The Rocky Mountain News published an article January 4th on the "Great Mint Robbery" of 1922 -Editor Six days before Christmas 1922, the Rocky's page 1 lead story had all the elements of a best-seller - the robbery of $200,000 from the U.S. Mint, a shootout and getaway in downtown Denver, and the alluring notion that the "queen" of a bandit gang might somehow be involved.
While federal and county officers watched all roads throughout Colorado and neighboring states and officers of the law were sharpening their wits in effort to checkmate the fugitives, the four bandits who robbed a United States mint at 10:30 o'clock yesterday morning and killed Charles T. Linton, a guard, were still at liberty late last night, and the searchers frankly admitted that they were without clews.
That 63-word first paragraph was only the beginning of breathless coverage that would continue for days. The paper printed eight stories the first day after the robbery.
Four masked "desperadoes" in a black touring car, with curtains drawn, pulled in front of the West Colfax Avenue entrance to the mint alongside a Federal Reserve bank truck.
" 'I heard a shot, then several. Then the general alarm going in the mint,' superintendent Robert Grant told reporters after. 'Every man picked up a rifle and rushed to the door.' "
But Linton was shot, dying, and the robbers had grabbed 50 packages of $5 bills that the guards had been transferring into the truck.
Eighteen days later, the shot-up getaway car was found in a Denver garage. Sitting inside was the frozen body of one robber injured in the shootout. Part of the money, $80,000, eventually was recovered in Minnesota. Then, in 1934, Denver police announced that five men and two women had been linked to the robbery, but no names were released. Police said all of the suspects were either dead or in prison for other crimes.
No one was ever charged for the heist.
To read the complete article, see: December 19, 1922: The great mint robbery (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2009/jan/04/the-rocky-150-years-the-great-mint-robbery/)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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