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Post, Houston, TX

Saturday, July 1, 1967

Arnold H. Garbs, a 56-year-old banker and grandfather, feels that his knowledge of firearms saved his life when he was menaced with a pistol. Garbs was one of a half-dozen hapless victims caught up in 3 Friday afternoon bank robberies in Harris County, Texas, near Houston. In one robbery, a bandit cornered 5 women employees of a bank, raped one of them twice, then sprayed insecticide in the faces of all 5 before fleeing. In another, 2 gunmen snatched $1,390 after cowing the clerks of a savings and loan association. In the third, Garbs, who worked his way up from bookkeeper to bank president in 38 years, was kidnapped by a lone bandit who took $29,200 from his bank and drove off with him as a hostage. Dozens of law enforcement cars and a helicopter took up the chase while the bandit drove with one hand and kept Garbs covered with the other. "If it had not been my good fortune to know guns and their method of operation, I probably would not be alive now," Garbs, an NRA Life Member, wrote The American Rifleman. "This robber threatened my life many times over and I knew that I HAD TO GET THAT GUN TO STAY ALIVE." While law officers drew closer, the bandit kept his pistol shoved against Garbs' stomach. Garbs noted that it was a revolver. This knowledge suggested a plan of action. As reported in The Houston Post: "When he stopped out there on Interstate 10 at the North Loop, I think it was, I grabbed his hand and the gun and put my finger through the trigger guard and kept him pointing the gun toward the floor. He could only have fired once that way, and at least the gun was pointed away from me. "It seemed to me like I was in that car four hours, but I guess it was only about two. "The police did a wonderful job--a wonderful job. I may have helped a little. I kept telling him it wouldn't do him any good to shoot me as he threatened to do but I think he was intending to shoot me when the police closed in." The bank bandit was recently sentenced to a 20-year prison term.
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