Historical Eagle Bank Robbery
Tom Hanks in his Oscar-winning role as Forrest Gump said it best “Stupid is as stupid does.” In August of 1924, three bumbling fools would have received a day-time Emmy for leaving behind every clue possible in robbing the Eagle Bank.
Eagle, Idaho Bank Robbing 101: A Fools Guide
The Eagle Bank is located in the heart of downtown Eagle where the Divinci’s Italian restaurant is today. According to city records, witnesses at the time, and data acquired by the Eagle Historical Museum, Oliver “Derby” Jones, Chet Langer, and Dora Douglass set out to heist the bank in broad daylight. By supposedly forcing Cadillac taxi driver Hank Endsley to chauffer, the trio entered the bank. No masks. Mind you Cadillacs were stunning cars back then, so driving three people, one wearing a derby, to the front of a bank, in a car like that, was quite an attention grabber.
After the thieves gathered $2700 in cash from bank attendant E.K. Fikkan, and his daughter Margaret, they locked the Fikkan’s in the vault. Now here is where it gets comical. Apparently Jones, Langer and Douglass panic exiting the bank (which is where DaVinci’s restaurant now sits on Olde Main Street in downtown Eagle) and the Cadillac collides into the bank’s screen door, causing breakage and more commotion. Then deciding it was better to split up, Langer decides to hoof it, and take the Interurban Streetcar to Boise. Yes, a slow streetcar.
Even better, the Fikkan’s had the brains to leave tools in the vault, so they quickly escaped and contacted the authorities. Since Eagle was too small to have its own police, it took some time before law enforcement showed up, but with all the evidence left, along with witnesses, the cranially-challenged trio were caught later the same day.
History also states that Jones and Douglass were later wed in a ploy to lessen the charges, but upon serving jail time for the robbery, the two love-birds escaped from the Ada County Jail. On the lam, they were caught in December of 1924 where the cycle of stupidity took hiatus; only until Jones, who served seven years for the Eagle Bank robbery, was released, and immediately committed another crime. He was in mid-life when he finally left prison walls. Douglass had moved on, and finally so did Jones. Want to know more of the story? More information on this and other Eagle Idaho fact can be found at the Eagle Historical Society, which is located in dowtown Eagle right at the intersection of Eagle Road and Old State Street. This museum is just one of the many reasons to love the community of Eagle.
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