On this day in 1866, the Reno gang carries out the first robbery of a moving train in the U.S., making off with over $10,000 from an Ohio & Mississippi train in Jackson County, Indiana. Prior to this, holdups had taken place only on trains sitting at stations or freight yards.
This new method of sticking up moving trains in remote locations soon became popular in the American West, where the recently constructed transcontinental and regional railroads made attractive targets. The sparsely populated landscape provided bandits with numerous isolated areas perfect for stopping trains, as well as plenty of places to hide from the law.
As for the Reno gang, which consisted of the four Reno brothers and their associates, their reign came to an end in 1868 when they all were finally captured after committing a series of train robberies and other criminal offenses.