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Mail Tribune 100

June 5, 1915


Further developments in the cases of Fred Chipp and George Rold, arrested Thursday by the sheriff's office and the police, indicate that they were outfitted for an extensive campaign of criminal operations in the Rogue River valley, and are highly undesirable citizens. A search of their possessions this morning brought to light enough nitro-glycerin to blow the business district of Medford to smithereens, and a set of steel drills of high-grade texture and penetrating power. They also possessed automatic pistols.

Though goods belonging to the Robinett store at Central Point and a general merchandise store at Eugene were found in their possession, the police are holding the men in safeblowing escapades and hold-ups at Roseburg. Rold was arrested by Sergeant Pat Mego Thursday night after he had tried to sell a pair of shoes on the street. The third member of the gang escaped.

It now develops that when Sheriff Singler and Constable Al Hammond swooped down upon their gang in the Bear Creek "jungles" Thursday morning they were engaged in making "soup," as nitroglycerin is called. "Soup is the boiled extract of dynamite, the explosive being put in a pan of simmering water. The grease comes to the top and is skimmed off, being emptied with extreme care into small bottles.

The police received a tip that the men were quartered on Bear Creek, but the prey was flushed before all were caught. The gang is thought to have had out peddlers disposing of their stolen goods and collecting data on the location of safes, back doors, etc.

The authorities looked for drugs in the camp of the trio, in the hope that they would find something to connect them with the robbery of the Rogue River bank. The description of one of the arrested men tallies with that of the gent who a week ago held up three operators in the Southern Pacific depot.

The arrested men refuse to talk.