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Wheels West Day in Susanville History – November 9, 1950

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Susanville’s JC Penney store on Main Street around 1940. -Eastman Studio Collection at UC Davis

Two Merchants Hold Youth as Suspect
November 9, 1950

Two Susanville merchants captured an alleged bad check artist and brought him into the city police station Wednesday.

He is Thomas Linn West, 22, of Oroville, who said he had been working in the lumber industry around Canby.

Manager Floyd Talbot of the local J. C. Penny store, and his assistant manager, George Winchester, Jr., were on their way to notify authorities that West had just cashed a bad check when they spotted him in the street. They went up to him, and he went with them to the city hall without any opposition.

Chief of Police Floyd Smith, while admiring Talbot and Winchester’s courage, advised against trying to capture anyone accused of a felony unless with an officer.

“Such people know that they will probably go to prison if brought in, and are often dangerous,” he commented. “He might have shot Talbot and Winchester if he had been armed.”

West had given them a check for $20 and received back change for about $13 worth merchandise he had purchased with the rubber check.

He had stayed several nights at a local hotel and tried to pay with a $20 check, which was declined.

West also tried passing checks at M&M hardware and Deal and Davie service, where he was also turned down.

He is in county jail pending preliminary hearing.


We are always looking for new pictures to preserve and share in our historical photo collection and we would love to see yours.Your picture will be added to our digital archive for future use and we will make sure you receive credit whenever possible. Email your contribution along with your name and a short description of what you’ve sent to webxtra@susanvillestuff.com. A digital copy of every submission will also be donated to the Lassen Historical Society for preservation in their files.

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4 Responses to Wheels West Day in Susanville History – November 9, 1950

  1. Joseph Abbott

    Joseph Abbott

    Saturday, November 11th, 2017 at 3:32 am

    I remember all the overhead pressurized tubing, which carried your money in a canister to the second story cashier’s office where change was made and sent back to the customer…it was neat to watch.

  2. Robert Ramey

    Robert Ramey

    Thursday, November 9th, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Remember that store very well . Was the place to buy Levis in the 40’s and 50’s also frisco jeans. That was my good old days.

  3. Fred Pace

    Fred Pace

    Thursday, November 9th, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Never wrote a bad check at the old Penny’s store, but I did buy my first suite there many years ago.

  4. Sheila Keene

    Sheila Keene

    Thursday, November 9th, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Love this story. Writing bad checks in Susanville is not new. Brave men taking them off the street was doable then. Now – it is not a crime. That is sad.

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