April 13, 1914
April 13, 1914
Merle Reynolds of Grants Pass, aged 19 years, inaugurated and concluded a criminal career in two hours Saturday night, when he attempted to succeed in paying worthless checks aggregating $150 on Medford merchants. This morning before Justice of the Peace Taylor he pleaded guilty and was bound over to the grand jury under $500 bonds.
The story of the young man's flash in high finance is interesting and unusual.
The idea, he told Chief Hittson this morning, came from reading stories of crime in high-class magazines, principally the Craig Kennedy stories in Cosmopolitan, and was fanned into flame by the stories of a fellow workman, who recounted his own adventures in passing bad checks in the east. The lure of easy money tugged so strongly that Saturday afternoon he secured a number of counter checks and during the evening rush in the stores began his operations. For two hours all was rosy. Then the police came and he nearly fainted. Young Reynolds is an intelligent appearing young man and this is his first misstep.
Reynolds' victims include a number of merchants who have been "stung" before by versatile agents of pen and ink. Garnett & Corey cashed one check for $37.50, Toggery Bill for $36, the Model for $14, and other of smaller denominations. He presented a check for $35 to C.E. Gates after buying auto supplies. It was a counter check, and aroused suspicions. He was directed to go to Ed Brown's to get it cashed, and in the meantime the police were notified. Mr. Brown rejected the check and Reynolds entered Diamond's Jewelry Store. There he tried to buy a watch with worthless paper and was arrested by Officer Cingcade as he stepped upon the street. He admitted his guilt. Most of the money and a suit of clothes he had purchased were taken from him.