While the following newspaper article does not mention the John Dillinger gang as being the actual bank robbers at the Lowell National Bank, this gang robbed several other Indiana banks around this time. The Three Creek Bicentennial Book, 1776-1976 however, has an exciting story about this same robbery, and credits the incident to the John Dillinger gang.
from the Lowell Tribune, May 25, 1933, page 1
Also in the Clipping Files at Lowell Public Library--LH--"Crime and Criminals"
BANK BANDITS VISIT LOWELL TUESDAY A.M.
LOWELL NATIONAL LOSES $5,000 TO BANK ROBBERS. THEY ESCAPE.
Four bandits held up the Lowell National bank here Tuesday morning, just a short time after it had opened for business for the day. The first intimation that the bank employes had that anything was wrong was when a man came to the side of Cashier P.A. Berg, who was working on the books, and poked a gun in his side and told him it was a hold-up and to get down on the floor. The other men in the gang covered the other employes and made them get down on the floor. They all complied without any argument. Harold Love was a little slow in getting down on the floor and the robbers emphasized their order by shooting twice into the floor between his legs. In the bank at the time of the robbery were Cashier P.A. Berg, Assistant Cashier George L. Foster, Miss Mary Nichols and Harold Love, bookkeepers, all employes of the bank. No customers were in the bank at the time of the hold-up. After making the employes lie on the floor, the robbers proceeded to scoop up all the money from the safe which had just been opened and the counters, placing it in a hand-bag they brought to the bank with them.
The car driven by the robbers was a big Cadilac and when it parked in front of the bank there was only one man in the car and he got out and left the motor running. No one seems to know where the other men came from, but they were nearby and saw the car pull up and park.
Miss Catherine Berg, daughter of cashier Berg, had parked their car in front of the bank, as she was going to take her father and Mrs. Ida Hunt to Crown Point on business matters. The robber car was parked along side the Berg car and she was reading a paper when the bandit car parked. She was seemingly paying no attention to the car parked near her, but when she saw the men with guns in their hands she knew that a bank hold-up was being staged, but kept perfectly still, seemingly reading the paper, but she got the license on the car, the plates having been stolen, it was learned Tuesday afternoon, from a car at Michigan City recently. She was not disturbed by any ot the four men, but undoubtedly had
she made a move to get out of the car she would have been compelled to go into the bank with the others. She says one of the bandits stationed in the door of the bank kept his eye on her all the time.
While the men doing the robbing did not seem to hurry, they went at the work like old-timers and the job was completed in a few minutes and they were gone.
Just before they were done D.C. Driscoll passed in front of the bank and met Carl Gragg and passed the time of the day with him. The man in the doorway ordered Doc to come inside the bank, which he did after being told the second time. Why they did not stop Carl and make him come in is not known, but they allowed him to go to his office where he telephoned to Grant Bros.' store as to what was going on.
After the men had the money they all came out of the bank and got in-
(Continued on Page 4)
NOTE: Unfortunately, this is where the article ended, as there was no continuation of the story anywhere in the paper. The ending of another story on this same robbery, however, appeared in a scrapbook owned by Town Historian Richard Schmal. It was hand-labeled "continued from pate 7," and reads as follows:
The whole affair was done so quietly that it was all over before the people on the street realized that a bank robbery was being staged. The wonder to many is why the bandits did not make Mrs. Hunt, Carl Gragg, and Miss Catherine Berg go into the bank when they ordered "Doc" Driscoll inside.
When the bandits got their job finished they backed their car out in the street and headed east. We are told that when they passed Marshal Williams, who was working near the square, they waved at him and he waved back. Art did not know what was going on as he had not been downtown. The last word of any place they were seen in Lowell was in the northeast part of town. It seems they drove west as far as Burnham Street and went north and left town on the road going past the Catholic cemetery. Word has been received that the men were traced as far as Chicago Heights. The Sheriff's office was notified at once and they had road police on the job, but they had quite a start and the probability is that they never will be captured.
A check-up of the cash after the hold-up showed that the robbers got about $5,000 in currency. They did not take the silver money. The bank is fully insured against the loss.
It is an experience that the bank employees do not want repeated and it is to be hoped that it never will.