Posts Tagged ‘petty theft’

‘Struck His Wife On Busy Street,” Toronto Star. August 16, 1910. Page 02.

Has Been Paying Attention to Another Woman – To Jail for 30 Days.


Doctor Accused of Bigamy – Brothers Charged With Assault and Robbery.

Even from the court room above it became quite apparent that Wm. A. Fulton had radical ideas of his own as to cell decorum. Alternately he addressed fellow-prisoners in ministerial language or spouted poetry, and guffaws could be heard in greeting. Once up he cooled perceptibly.

Constable Reburn had arrested him for disorderly conduct at the station.

‘Shaking people,’ said that officer, and Fulton waits a week for a doctor’s examination.

Herchall Hertz took her insanity conviction badly. She protested, pitifully, so that all might hear, and two constables were needed to take her downstairs.

Mary Greer, aged 80, will go over to the House of Providence.

George Parker and James McDonald, drunken, pay a dollar and costs each.

Told Troubles to Policeman.
Careless of the man he accosted on the street, backed up by a hard luck tale, Philip Martin landed in Esther street police station. Unwittingly he had recounted his need for money to Provincial Constable O’Connor, so the charge was vagrancy.

He is too young in appearance for such a charge, but he pleaded guilty. Besides, he had been seen to follow a drunken man. Ten dollars and costs or 60 days.

Claiming that the gun he left in the Union Station waiting room had disappeared, William McLean, of Midland, on his way to Winnipeg, caused the arrest of Robert Dalton, fellow-traveler from Victoria Harbor. Constable Reburn locked up, for the rifled was found in his possession.

Ignorance of the circumstances was taken as a plea for not guilty.

‘Dalton claimed it at first,’ stated the officer.

Drunkenness was then promptly rung in as an excuse, but Magistrate Denison has heard it many times before, Dalton’s trip will be interrupted. He goes to jail for 30 days.

Accused of Shoplifting.
Nellie Newman, charged with shoplifting from Eaton’s, was remanded till Monday next without plea of election. The articles complained of are, a chatelaine and one lady’s sweater.

For Striking His Wife.
When several pedestrians saw Herbert Foster strike his wife in the face on the street at Yonge and Queen, they gave chase, but Foster boarded a street car and left the woman lying on the street. Detectives Guthrie and Murray came along and followed and arrested him on a charge of aggravated assault. The couple live at 99 Jarvis street.

‘Why?’ questioned Crown Attorney Corley.

‘There’s another woman in the case, and I kept following him.’

‘No, no,’ Foster shook his head.

The wife stated circumstances of their domestic life, which held Foster up to censure and only a threat from the magistrate forced Foster into an admission that the second woman had wrecked the peace of their family. He goes to jail for 30 days.

Farmers at the Market.
The Humber Bay Farmers, E. Powitt, and W. Griggsby, charged with a breach of the law defining the sale of farm produce in that they sold produce on the St. Lawrence Market not in barrels, bags, or bushels, but in broken portions of those measures, were given a second remand. Their counsel, A. R. Hassard, had not yet carried out his intention to go before the Board of Control to ask for a change in the regulation. He stated he would carry his appeal before those officials at today’s meeting.

Will Support Wife.
William Wells named bright prospects. Though he had not yet contributed to the support of the wife, Elizabeth Wells, as stipulated by the court on July 27, he would go out on the road and sell stuff. He is a traveler.

The second chance was given.

Bought the Harness.
To look up the man who sold him the harness parts for 30 cents, Herbert Bennett was given a remand. A witness was produced, who bought the goods from Bennett for eighty cents, and originally they were stolen from J. Battalta. The charge was theft.

On a conviction of gross indecency Charles F. Brown will go to jail for sixty days.

Ethel Gibson was quite frank: she did not deny stealing 5 ½ yards of ribbon from the Jas. Vise Company. It was her first offence. She promised not to repeat it, so a chance was given.

Michael Tellman, convicted of the theft of jewelry from Samuel Siegel, goes to jail for ten days.

Lost a $20 Bill.
David Stein declared he mistook a twenty dollar bill for a two and handed it to Loretta O’Hara in change from his auction mart in Yonge street, so charged her with theft.

But there had been many customers, the girl knew nothing of the twenty, and T. C. Robinette produced her bank book which showed accurate accounting to correspond with her funds. The charge was dismissed.

Doctor on Bigamy Charge.
Though yesterday afternoon when detained by Inspector Kennedy of the Morality Department, on a charge of bigamy, Dr. Herbert Edward Shepherd, who has practised for a number of years at 15 Gloucester street, admitted three marriages, he claimed to be innocent of the bigamy charge, on the grounds that the first marriage had been dissolved, and that he had been separated from the second wife for more than seven years before contracting the third marriage.

