The Dillinger Gang Strikes in flint!
Police had been on high alert, hearing that machine-gun gangster, John Dillinger, had set up shop in Chicago, and was planning raids for loot in the surrounding states. Heavy dragnets and blockades were set up along the Michigan-Ohio-Indiana borders, in hopes of spotting the dangerous marauders. Every major port around the mitten state, from Mackinaw, to Port Huron, to Ludington, had their eyes peeled. Citizens were on pins and needles. Yet, somehow, the bandits still found a way through…
One of Dillinger’s hallmarks was to carefully tail armored trucks, timing the hold-ups impeccably. On May 18, 1934, at 10:00 a.m., after pursuing one of these vehicles, which was loaded with $100,000 of payroll funds, the Dillinger gang struck. They robbed the Citizens Commercial Savings Bank, Glenwood Avenue branch, while brandishing their infamous machine guns. An unmasked trio held up the bank, while two other members posted look out in their Ford V-8—one of them, a mysterious woman, who had a weapon of her own strapped to her side. Their scar-faced leader entered the establishment, while ten shocked people in the bank were instructed to “Stick ‘em up!” One of the robbers, holding a pistol, slid over the counter and shoveled money at his partner through the teller’s grill.
“I thought she was motioning to me, and I walked toward the car” said Mrs. S. R. Kinney, who lived across the from the Citizens branch. She was referring to the woman from the villains’ vehicle, which was parked in the street. Kinney quickly realized there was something amiss, when she spotted the woman’s gun. She ran to her house to call the bank, to find out if they were being held up. When they didn’t answer…she ran back to the bank, peeking in the window. When she could see no people, she suspected foul play, and ran back to her house, again, to call the authorities. Kinney and another witness, William Griffin, saw a second car with an armed man, waiting.
The thieves absconded with $25,000 (missing the rest of the cash, which was hidden), headed east through the center of Flint, and then screamed past a police cruiser on Western Road. In hot pursuit, the police could not apprehend the foxy outlaws, who appeared to be heading toward Davison. Later, the group’s getaway speedster was discovered abandoned on the side of the road.