Burglars in Shakopee: 1900

By David R. Schleper

Burglars wanted to clean up the whole business portion of downtown, and were successful in entering four of the six businesses. Unfortunately, they only earned about nine dollars and a watch…not exactly fancy living!

The burglars started at the Hoffman house, which was near the depot. They tried to enter the hostelry through the back window, but were probably frightened away. They went two doors farther to the St. Paul House, and boldly forced an entrance through the front window into the saloon. The burglars secured about a dollar in change, and a jack knife, which they probably thought would aid them in their next burglary.

Next, the burglars moved one block east, where they broke into the Crystal saloon. They entered through a back window, which they forced open with a crowbar and chisels. The burglars got their biggest haul: nine dollars in cash and a watch.

Guess where the burglars went next? Another saloon! One block away was Ben Baker’s White Front saloon. Unfortunately, there was nothing there to take, so they were unrewarded, and decided to go down a few doors further to Strunk’s Drug Store.

A displaced screen and marks from a chisel and crow bar gave evidence that they attempted to break into Strunk’s Drug Store. Luckily a good, strong iron bolt prevented the burglars from entering the building.

The burglars passed by the bank and the Flaherty & Lies’ big store. Instead, they crossed the street and broke into Matt Huth’s saloon. They were rewarded by finding a few cents in the till.

After a bit more than a watch and nine dollars and some change, the burglars decided that enough was enough. They disappeared and no further evidence of the burglars and their money was never found. Most people of Shakopee figured this work was evidence of amateurs, and hopefully they would not be back!

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