Complaint was received rom the first wife, Mabel Louisa Saunders, who was marred in Barrie, 1869, and who is now living a Duck Lake, Sask., with some of their children. It is alleged that in July, 1883, he left her with six children, and that later he married a second time, and that he married Lucy A. Moore of Goderich, in September, 1908. This wife was living with him when the arrest was made.

Normal Heyd, appearing as counsel, pleaded not guilty, and offered as explanation the statement that a divorce had been granted on December 18, 1867, in Michigan, where the doctor was practising at the time.

Crown Attorney Corley merely offered to put in the two marriages certificates as evidence, and Mr. Heyd consented to waive examination of witnesses, and asked to go over before a jury for trial.

The same bail of $1,000, given by Mr. J. Hazelton, stands, and the case will come before the next assizes.

Brothers Accused.
Lords and Abraham Pancer, brothers, of 47 Chesnut street, tailors, were charged with assaulting Arthur Swartz of 122 Edward street, in Edward street Saturday night, and robbing him of $130. The plea was not guilty, no evidence was taken, bail of $200 being accepted for hearing on the 18th.

Complaining there were pickings from the ice wagons, and that an example was necessary, the Belle Ewart Ice Company caused the arrest of Henry Street, a teamster.

‘I took a little that was left over from the route,’ admitted Street, ‘but it went to pay for shoeing the horses, sharpening ice tongs, axe, and to pay for my dinner.’

‘You should have told the company,’ advised the magistrate, but the charge was dismissed.

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“City Items,” Montreal Daily Witness, July 12, 1871. Page 03.

Mary Ann Sullivan, a girl of only 10 years of age, who recently escaped from the Reformatory, was arrested yesterday by Constables Armor and Martel, and to-day was sent back to the Reformatory.

Escaped. – Yesterday a boy named Louis Vian, aged 15 years, was arrested by the detectives on suspicion of being concerned in the Gault outrage. The circumstantial evidence against him was very strong, and a handkerchief which belonged to Mr. Gault was also found in his possession. After his arrest, he was put in the cell along with other prisoners to await examination at the Police Court to-day. During the night, however, Master Louis Vian managed to effect his escape by, it is believed, crawling through the ventilator in the cell door. The aperture in question is less than nine inches square, and Vian must have been very dexterous in getting through and afterwards clearing off from the building without being noticed. Three or four persons previously arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the Gault outrage, were to-day shown to Mr. Gault, but the latter failed to recognize any of them, and they were sent to jail as vagrants.

Attempted Imposition By A Carter. – Until cabmen are peremptorily and severly dealt with, their daily tricks and impositions on the public will never be put down. Charles Lapointe, 21, carter, who resides in Craig street, was charged at the Recorder’s Coourt to-day with refusing hire. It appears that on Tuesday morning Mr. Treasurer Black came off the Quebec boat and prisoner was one of several cabmen who solicited hire. Mr. Black hired Lapointe, who on second thoughts wanted to know where he was going, and if to a fire, and finally, with an oath, refused to drive him. Chief Penton gave Lapointe anything but a good character, and His Honor said that this system of carters bullying people and levying black mail must be stopped; and every case proven would be severely punished. Lapointe was fined $8 or one month in jail.

Loafing Vagrants. – At present there seems to be an unusually large number of loafing vagrants about the city. Louis Deschamp, 35, alias Leon Richer, laborer, from St. Urbain street; Michel Dubois, 34, laborer, St. Dominique steet; Xavier Beauvais, 27, carter, carter, Papineau Road, and a disreputable woman named Adeline Lefebvre, 29, were arrested at 5 o’clock this morning by sub-Constables McCormicck and Depatie, who had watched the gang for some two hours previous, when they were in a field off Sherbrooke street. At the Recorder’s Court to-day, it was stated that the prisoners are strongly suspected of being concerned in some recent robberies, and His Honor committed them each for two months; also Joseph Dupont, 20, vagrant, from Campeau street, against whom the detectives are working up a case of burglary.

Sarah Alcock, 44, an old vagrant, Mary Ann Lanigan, 29, and Elizabeth Dunn, 29, both found loitering on Champs de Mars, were each committed for a month; also Mary Ann McDonnell, 45, and Ann Meaney, 23, who were found in a drunken disgraceful state on Logan’s Farm. His Honor said that a law would soon be in force, by which vagrants for second offence may be committed for two years.

Alphonese Labreque, 24, laborer, and who, the police stated, was the ‘fancy man’ of the keeper of a brothel, was arrested along with Joseph St. Jean, 27, stone-cutter, loitering with a prostitute, and they were each fined $2.50 or 15 days in jail.

