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   Karpis as a Teenager
Karpis in Handcuffs

In 1936, twenty-eight FBI agents arrested Alvin Karpis in New Orleans. They were preparing to storm the apartment where he was hiding out (and riddle the suspects inside with bullets) when Karpis, unaware that the police were outside, unexpectedly came out onto a crowded downtown street and got into his car.

Unable to open fire in the crowded street, the waiting agents quickly surrounded the car and the unarmed Karpis, facing dozens of guns, was captured.

J. Edgar Hoover had sworn he would personally capture Karpis and took the credit to enhance his reputation and career. Alvin Karpis described the scene of his arrest and, after the agents had captured him, added:
“I notice someone peeping around the corner of a building. Several agents begin shouting... It’s OK! Come on Chief! We got him! You can come out now!”

At that time J. Edgar Hoover emerged and took the official credit for the arrest.

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Last Updated April, 2007.