The Eatonville Bank experienced two big hold ups — one in 1922 and another 1933.
On a March afternoon three robbers drove into town. At 2:55 — five minutes before closing time — two men entered the bank and the other stayed outside. Inside, one robber pulled down the shades while the other drew his gun on the cashier J.G. Raley and bookkeeper Mrs. Roseburg.
Just then a man came in to cash a check and the third robber followed him in.
Raley and Roseburg were taken to the vault, and Raley managed to press the alarm button setting off the alarm in the bank and at Leslie Kipper’s garage.
The robbers gathered up about $3,000 (approximately $37,500 today), jumped in their Buick and fled. Bank owner Albert Jones and his wife were in their car on the way to Tacoma, and Harold Pravitz, an employee at the Kipper Garage, jumped on their running board and told Jones to “step on her” so they could get the number off the license plate.
Jones passed the robbers “opposite the Torger Perterson place” (near today’s Pioneer Farm), where they had wrecked their car in trying to make a turn. The robbers weren’t giving up though. Mrs. Jones spotted them climbing up Ohop hill.
The robbers held up Frank Krones at gunpoint and demanded his Ford. Krones said no and when it looked like it might get ugly, Krones said he had six kids and did they want to leave them fatherless? The robbers told him to beat it and continued on to Ernest Jacobson’s place and stole his car.
This wasn’t the robbers’ lucky day. Jacobson’s car immediately broke down. As they were fixing it, C. H. Jackson came up, covering them with his Winchester. The robbers pretended to want to join the manhunt, but Jackson wasn’t having it.
About then, Dr. A. W. Bridge, William Moran and Max Maricle came on the scene armed. They had already decided they would shoot to kill if necessary, and thinking ahead, they’d brought a member of the Jacobson family to identify the car.
Guns were drawn. When one robber hesitated to put his hands up, he was told he’d “be blown to kingdom”. Hand went up and they were brought into Eatonville.
A side note — the man who came in to cash the check was never seen before or after, and was assumed to be the fourth member of the gang.
Robbery of 1933
This heist happened in broad daylight in 1933 and the robber made off with $5,300 (about $87,000 today). The robber waited in line, and then drew a gun on assistant cashier Alice Fowler and E. T. Cushman, a merchant in the bank.
With a trembling hand, he pushed the gun in Cushman’s back and led them around behind and emptied the drawers into what looked like a pillowcase. Then he led them to the vault, where he grabbed more cash and 70 pounds of silver.
He locked Fowler and Cushman in the vault, jumped in his car and tore off toward Kapowsin. Flowler unlocked the vault from the inside and hit the alarm, but this robber was never caught.
6 responses to “Banks Heists of 1922 and 1933”
it looks like key bank
Yeah. It hasn’t changed much and I guess there used to be an apartment in the top floor.
WOW!!! I’m finding family news…..Harold Pravitz was my grandfather!!!!!
Even more amazing. I think I just bought a picture of your grandfather at about 4 years old off the internet. I was going to post it and wanted to provide some information. Anything you want me to put about him?
Frank KRONES, from the 1922 robbery, was my great grandfather. I never knew him, but from what I have found out about him, I am not surprised at his reply to the bank robbers.
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