POLICE COURT – WEDNESDAY. – A woman who was arrested on a charge of breaking a pane of glass in the door of E. Costello, was discharged for lack of evidence.

Edmund Fegan 62, a vagrant from Common street, was arrested for stealing coal on the wharf and was committed as a vagrant for two months,

Eliza O’Brien, wife of James Mourney, of Colborne Avenue, was charged with using insulting language to Catherine Mullins, wife of James Mourney, Jr., and was fined $10.75, including costs, or fifteen days in all.

Damase Piebe, shoemaker for assaulting Augustin Guibord, was fine $7 including costs or 15 days.

George Clarke, Fil, alias Williamson, alias Henderson, charged with stealing four billiard balls belonging to Mr. Chadwick, St. James street, was remanded for examination. The balls were found in his possession, but Clarke says he brought them with him from the United States early in June last.

RECORDER’S COURT – Wednesday – This morning the sheet contained fifty cases, and nearly one-third of those were persons arrested in connection with a house of ill-fame in St. Elizabeth street, where the police made a raid last night. With such a programme before the Court it was no wonder that the place was thronged by those peculiar and miscellaneous personages, the largest proportion of whom are of a vicious character, who watch the rise and fall of the criminal barometer with an interest that is whetted and increasing in proportion as the details are disgusting.

Frederic Lafontaine, 32, agent, or manager of the Toronto House and Edward Rheaume, 24, shoemaker, who got quarrelling and attempted to fight at the door of the above tavern, were each fined $2.50 or 15 days in jail.

Fabien Beaudouin, 22, carter, drunk in Notre Dame street; Daniel Murphy, 40, agent from Quebec, drunk in St. Paul street; François Ganthier, 48, blacksmith, drunk in Panet street; Michael MccGeary, 36, laborer, drunk, in Commissioner street; J. Bte. Deslauriers, 52, laborer, drunk in St Paul street; J. Bte. Braurmter, 58, laborer, drunk in Perthius street; Jos. Power, 19, laborer, drunk in Manufacturer street, and Daniel Gibson, 34, a respectably dressed man, drunk in Cahboulez Square Fire Station, also a woman, were each fined in small sums for being drunk; while Richard McDonnell, 27, baker, drunk in the city cars, was fine $2 or 15 days.

George McNeil, 32, shoemaker, and George McNulty, 55, laborer, both drunk in Lacroi street, and insulting people, were each fined $2.50 or 15 days.

Joseph Howie, 26, shoemaker, was fined $5 or 30 days, for loitering in Campean street with a prostitute, named Adeline Lefebvre, 39, who was committed for a month.

Thomas Cleary, 29, mechanic, residing in Dorchester street, got drunk last night, and was smashing the furniture and threatened to throw his wife out of the window. As the wife failed to appear, Cleary was let off with a fine of $2.50 or 15 days in jail.

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“Brought to Penitentiary,” Kingston Daily Standard. July 5, 1912. Page 08.

Thomas Moffat, the Gloucester township youth who was sentenced to three years in Portsmouth Penitentiary by Magistrate Smith on four charges of theft and housebreaking, was brought to the penitentiary yesterday by Sheriff G. C. Richardson.

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“Chickens Stolen, and Pigeons Too,” Toronto Star. June 8, 1909. Page 10.

And Two Young Fellows Will Go to Jail for Purloining the Poultry.


Bad Language and Fighting – 30 Days for Begging – Theft From Yacht.

Adolphus Parpagliolo was sentenced to jail for 30 days, hard labor, by Magistrate Kingsford in the Police Court this morning for the theft of a fur cap from the yacht Canada, owned by Mr. George Duthie.

Adolphus was arrested on the 1st of June by Detective Armstrong. The officer had to row out to the boat, which was about 300 feet out from the foot of York Street. He found A. P. on board, with the fur cap under his coat and a pair of boots rolled up in paper near him.

‘How he got to the boat is a mystery,’ said Mr. Corley, ‘as there was no dinghy near.’

‘Is this his first offence?’ asked his Worship.

‘Yes, but it seems he doesn’t work,’ replied the Crown Attorney.

To the Jail Hospital
Mary Carruthers, small of stature, watery of eye, and with the tremolo stop working overtime, admitted she was drunk, but gave numerous valid reasons for such being the case – husband, pain in stomach, general debility, etc.

‘I want to go to the hospital,’ ended she.

‘I’ll remand you for a week,’ said his Worship. ‘There’s a hospital there.’

‘Catherine Cameron,’ said the magistrate to one dressed in a hectic combination of blue and red and green; ‘you’re charged with being drunk. What do you say?’

“Drunk,’ said she, very simply.

And just as simply came his Worship’s reply: ‘One dollar and costs or thirty days.’

Thomas Nugent, a regular visitor, said, ‘sure, he was drunk.’ He was given the usual fine.

