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Newspaper Page Text
funds by paying him a commission
to dispose of stolen bonds for them.
Then, in the fall of 1867, they pro
posed that he help them to open the
"You can't do it it's burglar
proof," objected Taylor.
"No vault is proof against us," re
plied White, and Taylor yielded.
And here's how they began:
From the manufacturer of the
vault they bought a combination lock
of the same size and style as that of
the bank safe!
Night after night, in White's
rooms, he and Taylor practiced until
the clerk, twenty feet away, could
Identify any number to which White
turned the knob!
Morning after morning this clerk,
Taylor, watched the cashier open
the bank vault.
At last he learned the combination!
Then, one rfight, he let White in
quietly and they found it worked
the door flew open!
No time to gather the loot then
but they knew they could get into
the vault whenever they wanted to.
In a room across the street they
posted a lookout in January, 1868,
to learn the habits of the policemen
and the bank watchman. It soon be
came clear they could not enter from
the street and get away safely they
must get through a floor or a ceiling.
In March an insurance broker
named Kohler rented an office in the
basement he was Shinburn's brother-in-law.
"At this time," says White in his
confession, "we notified the bank
ring in the police department of our
enterprise and arranged for the nec
essary protection. Still there were
some honest policemen even in those
days, and a reasonable measure of
secrecy had to be observed."
On the night of May 22, Shinburn
and White began to cut through the
ceiling of the insurance office. They
got the plaster off and found 14
inches of rubble stone set in cement!
A week's delay for the job must
be done on Saturday and Sunday!
Painters working in the bank de
layed operations for four weeks, but
at 11 o'clock on the night of June
27, 1868, Shinburn and White began
three hours of hard work that land
ed them in the bank at 2 o'clock Sun
They opened the vault with the
combination, the inner doors with '
keys taken from their hiding place,
which Taylor had also discovered.
The first loot, a package of $100,
000 in securities, they passed through -a
window to a confederate as a basis t
for negotiations in case of discovery
while at work.
Loose plr.rder quickly filled a
The receiving teller's safe was
drilled and yielded rich treasure! r
Remained only the paying teller's
safe, with a million or more in it
but the thieves were too tired for
more drilling and it was too close
quarters to use their hydraulic jack.
"Let's take a rest and come back
tonight," suggested Shinburn. "We'll '
have to blow this safe."
Down through the hole to the
basement and arranging the rug of
the bank president's private office
neatly over the orifice as they de
scended, they took $1,600,000 In their
satchel. In the broad daylight of
Sunday morning, they walked out of
the insurance office, drove uptown,
bathed and dined, told a friendly de
tective what they had done and rode
to the old Astor House. Here they
slept until 2 a. m.
At 3o'clock Monday morning they
again crawled through the floor of
the bank. Quickly the explosives
were placed and the' fuse made ready.
Then Shinburn showed an agreed
signal in the window, on which their'
outside man ran to the nearest Are
box and turned in an alarm.
The noise of a heavy engine pass
ing the bank a few minutes later
drowned the sound of the explosion,
and the paying teller's safe last