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Robbed The Bank

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One of the most daring robberies ever perpetrated in Michigan occured in the village of Dexter yesterday morning. In broad daylight the Dexter Savings bank was robbed of its avaüable cash, the assistant cashier being forced at the point of revolvers to open the five doors of the safe and allow the robbers to help themselves. He was then sand bagged and shut in the vault, where he was found in an insensible condition. The Dexter Savings bank is situated ia probably the most public spot in Dexter. It is in plain view from many windows and it is strange if any one entering it is not seen by a humber of persons. It is a comparatively new bank, backed by a number of monied men, and the robbery will not cripple it. lts cashier is H. Wirt Newkirk and its assistant cashier, Orla C. Gregory. Owing to the early morning train east it has been customary to open the bank at about eight o'clock so that citizens leaving on the train are enabled to draw what cash they desire to take with them. It is the custom of Mr. Gregory to come down before breakfast, look at the fires, and sweep out. During this cleaning out process Gregory is alone in the bank. As usual, yesterday morning Mr. Gregory appeared to tend to his duties. He drew the curtains of the bank, blew out the lights, took up the ashes, and emptied them out the back door, which he left open, put coal on the fire and swept out. VVhile gathering up the dirt af. r sweeping in a back room he heard a click at the front door, which he had left unlocked. His back was turned to it and he paid no attention to the noise, as the drayman delivers the morning paper at about that hour. In coming back to the main room, he passed through a narrow hall and when he got to the door which leads to the directors' room he was confronted by two masked men, with revolvers in each hand, who said to him in an exceedingly peremptory tone of voice, "Open the safe and open it quick.', The revolvers were held in a most threatening manner and he wascompletely covered. He was taken so thoroughly by surprise that he obeyed the dictates of the masked men and proceeded tQ unlock the vault doors which are just opposite the door of the directors' room. It was necessary to open five locks before the money could be reached. The last of these is the time lock, which is set to run just twelve hours. The clock of the time lock was still ticking when Gregory opened the burglar proof safe in the vault. One of the masked men entered the vault. The other stayed at the vault door covering Gregory with a revolver and holding him thus partially within the vault. The man in the vault evidently knew what he was after. He stufted his pockets with the money and handed some to his confedérate. No attention was paid to the loose money. The gold and silver in packages was all taken as were all the bilis in packages. The wrappers around the bilis were torn off and dropped and the slips of paper between the bilis, ussd in counting, were also dropped. Some of the bilis dropped in the haste, but no attention was paid to these. During this time Gregory's attention was largely taken up with the revolver pointed at him. He remembers no more until he opened his eyes to find Cashier Newkirk and the doctors working over hirn. He had been sand-bagged, probably by the man in the vau!t,as he noticed no raove in that direction from the man who covered him with his revolver. He dropped senseless to the floor of the vault, and the robbers after closing the door of the vault, left the building by the rear door. Mr. Gregory told the Argus yesterday afternoon that he could give no very accurate description of the robbers. They wore black masks reaching to the breast, probably made of black cambric. Theywore caps and brown overcoats. One was rather tall and his companion was a short man. At eight o'clock, Cashier II. Wirt Newkirk arrived at the bank. He found the front door locked, but he expected that Gregory would be havirig breakfast. Entering the bank he picked up the paper off the floor bat down in a chair and began reading the head Unes. Everything about the bank was apparently the same as usual. The news was not exciting and Mr. Newkirk laid down the paper. Mr. Jones arrived about this time and wanted to draw out $15. Mr. Newkirk went to open the vault. He found the vault door unlocked but thought nothing of this, as Gregory might have had occasion to unlock it. Opening the door, he was astonished to find the unconscibus body of Mr. Gregory lying in the vault. Mr. Newkirk says the only idea that occurred to him was that Gregory had fallen in a fit and upset the tray which accounted for the silver dollars lying around the floor of the vault. He dragged Gregory out of the vault, threw water in his face and sent for the doctors. It was fïve minutes be fore Gregory carne to his senses and it was discovered that the bank had been robbed. The alarm was immediately J ;d, and crowds of