I had not heard of this story before. It is an amazing true story………Thank you Baptist Press for sharing Pastor Goodman’s story!
AUSTIN, Texas (BP) – Many Central Texas natives know the story of the infamous “Santa Claus Robbery” that took place two days before Christmas 1927 in the Eastland County town of Cisco.
Thomas Goodman, pastor of Hillcrest Church in Austin, was pastoring an Eastland church in the 1990s when he heard the tale of four bandits – one disguised as Santa Claus – who robbed the First National Bank of Cisco, briefly escaping with two young female hostages.
The job was supposed to be “easy in, easy out,” Goodman tells congregations and audiences in a message called “The Parable of a Texas Crime.” The crime, however, became anything but easy. As word spread of the robbery, 1,000 armed citizens surrounded the bank – many hoping to claim the reward offered by the Texas Bankers Association promising $5,000 for a dead bank robber and “not one cent for a live one.”
The controversial reward was a response to an epidemic of bank robberies in the 1920s. In today’s dollars, the amount offered would equal a staggering $85,000.
The manhunt was the largest in Texas history to date and the first to involve air reconnaissance, Goodman noted. More Here