Arrest of Francis 'Two Gun' Crowley

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Shemp and Curly, you stay in the car. Larry, you come with me.

Ok, guys we want this caper to go over smooth. After all if this robbery works out who knows what’s next? Payrolls, jewelry stores maybe even banks. Ok, let’s run through the check list one more time.

Crime scene with plenty of witnesses. Check
Two gunmen without nerve. Check
Getaway driver using his own car. Check

Ok, lets do this!
Ruff ruff rufff
Spread out!

Eighty –eight years ago today four would be bandits set into motion quite possibly the lamest attempt at banditry since, well, since the previous lame attempt.

The quartet drove to 15 East 109th Street and two gunmen entered the building while the getaway car stayed parked out front with numerous neighborhood folk meandering around. The landlord of said domicile, Sam Rapport, was collecting the rent and they were going to rob him once he was finished. Fine. So they hide behind the staircase waiting for Sam and he finally comes down with the money.

“Stick ‘em up! Give us the dough!”

Before Sam hands over any money a guy, Harold Toner, who happened to enter the hall–sans weapon- comes over to help Sam. The two gunmen panic and run. One of the confederates in the car kicks open the rear door and they jump in. The driver guns it and they speed down the street with Toner –sans weapon- chasing them on foot.

What Toner lacked in weaponry he made up for in memory. He tailed the car long enough to memorize the license plate. The cops learn that it belongs to Anthony Ciccilone who lives over on 116th Street. Cops walk over. There’s the car parked right out front.

Knock, knock

“You Anthony?’
“Gulp, yes”
“Come with us please.”

“Mr. Toner, ladies and gentleman of 109th Street, is this the man who was driving the getaway car?”

"N'yuck, n'yuck, n'yuck"

Case closed.

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