excited citizens ?oon gathered. Officers were sumnoned from Ann Arbor and hard work was put upon the case but no :lews were found up to half-past , :hree yesterday afternoon, when the rgus reporter left Dexter. Mr. Newkirk said that the money , stolen amounted to between $2,500 . snd $3,000. Of this, $700 was in silver, $500 in gold and the balance . in bilis. The money left hé said tyould be counted when the directors ■ met. President Thomas Birkett, an , hour or two later, said that the ( money stolen amounted to $3.200. , A. large sum of money was on the , iloor. Nothing was taken excepting money. Postmaster Costello, for instance, had $600 worth of postage stamps in the safe, but the robbers Sidn't want stamps. There is a little discrepency a'jout the time of the robbery. Mr. Gregory says he left home at about five minutes of seven o'clock and that it takes him just half an hour to do his work and get back to his house. His wife puts the time at which he left the house at ten minutes of seven. Either one of chese would make the time when he was commanded to open the safe a little before half past seven o'clock. Cashier Newkirk thinks the safe was opened after a quarter to eight o'clock. He set the time lock at 7:45 o'clock Wednesday night to run twelve hours. President Birkett came home on the evening train from Detroit with some money for the bank. He had his supper and walked leisurely up to the bank and deposited the money with Mr. Newkirk, who put it into the safe and set the time lock. Mr. Birkett says it must have been a quarter to eight o'clock or a little later. James Smith says he noticed Gregory going by his house after breakfast and remarked to his daughter that her husband, Fred Alley, was in time, as Orla was just going past. He looked at the clock and noted the fact that it was half past seven. Fred Alley says he went up town at half-past seven o'clock, as he looked at the clock himself and remarked that he was late. Alger, the butcher, was taking ice out of his wagon, when Alley went by. He saw Gregory go by and thinks it was half-past seven. It looks as if Mr. Gregory may have been mistaken as to the time and that the safe was opened at about a quarter to eight o'clock. Mr. Gregory is a young married man of twenty-four, tall and slender, and not very strong. He was for three years employed in the bank of Gregory & Son, and has been with the Dexter Savings Bank since last July. He is a young man of exemplary habits and above suspicion. After being revived at the bank he was taken home, but was down at the bank in the afternoon with his head bandaged up. He has an ugly bruise on the forehead where he was struck with 'the bag. The odd feature about the case is that no one was seen to enter or leave the bank, which is situated in so puWlic a place. People were around. Many windows command a view of the bank. Men were at work in the shops at the rear of the (bank. And yet no one was seen to enter or leave. No strangrs were ' remarked on the streets. Dexter is a place where strangers would be apt to be noted. Three passengers got on the morning train going east at Dexter, but they are known and not1 suspected. Various rumors were started. Some said two men were seen going south in a buggy, and some that two men were seen going west, but when traced down these rumors yielded nothing. Some have the idea that the robbers had a buggy in the alley back of the bank. Dr. Parker, veterinary surgeon, said he went up and down the alley a dozen times between seven and eight o'clock, but he did not notice any strange rigOne of the tracks out the back door was traced around through a side alley to Ann Arbor street. If the robbers entered the front door, as Mr. Gregory believes, they may have put on their masks after getting inside the storm door, which would keep the people on the streets from seeing them. They certainly left nothing in the bank belonging to them. Mr. Gregory says the robbers did no talking. All they said to him was to open the safe and to do it quickly. The shorter man was of light build. The screens in the windows kept outsiders from seeing them at work. The door fastens írom the inside by a peculiar spring ock, but wil! not fasten itself. Most men would not know how to Pasten it, and Mr. Gregory is positive he left it unlocked, so that the robbers must have fastened it when they entered. Opinión seems to be divided as to ivhether it was the work of local or professional talent. The robbers must have been well acquainted tvith the customs of the bank and known when the time lock opened. They either gained this by personal 3bservation or from a Dexter confedsrate. The coolness and daring with which they did the work would point to professionals, while the fact that strangers must have been noticed would point to local talent. Had the robbers been a little earlier, they could not have got into the safe. Had they been a little later, they could ïot have found Mr. Gregory aione. Certainly, it was the most daring robbery that ever occurred in Washtenaw county.