In the evening of Friday February 22, 1889, two men wearing masks boarded the engine of Train No. 17 as it pulled away from Pixley Station. At gun point they ordered engineer Peter Bolenger and fireman C.G. Elder to stop the train two miles south of the station. When stopped they walked the engineer and fireman back to the express car at gun point and threw a bomb under the car, damaging it slightly, then ordered J.R. Kelley, the expressman, to open up the safe or the engineer and fireman would be killed. At this time two passengers, Charles Gabert and Ed Bentley, a Modesto constable walked up to see about the delay. One shotgun blast killed Gabert and another seriously wounded Bentley. Upon securing the booty, the engineer was ordered to "pull out" and then the robbers went off to the east. No one was ever arrested or charged for this robbery. The amount given as stolen was between $400 and $3000. Officers and citizens went searching in all directions from the scene. Stories of two men traveling fast and alone abounded up and down the valley. The Daltons, John Sontag and Chris Evans were suspected, but all had an alibi. The first of three serious train robberies in Tulare County had occurred.