Honor Roll

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Michael Van Vliet was assigned to the Sierra Madre area of Los Angeles County when he was murdered. Deputy Van Vliet was a victim of the west’s own version of Bonnie and Clyde. In 1915, Charles Forbes was arrested in Los Angeles for robbery, auto theft, receiving stolen property and assault on a police officer. Forbes was 17, so the Probation Department intervened and he was released. Forbes headed East with girlfriend Margie Celano, robbing trains and banks in Colorado, Kansas and Missouri. Several lawmen were murdered by the duo. Officials were tipped off that Forbes had returned to Los Angeles for revenge against the officers who arrested him in 1915. The Sheriff’s Office, the Pinkerton Agency and the Postal Authority joined forces to capture Forbes and Celano in Arcadia. The subsequent gun battle proved fatal for Deputy Van Vliet and the murderous duo. The Pinkerton Agency initiated a petition that any reward offered for the capture of the felons would go to Van Vliet’s widow and three children.