Two hooded men entered Norwood Bank & Banking Company by the front door (1) and escaped with $12,790. One of the robbers leaped over the counter, cleaned out drawer (2), and followed JW. Lawrence Hardy, manager (shown above), into office (3). The second man smashed glass and opened the door (4).

Gunmen Grab $12,790 in Bank, Miss $60,000

Fri, Sep 14, 1951 – 1 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts)

NORWOOD, Sept. 13 — Two black hooded gunmen escaped with $12,790 from the South Norwood branch of the Norwood Banking and Trust Company at 2:30 p. m. today, but missed $60,000 more in their haste to get away.

One cowed three bank employees and two customers with a revolver, while his companion vaulted a five-foot counter and emptied the cash drawer in one of the two tellers’ cages.

Then they fled, leaving behind $15,000 in the adjoining cage and $45,000 in the open safe 20 feet away.

The pair threatened to kill three persons—including a bystander outside—before escaping in a stolen blue sedan parked around the corner on St. George av.

Police recovered the car later at the same parking lot in Milton from which it was taken shortly before the robbery. Its owner was not even aware it had been stolen, they said.

Scores of persons saw the gunmen run from the bank and witnessed their escape as the getaway car careened through South Norwood, barely missing several pedestrians.

But the hoods the men wore— covering their entire heads and containing slits for eye-holes— prevented any detailed descriptions.

Related:  This Day in Norwood History-July 18, 1963-Death Knell Sounded For Old Village Hall

Familiar With District

Police said the gunmen were obviously familiar with the bank’s operations and with the district through which they made their escape.

They apparently knew the bank had an unusually large amount of cash on hand today to handle checks of Bird & Son employees, who are paid off on Thursday.

As they roared away after the holdup. they avoided the several dead-end streets near the bank and took the direct route towards Route 1, the Boston-Providence highway.

The men walked into the bank, situated at 1136 Washington st., half an hour before closing time.

Behind the counter were the managed. W. Lawrence Hardy, 35, of 349 Winter st., Norwood, and two clerks, Mrs. Bertha Bittick, 27, of 21 Savin av„ and Mrs. Estelle Mike, 29. of Route 1, both of Norwood.

Hardy was waiting on Mrs. Selma Kalliel, 53. of 137 Tremont st., Norwood, who was cashing a check. A second customer. William LoDico, 34, of 532 East st.. Walpole, sat at a desk near the counter.

Hardy saw the hooded gunmen come in and ducked into his office at the front of the bank. But one of the men smashed a window of the office with his gun butt and told him:

“If you make a move I’ll kill you.’’

One of the men leaped the counter and began scooping money into a shopping bag from the cash drawer in the nearest teller’s cage. His companion covered him with drawn gun.

Mrs. Kalliel turned as though to leave. The second man grabbed her arm and said. “Sit down or I’ll shoot you.” He sat her down in a chair at the desk where LoDico was seated.

Related:  Charges Against The Selectmen, General Manager Detailed-This Day In Norwood History-October 7, 1938

Pedestrians Endangered

After emptying one cash drawer, the first man vaulted back over the counter. Both gunmen sprinted out the door and down to St. George av.. around the corner from Washington st.

Michael Clancy of Norwood was just coming out of a drug store next to the bank when the pair ran past. One thrust a gun in his ribs and said. “Get off the street or I’ll plug you.”

Clancy obeyed. The men got into a blue sedan parked on St. George av. They turned left on Pond st. and right on Dean st., heading for Route 1.

Several pedestrians yelled warnings at them because of the car’s excessive speed, and one woman and her young son narrowly escaped being run down.

Mrs. Caroline Elias of 45 Dean st. said she saw the men pulling off their masks as they drove past her. She told police the driver was as blond and the other man had dark.

Other witnesses said one man was 5 feet. 8 inches, and heavy-set. wearing Army pants. The other was 5 feet, 10 inches, of medium build, wearing a grey suit.

Police said the getaway car was owned by James K. Matthews of Center st.. Milton. He parked it on a lot near the rapid transit station 1 in Milton Village this morning.

Police found it there a short time after the holdup. It had not even been reported stolen. The motor was still warm when the car was recovered.

VICTIMS IN NORWOOD HOLDUP—Mrs. Bertha Bittick (left) and Mrs. Estelle Mike, employees of Norwood Bank &. Banking Company.