Home This Day in History LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – April 9, 1953

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – April 9, 1953


Ted Friend (right) and Sheriff Olin S. Johnson in front of the Susanville post office, LIFE Magazine, 1944.

Take Suspect in Cemetery
April 9, 1953

Officers from Long Beach arrived here Saturday to take custody of 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 following a tip that he was in Susanville.

Johnson said when arrested Lewis had $242 in cash and a full set of burglary tools. A native of Susanville, Lewis has been arrested on numerous occasions.

Prior to World War II he was arrested here on a check charge and sentenced to San Quentin. While in the Lassen County jail pending delivery to San Quentin, he escaped from the 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.

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