Albion Interactive History / Events / 1936

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Events

1936 June 3, Arrest of Purple Gang members

Law enforcement officials arrested members of the Purple Gang and seized their custom-equipped Graham-Paige sedan on June 3, 1936. The raid followed a spree of at least 15 safe robberies and burglaries in southern Michigan in the previous three months. Gang members operated a junk yard in the Market Place as a “front,” where the raid took place.

The vehicle featured revolving license plates, bulletproof glass, and removable doors and seats so a large safe could be inserted. Various tools of the gangster trade and weapons were also confiscated, and are shown laying next to the car, including: various rifles and shotguns, hammers, chisels, tongs and crowbars, a two-wheeled safe-hauling cart, and bomb-making equipment on the hood, including nitroglycerine and a cake of Fels-Naptha soap. Michigan State Trooper Cuter T. Carland (1913-2002) was one of 25 law enforcement officers from out of town that assisted in the raid, and is pictured in uniform behind the shotgun held by the man on the right. (Photo courtesey of the late Mr. Carland of Frankfort, and his niece, Polly S. Moore of Albion).

Source: Frank Passic. Albion in the 20th Century. Chicago, IL: Arcadia Publishing. 2002.