It was in January of 1925 that President Laurence Sands of the First National Bank of Pittsburgh was surprised by the early-morning call of two daring young bandits.
These boys had entered the house masquerading as gas-meter readers and had tricked the butler, whom they tied securely in the basement. Then, ascending to the library, they terrified three negro maids, while covering with their guns Mr. Sands, Mrs. Sands and John Sands, the banker's son.
Keeping their guns fixed on their victims, they ordered President Sands to telephone the bank, informing a vice-president he would not appear that day.
Five minutes later, they ordered the banker to call the cashier and demand that he send to the house $20,000 cash by special messenger. The bandits threatened violence to Mrs. Sands unless their orders were carried out.
The bandits were in the Sands mansion for over an hour. Meanwhile, the bank officers had got together and informed the police of the grange telephone calls. Also John Sands, thinking he could escape, bolted through a window. He was shot and wounded by the gun of one of the bandits.
Just before the police or the money arrived, the gunmen escaped in a car they had waiting.
While the young gunmen had not made off with more than the cash in the Sands' house, the First National Bank, realizing how dangerous they were, offered $10,000 for their capture.
And here again is where Garfield Rose of the Huntington Police Department enters the story. For it was in September of 1925 thjit Rose's efforts culminated in the capture of W. M. Baker and Chester M. Miley, the guilty persons.
Miley and Baker had traveled to Chicago and then down South to Mississippi, but they could not escape the net which the police were spreading for. them. One of the men was captured by two Pittsburgh detectives after Rose had given them complete information, even as to the street address of the bandit. The second bandit was arrested, also as a result of Rose's information, in West Virginia.
After a speedy trial, both men were given maximum jail sentences. And Rose was given the reward of $10,000 for his splendid work in furnishing the complete information that led to the arrest of these two daring and dangerous gunmen.
1. "Garfield Rose Tracks Down Bank Bandits and Wins $10,000 Reward", Finger Print and Identification Magazine, Vol. 7, No. 8, February 1926, page 17.