‘Give me time?’ asked he.


So Thomas, who usually runs this bluff, came forward and paid up.

Raised Disturbances.
Circumstances were too much for Patrick Foley’s tongue last night, and he let it run away with his discretion, which cost him just a dollar and costs or 10 days.

George Pesnen and John Laine were fighting on the street last night, and as neither was sure how it happened, both were fined a dollar and costs.

John Burke got one and costs for trespassing in the yards of the G. T. R. at the foot of Simcoe street.

For Begging.
Peter Donnelly was indignant, when informed that he was charged with being a vagrant.

‘The cop is just trying to get me convicted,’ said he. ‘I was selling shoe laces and court plaster.’

But the evidence tended to show that he did more begging than selling, so he goes down for 30 days.

For Stealing Pigeons.
The theft of seventeen pigeons from Grevitte Elliott was the charge against Russell Jackson, a young fellow of twenty-two.

According to Elliott about four or five days after the birds disappeared he saw a couple of them in Jackson’s pigeon coop. He came to the detective office and got an officer and a search warrant. Twelve pigeons beloging to Elliott were found. 

Jackson protested his innocence, but even when his brother-in-law gave evidence for him, Mr. Corley said, ‘the tracks of two men were seen around Elliott’s place the morning after the theft. Were you the other man?’

This question rather knocked the defence flat. It was unexpected.

Thirty days in jail was the sentence.

Stolen Hens.
About two weeks ago a henhouse belonging to Joseph Fee was broken into and a dozen hens stolen.

David Hogan was charged with the theft, but pleaded not guilty.

On the evidence of Abstein, a second-hand dealer, who buys anything, Hogan was committed to jail for 30 days.

Abstein swore that Hogan was the man who sold him four hens, which were afterwards identified by Fee. Hogan protested again and again that he was not.

Eleven previous convictions were registered against the prisoner, but because he had not been up for over three years his Worship said he would make the sentence as light as possible.

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“Youths Sent To Prison,” Toronto Globe. May 11, 1917. Page 12.

Belleville, May 10. – (Special.) – Thomas Hawke, Charles Singer, and Joseph Hefferman, aged eighteen, were this morning sentenced by Judge Deroche to two years each in the Kingston Penitentiary. Two days ago they pleaded guilty to five charges breaking into by night and burglarizing Ben Sopher’s store of a large quantity of jewelry, and Wade’s poor room, besides taking some barber tools in Trenton.

[AL: Interestingly, Thomas Hawke was not sent to the penitentiary – he may, instead, have appealed his sentence or had it commuted to a provincial sentence.]

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“Jail-Breaker Sentenced,” Toronto Globe. April 27, 1917. Page 07.

“Guelph, April 26. – (Special.) – Henry Manning, a young man who was sent to the Ontario Reformatory from Hamilton for an offence committed in that city, was before Magistrate Watt yesterday on three charges, first, that of forcibly breaking his way from prison at the Ontario Reformatory; second, escaping from the Reformatory, and third, theft of a suit of clothes from Wm. Haliburton, a guard at that institution. He was sentenced to two years in Kingston Penitentiary for theft and for escaping, and three years for breaking prison; the sentences, however, are to run concurrently.”

[Interestingly, Manning was not sent to the Kingston Penitentiary, and did not enlist in the Canadian military either – without access to the Guelph papers, or the records of the Ontario Reformatory there, it is difficult to know what happened to him.]

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“Louis Gallow Was Too Smart,” Hamilton Spectator. March 1, 1919. Page 23.

Called Back For ‘Sassing’ Magistrate To-day
Term At Burwash Transferred to Kingston

Louis Gallow is a bad boy. Nine times he has appeared before the magistrate on charges varying from disorderliness to theft, and this morning he faced a charge of stealing $223 from George Brooks, an employe of Bowles’ lunch. Detective Shirley told of rounding up Louis with another boy named ‘Mickey,’ who appeared in the juvenile court on the same charge, and of securing a confession from Gallow.

‘I didn’t take the money, your worship,’ pleaded Louis, who is only seventeen years of age. ‘Mickey sez to me there was a guy who gave him some money for something and he knew where the money was, so we went up to the room and Mickey came out with the money and gave me $80.’

Detective Shirley said that he searched Gallow’s house, at 12 Tiffany street, and found the eighty dollars in the cellar. He further stated that while in the cells the boy paid his respects to the police by carving the names of the various officers who had arrested him on his bench and imputing filthy names to them.

‘Won’t you give me a chance?’ pleaded Gallow, as Magistrate Jeifs was about to give sentence.

‘Good gracious! How many more chances do you want?’ asked the magistrate, incredulously.

‘I never had a chance yet,’ insisted the boy.

