Thieves broke into the Hazard Drug Store on Main Street around 2 AM on April 22nd 1930. They gained entrance by breaking the lock on the back door. They then jimmied open a steel cabinet containing the store's supply of prescription whiskey and carried away the entire stock of 115 pints of bonded liquor. After stealing the whiskey the robbers ransacked the store and took whatever appealed to their fancy. Their selections included a number of watches, several flashlights, a quantity of cigars, cigarettes, and $25 from the cash register.
The robbers took plenty of time to rob the store but from their subsequent actions their nerves must have been in some what shaky condition. They jumped in their getaway car, a stolen vehicle that belonged to a Cleveland, Ohio man who was visiting Dave Pritchard in Hazard. The vehicle had been parked in front of Prichard's home. The theives drove out Big Bottom and apparently thought the lights of an approaching car was that of the police. They headed down Maple Street and turned down an alley that led to the river near J.L. Johnson's residence, stopping near the edge of the river.
Meanwhile - Bill Johnson and Oscar Baker were staging an all night fishing party nearby. After hearing the commotion they decided to investigate. As they neared the car three men jumped out and ran towards the river and Johnson and Baker gave chase. Johnson overtook one of the men but during the tussle they fell on a barbed wire fence. Johnson, who was underneath, was cut in the arm by one of the fence barbs and thinking the man was using a knife, let go his hold. The man and his two partners in crime made their escape across the river in the darkness. 1930