York Town Square

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Yeggmen hit old-time York County bank. But what are yeggmen?

The Gazette and Daily reports on a bank robbery in 1920s Mount Wolf. As residents slept, the robbers did their work and made a clean getaway. Also of interest: Conewago Creek from the air and Caeserville, named after ex-slave, flourished as lumber center and Trolley ran both ways between Manchester and Mount Wolf.

A big moment in Mount Wolf happened 11 years after its 1910 incorporation as a borough.
Robbers entered the Union National Bank in this northeastern York County community, cracked open the safe, riffled safety deposit boxes and took Liberty bonds and valulables amounting to as much as $15,000.
The vault, made by Anakin Lock of Chicago, was opened with an oxyo-acetylene torch, and then two additional doors were easily opened, The Gazette and Daily reported on Dec. 23, 1921… .
A couple or three interesting details emerged from the robbery… .

I discovered this bank robbery – relatively rare around here in those days – in researching Mount Wolf’s history in preparation for speech for the borough’s Centennial Summer.
First, the robbers, thought to be professionals, were less than thorough.
About $15,000 in currency and $210,000 in bonds and collateral, sitting in a safe within the vault, were left untouched.
Also, Anakin Safe claimed that 37 other attempts to open its safes had failed.
Nonethless, the bank went out and secured a new door from York Safe & Lock. Bank officials probably believed they should have shopped locally to begin with.
And then, what the heck are yeggmen?
That’s an unusual word, meaning a criminal who breaks open safes.
And it’s actually not archaic. It’s a 21st-century thing.
According to Wikipedia, it’s a term for a computer hacker who tries to break into a secure computer system.
The word remains even if the crime changes.
Anyway, Mount Wolf residents received compensation for their loss when upon presenting evidence of their holdings.
There’s no word in the Mount Wolf file at the York County Heritage Trust library that the yeggmen were ever caught..