‘Well, I’m going to send you to Burwash for two years, less one day,’ said his worship.

As he was being taken away, Gallow pulled off a bit of smartness that landed him into still more serious trouble. Turning around, he shouted to the cadi, ‘And thanks for it, too.’

‘Call him back,’ ordered the magistrate. ‘You will now receive 23 months at Kingston penitentiary, where you might learn something.’

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“Lads Carry Revolvers; Were Real Detectives,” Toronto World. January 9, 1919. Page 03.

John Dryjas and Stanley Oezcehowski appeared before Judge Winchester in the sessions yesterday, charged with theft and receiving. The charge was laid on the complaint of a William Bezzowski, who claimed he had lost $110, while other people claimed that a scarf and several other articles had been taken from them. When the lads were searched they were found to be carrying revolvers, detectives’ badges and handcuffs, and they had been flaunting these to people, claiming that they were bona fide detectives.

County Crown Attorney Greer thought it was a case of dime novel adventure, and the judge let them off with a fine of $25 and costs each.

On New Year’s Eve, Albert Little was driving a car and while doing so ran into a truck belonging to the Convalescent Hospital and driven by a soldier, Syndey Maker. P. C. Evans, who was nearby when the accident occurred, said that Little was drunk. A sentence of four months on the jail farm was imposed for criminal negligence.

Charged with having liqour in his possession on the Corner of Queen and Yonge Streets on Wednesday evening Frank Butler appeared before Magistrate Denison. It is said that he went to Buffalo and when he came back he had some liquor on him of which he had no knowledge.

A fine of $200 and costs was imposed on Butler.

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“Easy Escape of Two Prisoners,” Toronto Star. November 30, 1908. Page 03.

Both of the Lindsay Men Should Have Been in the Central Prison, Toronto.


Took Half an Hour to Notify Them – Jumped a Ten-Foot Fence to Liberty.
Special to The Star.
Lindsay, Nov. 30 –  Neither of the two prisoners, Brooks and Fred Mallory, who escaped from the local jail on Saturday have been apprehended as yet. It was rumored yesterday that Mallory had been caught, but the rumor proved groundless.

The manner in which the jail-birds obtained their liberty was simple. The two, with another prisoner, were sawing wood in a yard outside the actual jail-yard, surrounded by a high board fence. Turnkey Andrews was in charge of the men and noticed Brooks and Mallory walking faster than usual around a corner into the yard where the wood was to be sawed. He went after them, and when he had turned the corner of the woodshed saw their heels disappearing over the fence, which is about ten feet high. He immediately set out in pursuit, but was unable to catch up with the men.

Both prisoners were in striped jail clothes at the time of their escape, but it is supposed they have long since procured ordinary clothes. They were last seen going through License Inspector Thornbury’s garden, and Mrs. Thornbury telephoned down street. This town, up-to-date in other ways, had no telephone at the police station and Chief Vincent was patrolling the streets sublimely unconscious of the prisoners’ escape for fully half an hour after they had made their exit.

The two men headed through a swamp for the railroad track, and have not been seen since. Brooks was sentenced to eighteen months in the Central for horse stealing, and had served a week in the local jail. Mallory was sentenced to the Central prison for two years minus one day for stealing a fur coat, and had served about eight months of his sentence here. Both were awaiting transfer to Toronto.

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“Poor-Box Robber Is Caught In N.Y.,” Toronto Globe. November 27, 1918. Page 03.

Toronto Youth Confesses When Arrested That He Had Made Atttempt

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
New York, Nov. 26. – Samuel Gross, nineteen years old, of Toronto, who carried a Canadian registration card, but not permit to rob the poor boxes of New York city, was frustrated this afternoon through the clever and courageous work of Miss Adele Eggers of 1,847 Harrison Avenue.

Miss Eggers, with her mother, was out for her first airing following a serious illness and had stopped at a bakery on Washington Heights to make a purchase. She was standing at the counter, waiting for her mother to make a selection, when, she told a detective later, she espied in the mirror behind the counter Gross trying to loosen the contribution box for the blind from the wall near the door.

Miss Eggers, weak though she was, pounced upon Gross, who had succeeded in unfastening the box and was starting for the door with it concealed beneath his overcoat which he carried on his arm.

His First Attempt.
Despite her game efforts, Miss Eggers was unable to hold on to Gross, who wrenched himself free and in doing so hurried the girl and the contribution box to the tiled floor of the store. A chase of five blocks up St. Nicholas avenue ensued, and this meanest of thieves was overtaken through the sprinting ability of Traffic Patrolman Henry Stake, who outdistanced the quickly gathering crowded by several hundred yards.

