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As It Was: Store Gains Fame as “Most Robbed” in Oregon in 1935

Opening around 1910, E. C. Faber’s General Store had become a Central Point, Ore., fixture, but by 1935 it was a laughing stock.  The store had been robbed 20 times in 25 years, and was known as the “most robbed” store in the state.

Faber tried stronger locks, guard dogs, and night watchmen who slept in the store.  They never woke up even when windows were broken and truckloads of merchandise were hauled past them.

When Faber installed an alarm system, the robbers cut a hole in the roof for the 20th successful heist.  They took $6 in change, a side of bacon and two dozen teaspoons.

Friendly jesters suggested Faber put up a sign reading, “To Whom it May Concern, The key is under the doormat. Please clean the store and split some kindling for the next thief who comes along, who may be just as cold and hungry as you are. It will be appreciated if you take only what you need and don’t break things unless it is necessary. Kindly turn out the lights before you go.”

Source: "Thieves Stage Annual Faber Store Robbery." Central Point American, 18 July 1935, p. 1.

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.