Banker Busted!

June 22, 1907
Los Angeles

John Smith Cravens. Pasadena pioneer. Influential LA banker. Director of Security First National Bank. Founder and Director of Southern California Edison. Instrumental in founding Torrance with his buddies in Dominquez Land Co.; also deep into the Los Angeles Extension Co., Chino Land and Water, and American Conduit. Trustee of the California Institute of Technology and Barlow Sanitarium. Known for the 14-acre estate he owned at 1101 South Orange Grove (“Millionaire’s Row”) in Pasadena. Belonged to all the best clubs. You get the idea.

Not mentioned in any of the many recountings of J. S. Cravens’ greatness is his badass lead foot and disdain for the coppers. True since time immemorial, the fact stands that landed gentry get to do what they want: according to news reports, Cravens was taking an airing in his “high-power machine” Friday morning, June 21. He caught sight of the auto guards and blew by them like a comet. The Motorcyclized Auto Squad of Pasadena gave chase, and Cravens threw his beast into overdrive, leading the bulls on crazy chase for many blocks down Pasadena Avenue.

Some have said that Cravens’ recent Black Hand threats–yes, the blackmail-prone Camorra had reached Los Angeles in 1907–have left him justifiably untrustworthy of any and all authority figures.

That notwithstanding, the officers overtook Cravens and arrested him, hauling him into court today and extracting the $15 fine.

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