Quitman Bank Robbed, 1921

Crime news from the Skidmore News (Skidmore, Missouri), March 24, 1921, page 1:

Quitman Bank Robbed Last Friday at Noon
J. T. Kent Did the Job Alone. Was Captured About 2 Hours Later.
All Money Recovered.

J. T. Kent entered the Farmers Bank at Quitman last Friday about noon, and after locking H. C. Bailey, cashier of the bank, in the vault, escaped with about $1700. He was captured about two hours later some two miles south of Quitman, by L. D. Young and H. L. Bailey.

Kent was alone, and afoot. He had hidden a part of the money in a hedge a mile east of Quitman before being caught, but he took his captors to the hiding place and it was all recovered. In answer to questions by Prosecuting Attorney McCaffrey, Kent stated that he had never been in trouble before, and that he had not considered robbing a bank until about an hour before he did the job. Later reports, however, are to the effect that he once served six months in jail for changing a post office money order; and according to an article published in the Kansas City Times, he is now on parole from the Kansas state penitentiary, having been sentenced in 1917 to an indefinite term of from ten to fifteen years for highway robbery, and paroled in 1918. Even the revolver with which he was armed at the time of the robbery was said to have been stolen from the home of George Wilson of Clearmont.

Kent is 29 years old and married. His wife and two children are living with her mother at Leavenworth, Kansas. He is the son of J. T. Kent Sr., who lives in this county, and has two brothers, O. D. Kent of near Wilcox, and Van Kent who lives on the Dawson farm 3 miles southeast of Skidmore. He has lived in this county from time to time, and is well known in several communities. Last summer while living on a farm near Wilcox, the house in which he lived was destroyed by fire, and he went to Leavenworth, Kans. soon afterward. He had been visiting in the county for several days prior to the robbery.

He was first taken to Maryville, but on account of the unsafe condition of the county jail, was transferred to the Buchanan county jail at St. Joseph, where he was held until Wednesday morning when he was returned to Maryville and arraigned before Justice of the Peace W. L. Johnson.

He waived preliminary hearing, and was bound over to the April term of Circuit Court, which will convene at Maryville Monday, April 4. His bond was fixed at $7,500, and being unable to raise it he will remain in the county jail at Maryville until his trial. He admitted having served part of a term in the Kansas state penitentiary, but said he was innocent of the crime for which he was sentenced. He refused to answer the question as to whether he had ever been in jail for changing a money order. He denied that the gun he was carrying was stolen, and said he could prove that it belonged to him.

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