeWitt, who had been notified, came right up. It was thought the gang might still be in the neighborhood, as no one had heard a car start. It was discovered early in the morning, however, that their car had been parked in a pasture about a quarter mile north of Jay Em, near the highway, and that they had gotten away with out being discovered.

The man who was captured had several stories about the affair and his connection with the gang, and it was the opinion of Sheriff DeWitt that none of them were true.

The postoffice inspector, who had been informed of the robbery through Postmaster Faulk of Lusk, came up from Cheyenne to made an investigation, as the building which is used for a postoffice is also used as the bank, and the postal supplies are kept in the vault of the bank. It is presumed that a federal charge will be brought against the man who was captured.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Harris, Lake (03/07/1889 - 04/17/1983) View Record