Questioned by detectives, Gross denied he was a slacker from Canadian military service and declares this was his first attempt to pilfer poor boxes. He said he had been working in restaurants and ‘bumming it’ during the four months he has been here from Toronto, sleeping when he had ‘the price’ at the Mills Hotel at 36th street and 7th avenue.

There was between $5 and $6 in the shattered box when the contents were counted later.

Mrs. Eggers is apprehensive lest her daughter’s experience cause a relapse in the girl’s condition.

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“William Snow Returns – Surrendered Himself At Central Prison,” Toronto Globe. September 17, 1908. Page 12.

Escaped on Sunday by Squeezing Through Bars of a Corridor Window – Called on the Warden Last Night.

Shortly after 9 o’clock last night two men, one somewhat advanced in years, called upon Dr. Gilmour of the Central Prison.  The younger man the Warden at once recognized as William Snow, who escaped from the prison on Sunday, and the older man was introduced to him as the youth’s father. Young Snow, who was dressed in civilian clothes and carried his prison suit under his arm, neatly parcelled, said he had come back to serve his sentence.

To all the Warden’s questions he answered straightforwardly and without hesitation.  He got away from the Central where he had served a few weeks of a 23 months’ sentence for theft, by squeezing through the bars of one of the corridor windows while divine service was in progress, and easily scaled the outer walls with the aid of some planks.  He managed to make his way to Farley avenue, where, when he was sent down, his father was residing, but found that he had removed. Later his located his father’s new home, and slept there on Tuesday night. His father counselled his return to prison, and the young man assented. A younger brother, Robert, is under sentence of one year, less a day, in the prison for jail-breaking.

The scene at the Central Prison last night was not without pathos. The father of the two boys who so early in life have ‘gone wrong’ seemed to be considerably affected. He remained until William had changed to his prison suit, and then bundled up the civilian clothes and carried them away.

A warrant for William’s arrest on the charge of breaking from prison was issued yesterday, and as the police had located him there is no doubt that in any event he would soon have been arrested. There is a feeling that in view of his youth and the manner in which he returned to custody he wll be arraigned on the charge, and will thus escape another conviction.  There is reason to hope that the lad can be reformed instead of being made a hardened criminal, and several persons interested in the case believe that if given a chance he will show by good conduct for the rest of his sentence that he is not beyond redemption.

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“William Snow Has Escaped from the Central Prison,” Toronto Star. September 14, 1908. Page 05.

Brother of the Lad Who Got Away From Toronto Jail – William Left Chapel Services and Squeezed Between Side of Window Frame and a Bar

Another Snow has escaped from prison.  Following upon the exploits of Robert of that ilk, who was sentenced to two years in Central just the other day for jailbreaking at Mimico and Toronto Jail. It is Robert’s brother William who has now said farewell to his kindly entertainers and it is Central Prison which has proved an insufficient bar to liberty.  Robert Snow is seventeen; William is nineteen.  The latter has been serving a term of 23 months for housebreaking, and his successful getaway on Sunday afternoon marked the end of only about a week’s confinement.

Through Narrow Aperture.
The story of how William broke jail is somewhat interesting, including as it does the surmise that he must have squeezed himself through an aperture between a bar and the side of a window; and this aperture is only six and one-half inches wide.

The escape is supposed to have taken place about 3.30 in the afternoon, the precise hour chosen by the young gents who recently took leave of Governor Chambers.  The Protestant prisoners at Central were listening to the address of a visiting clergyman.  Snow’s cell was in the sixth gallery of the north wing, but he was attending service in the chapel with his fellows.  When the service, which started at 3 o’clock, was about half over, William Snow made an excuse to his guard and went downstairs.  He did not come back.

There seems to have been no idea that an escape was possible.  All the doors were locked, and the security at such a time is supposed to be so absolute that guards are not kept on walls except when prisoners are in the outer yard for exercise.

A Narrow Squeeze.
When the service closed about four o’clock there was nothing to be found of Snow.  The guard believed he might be hiding somewhere about the prison out of mischief, but a search gave conclusive proof that he was not there.  At the same time, no trace of his departure was evident.

At last, however, two planks were discovered at the west wall, these having apparently been used by the prisoner in scaling it.  Also there was a scratch on the wooden frame of one of the windows, and this was evidently made by Snow in squeezing through.

This window is at the end of a long corridor on the ground floor.  It is heavily barred, but a slight form might possibly squeeze through if a bar yielded somewhat.

In order to get to this window young Snow had to cross the swing bridge separating the cell galleries from the main building.  Making his way to the bottom floor, he stood on a tub and squeezed through the window, dropping six feet to the ground.  A couple of eighteen-foot planks made the walls easy.

