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Mail Tribune 100

July 22, 1915

Rogue River Bank Robber Suspect Real Jesse James with Long Record of Crimes

Two-gun man, hip-shot, bank robber, hold-up man, and all-around desperado is the opinion of the authorities of John Austin Hooper, alias Devoe, captured at The Dalles last night after a four-month search in which the Pacific Coast from California to British Columbia has been combed. If Hooper is the man they believe he is, the prisoner is the most industrious, dangerous and spectacular outlaw that has ravaged the coast in years. In nine months he is believed to have stolen nearly $25,000, but so active has his brief career been since his pardon from the Folsom penitentiary that officers have been unable to check up on all his movements. On him were found two big guns and $1,700, and evidence connecting him with the Canemah car hold-up.

Numerous Daring Crimes

Hooper is suspected of robbing the bank at Rogue River, of robbing a depot at Grants Pass, of holding up a telephone exchange in that city and of holding up a crowd in the railroad depot there, of holding up the P.R.L.&P. company car at Canemah, of holding up another electric train at Glen Echo, of holding up the Jacobs store at Hornbrook, Calif., of stealing a team of horses at Weed, Calif., of attempting train robbery at Sedro-Wooley, Wash. The officers are now investigating his whereabouts July 9, when a party of Shriners was held up at Yellowstone Park.

He is said to have a retreat in the Siskiyou mountains in Northern California, near the Oregon line, a wild country where there are many Indians and half breeds whose friendship he is said to have gained by giving them clothing and automatic pistols. From that section he is supposed to have made his raids.

Clew to Discovery

It was the big .45-caliber automatic pistol found on the prisoner at The Dalles that played an important role in his operations and which was one of his principal clews in connecting him with a varied assortment of crimes. With cunning, Hooper boldly traveled the Southern Pacific trains in neat but sufficient disguise. When "working" he covered his neat business suit with rough clothes, discarding the latter immediately after a job; then he would don a pair of eyeglasses and, sometimes a false moustache, and could pass anywhere as a commercial traveler.  

(To be continued...)