Police car Dillinger stole in jailbreak returning to Indiana
CROWN POINT, Ind. — A police car that notorious 1930s gangster John Dillinger stole after his daring escape from a northwest Indiana jail will get a police motorcade and a parade next month when it returns to the scene of his jailbreak.
After Dillinger escaped from jail in Crown Point, Indiana, in March 1934 by fooling jailers with a gun carved out of wood, he stole Lake County Sheriff Lillian Holley’s 1933 Ford V8 police car and drove it to Chicago, where he abandoned it.
Chicago police impounded the car and later sold it at auction. But Arizona resident Mark Love and the Old Sheriff’s House Foundation in Crown Point tracked down the car and restored it.
The police car’s April 3 return will include a parade and a procession of Lake County Sheriff’s Department police vehicles that will accompany it to the Old Sheriff’s House and Jail in Crown Point roughly following the reverse route Dillinger took while fleeing to Chicago.
The vehicle has been verified as Holley’s car by the vehicle identification number, said Roger Pace of RE/MAX Pace Realty, who helped arrange its return to Crown Point.
“Dillinger’s escape is part of our community’s history. This will reinforce how first responders and police kept us safe from Public Enemy No. 1,” Pace said.
Dillinger was awaiting trial in the slaying of an East Chicago police officer when he escaped from jail. While on the run, he underwent plastic surgery to alter his face and was said to have tried to remove his fingerprints with acid.
Dillinger was fatally shot in July 1934 by FBI agents outside a Chicago theater.