Ran One Risk.
Snow ran risks at only one point.  That was when he climbed through the window, perhaps within view of a guard about two hundred feet away. The guard may have had his view cut off by one corner of the cell rooms, or he may not have noticed the figure at the far end of the corridor.  Snow weighs 144 pounds, and is 5 feet, 9 inches tall, but once his head was through the window he would have had little difficulty in getting his body after it.  The drop to the ground is only a few feet, and there was plenty of lumber lying around wherewith to scale the wall.  Indeed, he might have used a step ladder if he had thought of it.  his way led through the storehouse where there was a step ladder, if he had thought of it. His way led through the storehouse where these are kept, and some of them are twelve feet long.  The wall is only twenty feet high, and the brick support where he scaled it does not by any means reach to the top.  By placing a ladder against this support, he could have climbed over in ease.  In the old days, when escapes were many, convicts have got away by tying two ladders together.  Snow preferred common planks, and they served his purpose well.

First Escape in Five Years
It is five years since a prisoner escaped from the Central, the burglar Desrochers having at that time made a run for it when working outside.  He was caught shortly afterwards.  There have, of course, been attempted escape, and there is a rumor that convicts have succeeded before now in getting through the very window whereby Snow successfully sought to gain the outer yard.  The iron bars on this window are 1 ½ inches thick and very solid.  Certainly they would not yield.  But the space between the outermost bar and the window frame is large enough to let a very slight person through.  Snow must have known this.  It may have been common knowledge in the prison.  There is little doubt but what the whole escape was very carefully planned and carried out according to program.

It is not difficult to trace Snow’s probable movements after leaving the chapel yesterday afternoon.  He asked the guard to let him go to his cell as a matter of convenience.  The guard did not accompany him, as the whole prison was locked up.

In order to get to his cell, Snow would have to pass out of the main buildding in which the chapel is located, and go to the north wing of the prison.  The chapel is on the top flat. The north wing consists of a huge building with the cells set in the middle of it, very much as though a package of butter were set square in the center of a chalk box.  The cells rise up in three tiers, a platform, with iron railing, running around each tier – Snow’s was on the top tier.  He would in any case go to his cell from the chapel by way of an overhead passageway, which leads from the upper storey of the main building to the upper story of cells.  There was nothing unusual about a prisoner crossing this, but Snow would go very quietly, so as not to be seen by the guard below.  This guard would be just 35 feet away, but Snow had slippers on, and would slip across the bridge without being noticed. If he had been seen, the guard would probably have kept an eye on him afterwards.

Climbed Down Ladder.
Once on the platform surrounding the top tier of cells, Snow, instead of going to his own cell, would continue along the platform, keeping close to the cells so as to be hidden from the guard below.  He would reach the far end of the platform, at the extreme end of the wing, without much danger of detection.  Then would come his troubles.

Now, about two hundred feet from the guard, he would have to descend a perpendicular ladder which runs outside the platform from the top tier to the floor.  He would have to cross the floor to the window and get through it.  Very likely he watched until the sound end of the cells hid the guard, who would naturally be walking up and down.  Then he would leap across to the window, to which he mounted by means of a upturned tub.  He squeezed through between bar and window frame, alighting on cinders below.  He had still the wall to scale, but his worst troubles were over.  The place where he lit was so hard as to leave no telltale marks, and there were plenty of buildings to hide from view as he made his way to the rear wall.

In the Prison Yard.
The window by which Snow escaped is situated at the north-west corner of the prison building.  It looks on the prison yard, and his jump for liberty would land him almost at the north-east corner of this vast enclosure.  He was in full sight of the corner tower, only a few rods away.  He would have been the easiest mark in the world for the guard with a rifle who is stationed there every day but Sunday. But on the Sabbath, when all prisoners are locked in, there is thought to be no necessity for guards on the walls.  Hence the towers at the four corners were untenated.

When the prisoner leaped from the window, he was facing west, and his natural course lay due west, parallel with the north wall not a great distance away.  The enclosure must not be imagined as an open one.  It is full of huge buildings. Half a dozen factories are there, where the convicts learn useful trades and incidentally turn out the prison-made goods which compete with paid labor’ products.

Between Two Buildings
Two woodworking buildings, with a narrow lane between them, are in the enclosure close to the window from which the prisoner leaped.  Once there, the man was practically safe.  Hurrying through this passageway, he crossed an open space, but huge buildings hid him from the view of anyone at the prison. Still further shelter was afforded him when he passed through a woodenware storehouse of which the doors were open.  He traversed it from end to end, passing down a long aisle, between piles of stepladders, sleighs, and washboards.  There were dozens of planks to be had for the taking.

His course finally brought him to the west wall near its junction with the north wall, and with the corner tower closed to him.  But there was no one in the tower. He placed a long plank against a wall buttress, climbed to the top of the buttress, from there to the top of the wall, and dropped from there to the ground, where friends may have been awaiting him.  This wall looks on a roadway, beyond which is a plot of land used as the prison farm.  There was small chance of detection.

