Tuesday, November 19, 2019

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 19

November 19, 1920 – Three blocks from the Minnesota state penitentiary, the home of Moses Bernstein in Oak Park was entered at 6:30 p.m. today and $50 in cash and a quantity of jewelry taken. The thieves refused to accept government bonds.

Just as the Bernstein family, consisting of the father, mother and four children, were sitting down to supper, an automobile pulled up in front of their house. Four men stepped out of the car, leaving one man inside. The four men entered their house, covered the occupants with guns and compelled Bernstein to open a safe in the dining room. He brought out a number of government bonds that the men scrutinized, and then handed back. Jewelry valued at $300 and $50 in cash were taken. Two of the men searched the upper floor and took some additional jewelry from the bedrooms. Two sealskin coats were taken from the hall as the men were leaving.

The automobile was driven rapidly away as soon as the robbers got in it. It is supposed that the bandits expected to find a quantity of money in the house, Bernstein being thought to have cash on hand for use in his business as a junk dealer.

Before entering the house, the robbers had cut the telephone wire and when Bernstein tried to turn in an alarm, he found it necessary to go to a neighbor’s house half a block away. By the time the police arrived, the bandits had a good head start.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Bandits Hold Up Family of 6 in Stillwater Home; Gunmen Enter Residence, Rob Occupants Sitting at Supper Table. Trio Passes Up Government Bonds, But Take Cash, Jewelry and Coats.”; Nov. 20, 1920; p. 14.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Feb. 28, 2016, 
as long as acknowledgement included.


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