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Mail Tribune 100, Dec. 30, 1920

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Dec. 30, 1920

ARMY DESERTER AUTO THIEVES ARE BOUND OVER

The four self-confessed deserters from the army and navy who were caught with a stolen automobile recently at Gold Hill and had since been held in the county jail were arraigned before United States Commissioner F. Roy Davis yesterday afternoon, where they waived examination and were bound over to the federal grand jury under $1,000 bail each, were taken to Portland last night by United States Deputy Marshals R. D. Carter and S. F. Pace.

It is understood that one of the prisoners takes upon himself all of the responsibility of the theft of the Hupmobile car, and claims that his comrades did not know it had been stolen until they had reached Gold Hill.

The car was stolen from William Carpenter, 511 Valley street, Seattle, recently. The accused young men are Clarence Helnes, Harold Burdick, Herbert Ward and Richard Haas. Federal warrants charging each with the theft of an automobile in interstate commerce in violation of the national motor vehicle act were issued Tuesday evening by United States Commissioner Fraser at Portland.

The stolen car after the arrest at Gold Hill was placed by Sheriff Terrill in the custody of the Valley Garage in this city, and word was sent by him to the insurance company office in Portland of its recovery and for the company to come and get it. Shortly afterwards Tom Word, agent of the Department of Justice arrived here from Portland and warned the sheriff not to give the car over into the custody of any one without explicit instructions from him.

Several days ago Mr. McAllister of the insurance company arrived here to get the car, which the sheriff refused to turn over to him in the absence of any word from Mr. Word. However, U. S. Commissioner Davis called up the United States attorney’s office at Portland this morning by long distance phone, and Assistant Lusk of that office gave permission for the car to be turned over to the insurance company.

It seems that the Department of Justice will from now on prosecute all interstate auto thieves under the federal motor vehicle act, which provides a more severe penitentiary punishment, and already its agents are gathering evidence against Earl Dawson who came here with a stolen Stevens car from Washington, and after storing it stole Bert Thierolf’s car and went in it to Salt Lake. He later was arrested at Prosser, Wa., and confessed.

— Alissa Corman;acorman@rosebudmedia.com

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