Had Been A Woodworker
Snow had been in the Central since August 24.  He had been employed in the woodworking department, a vast workshop with a big output.  The prison manufactures twine, woodenware, and has also a big blacksmith shop.  The broom factory is no longer operated, but is used for other purposes.

Save for the fact that the workmen wear prison garb, and even that is of none too conspicuous a stripe, the interior of the woodworking shop, where Snow had been employed, bears every resemblance to any other factory.  The men are busy at their tasks.  They are not supposed to talk, but of course they do. Guards are there, but a stranger would never notice them.  Sleds seem to be a favorite product. Washboards are a good second.  All the stuff is stamped with the labels of manufacturers.

Cells Very Comfortable
The prisoners are evidently treated very well.  Though the cells are small, about 8 feet by four and a half, the beds are comfortable.  The sanitary conveniences in the cells are rather primitive. These cells present peculiar pictures.  In nearly ever case the walls are hung with pictures of every sort, mostly magazine pictures of girls.  The men display no little genius in manufacturing frames for them.  On some of the walls are mechanical calendars, whereby the prisoners daily mark the welcome flight of time.  One man had about two dozen bags of sachet powder hung in festoons in his cell.  A lady in England sends one to each prisoner every year, and this fellow had apparently received the larger number of them in trade for something else, or perhaps on a bet.

Who Was A Fault?
Government Inspector E. R. Rogers made a visit to the prison this morning, but declines to discuss the situation in the absence of the head of the department, the Hon. W. K. Hanna, who is away campaigning in the Maritime Provinces.  The escape is made particularly interesting by reason of the ultimatum handed out a few days by the Government that there would be an immediate suspension of the next official who carelessly allowed a prisoner to escape.

‘Is anyone suspected?’ asked The Star this morning.

‘I’ll tell you better in a day or two,’ answered Mr. Rogers.  This probably means that he is wiring Mr. Hanna for advice.

There appears to be some doubt as to whether a guard should allowed a prisoner to go from chapel to his cell without anyone accompanying him.  Upon this subject the authorities are dumb.  The largest question seems to be whether or not it was common knowledge among the prisoners that one of the window bars was so placed as to permit of an escape.  Snow would hardly have found this out himself during the short time of his incarceration.

Dr. Gilmour Says Little
Warden Gilmour is a very sick man, and in any event the escape is a matter for the guards rather than for the warden.

‘I have had five years without an escape,’ said Dr. Gilmour to-day, ‘and it was hard to foresee the one which has happened.  Snow wore prison garb, but that would not necessarily lead to his detection outside the walls.  I have never known of a case yet where a prisoner was detected because of his prison clothes.’

In the meantime three guards from the prison have been detailed to search for Snow, and the authorities are quite confident of getting him.  In addition to the published description, it is noted that he has a birthmark on his right thigh above the knee.

Prisoner Was Seen Afterwards
Word was sent to the city police, but Snow had an hour’s start on his guards. He was dressed in his prison uniform, and it was hoped that this would lead to his detection.  He had on a suit of brown and blue stripes, but it is not very conspicuous, as it had been washed many times.  He landed in a district where he would be easily mistaken for a workingman.

About six o’clock he was seen in the neighbourhood of the house on Farley-avenue where the family used to live. Between eight and nine o’clock in the evening he was seen on Agnes street, where he was talking to friends. He still wore the prison trousers but had on another coat.

Not a Clever Criminal
This young man, who goes on record as the first to escape from Central prison in five years, was not regarded as a clever criminal, his specialty being fanlight and other sneak thefts.  He was arrested in Niagara Falls, with Reuben Costello and William Walker.  He was serving a term of twenty-three months for breaking into the jewelry store of Kling Bros., King street west.  When arrested Snow three a gold watch and Walker a bag of jewelry into one of the power canals, and these were never recovered.  The men were stopped by the shots of pursuers.

Snow is five feet nine inches tall, is thin, has a fair complexion, brown hair, and grey eyes.

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“Young Man Given Two Years in Kingston on Four Different Changes,” Toronto Star. June 30, 1917. Page 02.

On four distinct charges of theft, Arthur N. Drowen, a young man of about 20 years, was to-day committed to Kingston Penitentiary for two years, hard labor, by Magistrate Denison. The charges against him include the stealing of a number of drills and other tools from the Canadian Rumley Co., Limited, for whom he formerly worked; razor, sweater and handkerchif from Frank C. Connors; two paris of micrometers, one pair of calipers and other articles from Harry Albins; and coat, best and electrical supplies from Charles A. Branstone.

In the latter case a charge of breaking into the premises was also included.

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