Theft at Union Bank

Burlington, Ky., Mar 30 [1953] - Three men were arrested today in connection with a robbery of Union Deposit Bank of nearby Union, Ky., of about $5,200 by two armed bandits.

Edward L. Boyle, special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Louisville, said the money was recovered at the home of one of the men. Boyle identified the three as Lester V. Raleigh, 50, and Brown Thompson, 27, both of Newport, and Swango Watts, 51, of Florence, Ky., ten miles north of Union.

Watts, a farmer, was picked up as he drove an automobile near his home. Raleigh and Thompson were arrested at Watts' farm. Kentucky State Police, FBI, and Boone County officials participated in the arrest. Raleigh and Thompson were charged with bank robbery and Watts with being an accessory. All were arraigned before a United States commissioner in Covington.

Two men entered the bank at 11:30 A.M. and held up two women employees - Miss Lillian Bristow, cashier, and Miss Mattie Utz, assistant cashier. One of them told Miss Bristow, "This is a stick-up. Don't scream. We don't want to hurt you." He then shoved a paper sack at Miss Bristow and ordered her to fill it up.

Miss Bristow said the men hesitated as one of them questioned whether the two women shouldn't be locked in a back room. A customer entered the bank at that time, however, and the bandits fled and jumped into the waiting automobile.

In Louisville, FBI agent Boyle said a witness noted the license number of the automobile in which the bandits fled and gave it to officers. Boyle added that the same witness spotted Watts driving the car - his own, apparently - at i P.M., and officers arrested him. Watts' farm was then searched, and State Police Detective Robert Gordon, Williamstown, found the $5200 buried in a shallow pit.


from the Kentucky Banker, April, 1953.