History Column: Kern Deputies in Chase for Bandits Near Newhall Sheriff Cas Walser Also Joins in Search for Lancaster Outlaw.

by | Feb 21, 2018 | Community

 The Bakersfield Californian | Wednesday, March 12, 1924 (Second Edition).
Two of the four men who are said to have held up the Antelope Valley bank at Lancaster yesterday morning are in the custody of the authorities at Newhall and another is dead, according to a long distance call received at the sheriff’s office this morning from Deputy Sheriff Dick Ashe, who is at Newhall with Sheriff Cas Walser, Undersheriff Charles Smith and Deputy Phil Fickert from Kern county.
The Kern county posse took up the chase of the bandits yesterday as soon as word was sent out that the bank had been robbed of $2,800. With posses from Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties they are now gathered at Newhall, from whence the search for the remaining bandit is being conducted.
Phones News Here
Deputy Ashe telephoned that one of the bandits was killed and another one captured last night, while the third man was captured this morning.
A Newhall man is credited by Ashe with catching the third member of the alleged bandit gang. The dead man, Roco Fernandez, was mortally wounded by a member of the citizen’s posse organized soon after the bank was held up. The other suspect, captured last night during the gun battle in which Fernandez was shot, gave his name as Antonio Rojas. Fernandez is said to have made a dying statement admitting he took part in the holdup and implicating Antonio Pietro, Rojas and Fernando Montejo.
Refuses to Talk
According to Deputy Sheriff Ashe, when he telephoned this morning, the third man captured had refused to talk; giving his name as Antonio Pietro, Ashe said that when Fernandez was shot last night he instantly threw down his rifle and ran toward the officers with his hands in the air.
He also said that $900 was taken from the body of Fernandez and that $200 more had been found in an overcoat, abandoned on the mountain back of Newhall. Another of the captured men had $110 on his person, Ashe declared.
The Kern county posse will not be home until the search is given up for the fourth man.

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