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HomeThis Day in HistoryLMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History - April 19, 1953

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – April 19, 1953

Uptown Susanville in 1953
~From the Eastman Collection at UC Davis~

Alleged Jewel Thief Wanted by Long Beach Captured in Cemetery at Susanville
April 19, 1953

Officers from Long Beach arrived here Saturday to get Virgil C. Lewis, wanted in Long Beach on a jewelry theft charge and apprehended by county, city and FBI officers in the Lassen cemetery at about 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning, following a tip that he was in Susanville.

The cemetery was surrounded by officers. Lewis offered no resistance when he was taken into custody by Sheriff Olin S. Johnson and Officer Otis Hibbs.

Johnson stated that when arrested Lewis had $242 in cash and a full set of burglary tools. A native of Susanville, Lewis had been arrested on numerous various charges.

Prior to World War II he was arrested here on a check charge and sentenced to San Quentin. While in there Lassen county jail pending delivery to San Quentin he escaped from jail by the use of blades passed through the window. He was taken into custody shortly after at Medford, Ore., and returned to Susanville.

During World War II he was pardoned from San Quentin to enlist in the armed services. During the term of service he deserted and was picked up by military authorities. Following the war he was released.

Later Lewis was arrested for passing postal money orders and sentenced to McNeil Island. Last December he was arrested at San Diego on a burglary charge, and while receiving treatment at a San Diego hospital where he was placed under armed guard, he again escaped, taking the guard’s gun.

Sheriff Johnson said local officers had been on the lookout for Lewis since his last escape. Lewis told the officers that he had arrived in Susanville at 4 o’clock Thursday morning.

Marshel Couso
Marshel Couso
SusanvilleStuff Owner/Publisher
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