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Tickets Sold Twice

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Chicago, July 2.- Officials óf the Chicago and Alton railroad have just dis covered that a gang oí employés, among whom are passenger train conductors and station agents, working with Pullman car porters, have robbed the railway company of 815,000. Sufficient iuvestigation into the gigantio steal has been rnade to show a conspiraoy, and thus far threo conductors and two station agents have lost their positions. Others may be discharged whcn the full extent of the conspiracy is discovered. The company is making all pïans for the criminal prosecution of the offenders. The steal was accompiished through co-operation of a station agent with passenger .conductors on railroad tickets from Springfield, Hls., to Chicago. On an average, so far as can be estimated by Auditor Kelsey's reports, $40 a day was stolen, and the larceny was in progress fully a year - probably a little longer. Scheine Is a Jfew One. The scheine originated and executed by the rogues is an entirely new and startling one, as may be judged from the f act that it worked for one whole year and was exposed only by the merest accident, the company' s officials not knowing that the road was boing deprived of about onehalf of its revenue from the SpringfleldChicago through business. In a nutshell the scheme of robbery was for the conductor of the train which leaves Springfleld for Chicago at noon to take up but not punch the tickets sold at the Springfield office on the noon train. The meeting point of this train with the St. Louis train, which leaves Chicago about 9 o'clock in the morning, is about half way between Chicago and Springfiold. The conductor of the Springfield train for Chicago would see the conductor of the St. Louis train at the meeting point and give him the bunch of tickets he had taken up from passengers to Chicago. Station Agent's Part. The conductor of the St. Louis train arriving in Springfield at 4 o'clock ia 'the af ternoon, it is said, would hand over the bunch of tickets to the ticket geiler in the Springfleld office, and he would sell them again to passengers for Chicago ün the evening or night train. The tickets, although used twice, were good, for the reason the stamp of the one-day limit was good. The railroad company got only tho money for the tickets when they were first taken from the ticket rack, as the ticket seller at Springfield sold them again in pref erence tickets from, the rack. The conspiracy was completed when the ticket seller and the passenger train conductors carne to au ünderstanding as to the handling and salo of the tickets. At first the railway officials believed there were but three conductors in the game, but subsequent devolopments make it almost suro there were at least five and probably six conductors conversant with the scheme. Discovery of the Thefts. The discovery of the stoal was purely accidental. A few days before the meeting of the Kepublican national convention at St. Louis a mysteridfis package of railroad tickets was found on the tracks of the road at Atlanta, Hls. The finder carried them into the depot, and turned them over to a young wornan who has charge of the Atlanta office. As the .tickets were stamped and apparently good, the young vy-oman started telegraphic . inquiry with the Springfleld office concerning their ownership. The guilty Springfleld agent hcard the inquiry made, and at once called up the station agent at Williamsvllle, the flrst station on the Alton north of Springfleld, and persuaded him to go to Atlanta and get possesslon of the tickets and hush up all inquiry concerning them. All of this peculiar business over the wire was heard in different quarters, and the result was an official investlgation. It was then learned that something was wrong with the Springfleld office concerning the tickets, and a searching inv.estigation was made. Routine of the Work. It was soon discovered that the tickets were found in a St. Louis morning paper nicely folded up so they could not drop out accidentally. Then it was discovered the two trains met at Atlanta (not the usual meeting place) on the day the ets were found and that tho conductor of the north-bound train handed the conductor of the south-bound train a newspaper as the south-bound train went by with the right of way, running about twelve miles an hour. The conductor of the south-bound train failed to catch the paper with its precious burden and when it feil it was too late to go back and piek it up. Vice President Chappell of the Alton said: "We kuow the stealing haa been going on all of one year. One auditor has checked up the Springfield office thoroughly and we think the average may nothave been as high as $40 a day. But it was enough. We have discharged two station agents and three conductors. The name of the guilty agent at Springfield Is George Council, but I am not at liberty to give the names of the conductors, as we have not yet concluded the investigation."


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News