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Mail Tribune 100

(Note: The following is a continuation of the story from the Thursday, July 22, 1915 Mail Tribune about the arrest of John Austin Hooper, who was suspected of robbing the Rogue River Bank in April 1915, as part of a spree.)

Having served 10 years of a life sentence at Folsom for burglary, Hooper was paroled last October at the solicitation of his mother. The officers declare that he immediately launched on a career of crime that covered at least three states.

Railroad Agents Trail Suspect

It was Lou Wagner, special agent of the P.R.L.&P. Co., who obtained the first direct clew, which he fruitlessly followed into California. Then the trail was taken up by Special Agent McShane, of the Southern Pacific, who secured the identity of Hooper. McShane left Monday night for British Columbia on a false trail.

Investigating the hold-up of the electric train at Canemah park on March 3, Wagner learned that Oregon City officers had found overalls near the track. Search showed that the overalls were bought in Oregon City. From the merchants a description was obtained. Next, Wagner learned that one ticket had been sold to a traveling man on the Southern Pacific shortly after the hold-up. The traveling man's description fitted the description of the man who bought the overalls. The suspect bought a ticket to Grants Pass, so Wagner proceeded there, and while out on the trail, he learned enough to convince him that his quarry had entered two banks, thence obtaining nothing but $9 of lodge dues found on the counter of the banks. Hooper also held up the night telephone exchange girl — at least a man of his description did, and the big automatic again came into play.

Bank Robbery is Paying

A few days after Wagner's visit to Grants Pass, Hooper entered the Rogue River Bank, nine miles from Grants Pass, drew his automatic on the man in charge, and then threw ammonia in the eyes of the banker. In a suitcase Hooper carried away $600 of the bank's money. Next Hooper and his automobile entered the passenger depot at Grants Pass. He lined up a number of men and women and as one victim tried to dodge away, out came the Luger gun, which was brandished, and the man stepped back into line. From this holdup Hooper got $300, and then the Southern Pacific sent Special Agent McShane on the trail.