Monday, Nov. 22, 1954 | 6 a.m.
Two masked gunmen made a daring raid on Roxie's house of prostitution last night and escaped in a shiny, late model car with a haul estimated in four figures.
The gunmen eluded guards backed about 15 people–including customers, bouncers and girls–and looted the walk-in safe of about $150 in silver dollars and an undetermined amount in paper money.
They took the receipts of three days' business, according to one cashier. Testimony given during the trial of Eddie and Roxie Clippinger in Los Angeles earlier this year, a day's receipts would amount to several thousand dollars.
Sherriff's officers said they left behind about $700 in silver and did not bother with two cash registers.
One of the men reportedly was wearing a comic Halloween mask and another wore a harlequin mask over his eyes. There was a third man, an accomplice, who sat outside in the getaway car while the robbery was taking place.
According to sheriff's officers, the two masked men leaped over an outside fence and entered the plush brothel through the patio entrance.
A guard in front of the building spotted them as they jumped the fence, sheriff's officers said, and shouted "stick-up."
One of the men ordered those in the "lobby" to back up against the wall and sit down on the benches there. The thug who was holding the gun on them told them not to put their hands up in the air, sheriff's officers said, but to keep their hands at their side, to avoid calling attention to the stickup.
The other robber went into the safe, they said, and stuffed the money into a wooden box. He took several $20 rolls of silver dollars, the victims told the sheriff's deputies, and several envelopes stuffed with paper money.
Then they yanked the phone out of the wall, sheriff's officers said, so the victims could not call for help. One of the men was quoted as saying: "Don't anybody move or we'll come back and blow your guts out and burn the place down."
Some of the witnesses said the men acted like they knew where the money was, that they could have been pros. Others said they must have been amateurs. Both men carried small caliber revolvers, either .32s or .38s.
The escape car was described by sheriff's officers as a late model light car which had a brilliant green paint job.
Sheriff's officers first heard the robbery through a tip that was telephoned by a federal agent. The agent said he received an anonymous call that "there was a job pulled tonight at Roxie's." Lt. Lloyd Bell of the sheriff's office said that he and other deputies were on their way out to the house of prostitution when Margaret Burke, about 45, a proprietor of Roxie's arrived at the station to make a report. Time of robbery was set at between 7:15 and 7:30. Mrs. Burke, Bell said, arrived in the office after 8.
An anonymous tipster also called the Sun office about 8 p.m., stating that he had been a customer at Roxie's when the holdup occurred. He said that it happened about 7:30 p.m.
The tipster who called the Sun spoke with a slight accent. Sheriff's officers hinted they had several good leads on suspects. They said they had the license number of a vehicle belonging to one of the suspects.