Saugus train robber Tom Vernon had several prior convictions, of which this was one. Arrested for stealing a horse in Santa Susana (Simi Valley), Ventura County, he was
convicted of grand larceny and sentenced to 1-10 years. Prison records show he entered San Quentin
on March 4, 1920, and was transfered to Folsom Prison five days later. We don't know how long he served; he was back in Folsom on new charges in September 1923.
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Cowboy is Charged with Scare Crime.
Nabbed as Horse-Stealer: Said to Have Taken Maier's Mare.
Los Angeles Morning Times | Tuesday, January 20, 1920.
Horse stealing has not become a lost "art" if the charges of J.B. Armstrong and J.H. Brown, detectives of the Nick Harris agency, are correct. The offiers last night arrested Thomas Vernon, 35 years of age, a cowboy of Carbon county, Wyoming, and charged him with stealing a blooded mare, Babette, from the ranch of Ed Maier at Santa Susana.
According to the story which Vernon is alleged to have told the detectives, he secured a position sometime ago at Universal City, but was told that he must supply his own horse. They say he went to the Maier ranch and stole the mare.
The horse, the detectives say, was first loaded on an automobile truck for the purpose of bringing him [sic] here, but the animal objected and kicked the truck to pieces. Vernon is then said to have ridden her to Universal City. The detectives followed the trail of the motor truck and the rider to Universal City, and subsequently trailed Vernon to this city [Los Angeles] and apprehended him late last night at Eighth and Main street.
Detectives Armstrong says the man is known also as R.P. Verna and Py Summers. An additional charge of burglarizing the ranch house may be placed against him.
News story courtesy of Tricia Lemon Putnam.