Swift justice was meted out this morning to Robert Kitowski, 16-year-old bank bandit, who yesterday held up and robbed the Dominion Bank here. He apeared before Police Magistrate Cruso this morning, elected to be tried by the magistrate, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 5 years and twenty lashes.
The robbery occured yesterday during the noon hour, when most of the bank staff were at lunch, only three employees were in the building at that time. Kitowski walked into the bank about 12:45, ordering everybody in there to "stick em' up!" Only one customer was in the place at the time, Mr. Porter of the Eaton Groceteria.
For a seond those in the building took it as a joke, but a second command accompanied by lurid language and the waving of a gun in the hands of the youthful bandit every hand went in the air. Kitowski had a mask tied over his face.
Cliff Perry, teller was ordered to keep one hand up while he threw out the money form the cash drawer with the other. Stuffing the currency into his pocket, the robber backed out the door and escaped up the alley. J.B. Brown, the accountant at the bank turned in the alarm to the police and an immmediate man- hunt was started.
Constable Sid Wall piked up Kitowski on the road near the McIrvine gravel pit about 45 minutes later, and although not positive that he was the man, he searched him and found a gun. He immediately brought him back into town and had the bank staff take a look at him. He was promptly identified as the man who pulled the holdup. $538 in cash ws found on him which tallied with the amount stolen from the bank.
Kitopski freely admitted to the police that he had committed the robbery and offered no resistance once Constable Wall arrested him. He will serve out his sentence in Stony Mountain Penitentiary in Manitoba.
This is the second time Constable Wall has distinguished himself for prompt and efficient work in the past month. It certainly reflects credit on the constable and the whole department of law enforcement for the manner in which this incident was handled.