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The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 9, 1864


A bold robbery was attempted, last evening, in the second story of the premises owned by Janson, Bond & Co., corner of Battery and Pine streets, occupied as a fancy goods importing house, but which, owing to the vigilance of one of the clerks who slept in the store, and the promptitude of Special Officer Sweeney in answering his alarm, was frustrated. About half-past eleven, as the clerk was about retiring, he heard a suspicious noise and raised the cry of "Watch !" Officer Sweeney immediately ran in the direction, and met a man running hastily away. He asked him what the matter was, and he replied "Somebody has lost a watch round the corner." Sweeney ordered him to stop; in reply he made a desperate lunge at the officer with a bowie knife. Sweeney then struck him over the head with his night lantern and brought him to reason. He was then taken to the station-house, where, on being searched, four gold watches, three revolvers, a bowie knife, and two bunches of gold rings were found on his person. He stated his name as William Johnson, and further that he had accomplices, and the name of one was McCarty. Officers Minson and Greenwood then repaired to the scene of the attempted robbery and thoroughly searched the place. They found on the sidewalk, just under the window, where it had been let down by Johnson to his confederates, a bag containing fifteen pistols, five bowie-knives and two pairs of bullet moulds. Up to a late hour last evening, the accomplices of Johnson had not been captured. A box containing four hundred dollars in silver escaped the notice of the robbers. It is probable this gang is the same that were concerned in the recent attempted safe robberies. It is somewhat significant, taken in connection with matters transpiring in the interior of the State, that the purpose of these scoundrels seemed to be to get hold of all the arms they could, comparatively ignoring some valuable jewelry, and other articles, of which they might have possessed themselves.

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