Sunday, January 13, 2013

1913 - Thief in Drag gets Away with 25 cents

The Washington Herald
January 13 1913

Highwayman, Dressed as Woman, Shows
Trousers in Flight from Policeman.

Two highwaymen, one attired as a stylish young woman, held up John McLain, of 1106 Florida Avenue Northeast, he told police of the Ninth Precinct last night, and at the point of a revolver demanded his cash and jewelry.

McLain was going to his home, when he was accosted at Montello Avenue and Morse Street Northeast by two men, one dressed in woman's clothes.  Both had their faces smeared with lampblack.  The one in man's clothes pointed a revolver at McLain, and demanded his money.  He only had 25 cents so the highwayman took that, and pointing his revolver at McLain told him to "beat it."  McLain did.

Hastily turning a corner, he met Policeman Steele about to mount the steps of the Ninth Precinct Station.  "there's a couple of hold ups down the street," he yelled at Steele.  The bluecoat spied the pair about four blocks away and started after them on the double-quick.  The two heard his footsteps and vanished around a corner.  No more was seen of them.

Picks up "Her" Skirts.

Before they disappeared, however, Policeman Steele saw the "woman" pick up "her" skirts and do 100 yards in about ten flat.  Underneath the skirts "she" had on a serviceable pair of trousers.

McLain expressed doubt as to his ability to identify the pair should they be arrested.  he said the lampblack they had on their faces made it difficult to remember their features.  In addition, the beskirted member of the team had on a heavy veil.

A blue broadcloth suit, furs and muff, tan shoes, and big black picture hat comprised the attire of the one who masqueraded as a woman.

The police are wondering just what the game was.

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