Bullet Ends Career of Lone Bandit Who Stuck Up Bank at Harrison

Last updated: April 13, 2020

The Lusk Herald
December 27, 1934

A 150-yard shot from a rifle in the hands of an expert marksman, cut short the career of M.R. Jensen, 31 years old, who held up the Sioux National Bank, Monday, and took some $600 from the till of the bank.

The man followed H.H. Thompson, cashier, into the bank just as it was opened after the noon hour, pulled a Colts automatic gun, and forced the cashier and one customer to stick up their hands,while he took all available cash and backed out the door. He had left his car, a Ford V-8 sedan, with the motor running. He was said to have fired one shot at a pedestrian who got in his path as he was on his way to the car.

The robber apparently started toward Lusk, taking old Highway 20, but after going out a distance, doubled back and went east through Harrison.

Sheriff Hassed of Niobrara County was notified a few minutes after the robbery, and immediately started toward Harrison to cut off his escape if he came west toward Lusk.

After doubling back through Harrison, the bandit was traveling at a leisurely pace toward Crawford.

Citizens posses had been organized hastily, and within a few minutes after the robbery were on the road.

One party composed of Alfred Moody, well known rancher in western Nebraska, Mr. Whitaker, and Harold Jeffrey, assistant cashier of the robbed bank, had apparently passed the bandit without recognizing him, but after being informed by Miss Zada Clark, bookkeeper in the bank, that she had recognized him going east, these three men took up the chase. About 18 miles east of Harrison they overtook him, and commanded him to halt, firing a shot in the air. The bandit put on more speed and they two cars sped down the road at a terrific clip. The bandit car was making better than 80 miles an hour in places. Moody and his companions knew that he could not make a bad turn in the road if he kept up the fast clip, and contented themselves with keeping as close to him as possible. When the bandit reached the turn in the road, his car failed to take it, running down through the ditch and over on top of a bank. Upon Moody commanding him to throw up his hands, the bandit stuck 'em up, but in his right hand was a .38 Colts automatic, which he emptied at the posse men without hitting any of them. He then ran behind his car for shelter and started for the timbered country. Moody climbed up the bank and fired one shot from a 30 government rifle at about 150 or 200 yards, and the many crumpled up on the ground. He died while being taken to town. On his person was found all the money, a little over $600.

An identification card found on the man carried the name of M.R. Jensen, 5135 Osceola street in Denver. He is said to have a wife and child there.

After seeing the pictures of the man in the newspapers, several men in Lusk recognized him. He had been traveling for a steel firm in Denver. Only a few days ago he attempted to sell W.B. Street of the Foster Lumber Co., Hugo Payne and Wood Fanning some articles manufactured by his firm.

He is said to have been a member of the Denver Rifle Club, and his father lives in Milestone, Minn.

Jensen is also suspected of participating in two bank robberies in Iowa.




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