More on county robberies

Part IV

“Minneota’s robbery of the century took place early one Thursday morning in August of 1923. The burglars, who were never apprehended, gained entrance to the building through the rear window of the office. They had tried the rear door but were unable to pry it open.

An estimated $2,500 worth of goods were stolen, including 60 men’s suits, a number of good hats, and many silk dresses. The firm carried no burglary insurance. The burglary was discovered by Charley Peterson when he reported for work.

Many declared that the presence of a night watchman would have prevented such an occurrence.”

Saturday, April 15, 1961, Marshall Messenger: KMHL Thief May Be An Egghead

“A thief with an apparent like for classical music and a distaste for Elvis Presley and his rock’n roll contemporaries broke into KMHL last Wednesday night and walked off with $200 worth of records.

According to Lyon County Sheriff Roland Rans, the thief (or thieves) took some 55 records which ranged from the semi-classical works of Eugene Ormandy to the conservative New York Philharmonic Orchestra. A few current hits were taken.

Entry into the radio station located east of the city on Highway 19 was gained sometime between 12:15 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The thieves entered the building by breaking a window to the back door.

The case is currently under investigation.”

Wednesday, June 26, 1968, Marshall Messenger by Jerry Chapman: Masked Man Holds Up Hotel “‘Turn around!’

Phil Luttmers, 20, night man at Travelers Lodge Motel, E. College Drive, (Marshall) was too dazed to react.

‘I said turn around!’

Standing in the doorway of the motel office where he had come to answer the doorbell at 11:40 p.m. Sunday, Luttmers couldn’t believe his eyes. Then he spied the bulge in the masked man’s coat pocket. Realizing it was no joke, he turned around.

‘Start walking toward the back door!’

Luttmers covered the 10 feet, opened the door and stepped into the motel’s linen storage room. Quickly following, the burglar ordered Luttmers to put his hands behind his back.

As he was being tied up with pink cleaning rags, Luttmers noted that the man was well-dressed, all in black, and that the mask which hid his face was Halloween-like with fur around the edges.

Quickly the masked man tied Luttmers’ hands and feet and left the Southwest State college student on the floor. His last remark was a sharp warning to keep quiet.

He then proceeded to burglarize the motel office of a considerable amount of cash and checks. All of the checks were stamped, ‘for deposit only.’

Luttmers didn’t hear the intruder leave, but when all was quiet he hobbled out to the desk.

At first he tried to dial with his nose. It didn’t work. Then he turned around and tried to dial behind his back. Still no luck. Finally, he found a pencil, put it in his mouth, and dialed room 12. Soon after a motel guest was untying him and police were called.”

Sources: “Balaton — Five People Locked in Vault — one Slugged in Head,” Marshall Daily Messenger, Nov. 14, 1933; “Robbers Blow Up Safe at Cottonwood,” Marshall Daily Messenger, April 8, 1935; “KMHL Thief May Be An Egghead,”

Marshall Messenger, April 15, 1961; “Masked Man Holds Up Hotel,” Jerry Chapman, Marshall Messenger, June 26, 1968; Centennial History of Lyon County, 1970.

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