There were 770 “depredations” against PG&E during the strike. Some of the saboteurs were PG&E employees. Others were simply freelance crusaders for the cause.
Walter Thomas, a “youth of giant build” and a newcomer to the Bay Area, led a nighttime expedition down the San Francisco peninsula. His gang used dynamite to incapacitate PG&E structures at five locations. Their driver, Herman Ebenritter, was soon picked up and—willingly or unwillingly—assisted a posse in a two-day manhunt for the other saboteurs.
Thomas was arrested in Redwood City with six sticks of dynamite in his possession. Also arrested was a man named Joseph Giovanni.
It appears that Ebenritter, jailed in San Francisco, may have been trying to play on both sides of the fence–wherever the money was best. A scribbled note to strike leader W. S. Junkin identified Ebenritter as a “non-union man” suspected of dynamiting. Several months later, Junkin received a cryptic note from a mysterious “C” that Ebenritter was making “considerable trouble” and that Junkin should “quiet him” with money.
Joseph Giovanni was put in the clear by a young woman, Miss A. Valencia, who said they’d taken “the late theater train” from San Francisco to Redwood City on the night in question. Valencia’s occupation was given as telephone operator at PT&T’s Bush Street station in San Francisco. Giovanni’s savior was a “hello girl” and possibly a veteran of the 1907 telephone strike.