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was locked up for several days. Then the she follows her. The woman with the yellowlady found her brooch under a bureau where backs makes straight for the swirling crowd it had fallen! The young man was released round a bargain counter, and on her heels and began an action for damages. The come the two girl thieves, for they usually absurd part is that the jewel was found to operate in pairs. One gets on her leit and be worth only a very small fraction of what steps on her toes or pushes her roughly, its owner claimed, and she is in for consider- while her companion on the right opens the able damages practically for nothing.
foolish bag, takes out the roll, and closes it. Women by their carelessness often lead, The woman discovers her loss and gives the or rather drive, servants astray in homes or alarm, and one of the crooks points down the hotels. The psychology of it is that the servant aisle and says, “I saw her crowding youis always more or less suspected, and knows that big woman with the plush hat." it ; there is a constant suggestion of wrong
Two of these girls were caught operating doing which has a tendency to break down the other day. In the pocket of one, ninemoral inhibition. Often servants are not teen years old, was found $1,343 in valutreated as human beings, their self-respect is
ables. Her large hand satchel contained impaired, and a spirit of resentment is aroused, more than twenty pocketbooks, in which was followed by a curiously illogical resolve to a total of $605 in cash. This girl had an have the game as well as the name. At the account in three banks. She confessed that psychological moment jewels are left un- she had spent some time in the penitentiary and guarded. Jane may have been a good girl had resolved to lead a straight life, but that the for many years.
But the Jane of yesterday temptation of the bags, stuffed, unguarded, may not be the Jane of to-day. Her father and dangling before her eyes, was too great. or her brother or her lover may have got On a certain morning last month a young into trouble. She may be in the sorest of man went up to a woman on the street near straits for money to help him—and, lo, a Riverside Drive and asked for a nickel to negligent mistress supplies the opportunity !
get a cup of coffee.
He claimed he hadn't The habit among women of carrying money eaten for twenty-four hours. The impulsive loosely is to blame for more theft than almost woman opened her purse, displaying a roll any other agent. The deadly handbag is the of bills, and the young man snatched it and cause of most of this kind of crookedness. darted down the street. Then the woman Over on the East Side of New York even remembered that he was an evil-looking poor women push their way through the
She looked for the patrolman throngs with gaping handbags dangling at on the beat, but none was in sight. The their wrists, exposing loose change or purses young man had observed that fact before he on the inside. This has developed vast had accosted her. numbers of amateur pickpockets among chil- The crook was wise. He wanted that dren who had never thought to steal until pocketbook, but he didn't intend to run the the opportunity was so grossly forced upon risk of jail for nothing. To snatch the book them. One tried it and found it easy and and run, only to find that he had risked his told his playmate, and he tried it—and the liberty for a few cents, was not his particular thing spread like wildfire. Stealing became lay. So in a tactful way he asked the lady a habit; and from picking purses from these to show him if she were worth robbing, and bags they aspired to more difficult jobs with she very promptly did so. bigger rewards, and first thing we knew we This is only a sample of what the police had a host of adroit pickpockets to deal with. are up against in trying to protect the public.
This habit on the part of female shoppers There are about nine thousand patrolmen in has created a very formidable class of young this great city of five and a quarter millions women pickpockets who prey upon the more of people, and they expect us to be everyrespectable element in the great shopping where at once. Only the crooks know that centers. The shopper loves to go to her we can't be! If the public would only help bank and get a bunch of crisp yellow- the police by exercising a small bit of vigibacks before starting on the rounds of the lance, the crooks would disappear from our stores. Who knows ?—the female crook may streets, if not from our cellars. The host of have an account in the same bank. She's pickpockets that is gathered in by the police there on business of her own, but when she every year would fade away if women ceased spies out a woman with an especially big roll
big roll carrying their purses in the deadly little hand
bag and if men would tuck their wads in cases where the amount is considerable it is their watch pockets or carry their wallets in- almost invariably called for. But, nevertheside their waistcoats and wear guards on less, the public has been constantly giving their stickpins and watches. This is some opportunity to the salesmen to become thieves trouble, to be sure, but it's necessary. When at small risk. I urged upon a friend the other day the need The chance to steal where large amounts of caution, he said, “I'd rather spend the are negligently abandoned is not so great as money to buy a new coat than constantly where small change is overlooked.
At one guard this one. It costs me time, vigilance, time or another, every one of us leaves a and anxiety, and keeps my mind from more nickel or a dime at the window of the ticketimportant things." But that isn't negligence seller on the “ Sub” or the “ L." There are —it's arithmetic !
many subways and elevated roads in the It's disgusting to see men and women in United States, and hundreds of ticket-sellers a great crowded shopping thoroughfare like at whose windows small change is neglected. Thirty-fourth Street fairly pushing their Yet I am told that such moneys are rarely valuables at you, wearing watches in outside turned in at the treasurer's offices. Probably pockets or on sleeves. To punish pickpockets they are absorbed in transit.
man for taking property thus held out to them is with a big family and small wages a nickel like holding meat up to a dog and then kick- counts! ing him for grabbing at it; or it's like turning I know one man who became a thief just a lot of ravenous boys into a field of cherry from the start he got at a railway ticket trees with the ripe, luscious fruit hanging low window. People used to rush off, forgetting and begging to be plucked. The police are their change-only a nickel, perhaps, or a forever eradicating these pests—but the public dime, not worth going back for. At first he unconsciously is behind them the pests, not used to call them back, he told me; then he the police !
saw how careless they were, and after a while It's a wonder that the matinée girl has not
he didn't care.
He got to pocketing their made a thief of every box office man in New change. But this wasn't getting it fast enough. York. She gets on line with the idea that He thought that, as they were so careless, he he's going to hold back the best seats on could put it over” on them right along, and her. She is angry and more or less hysterical he began to short-change them systematically when she reaches the window and is ready during rush hours. He got bolder and bolder to quarrel with the ticket-seller. Yes, as she in this, till complaints began to drift in. The feared, there's nothing left but the twelfth row. company set a watch and caught him. The After the usual argument, she grabs her ticket contributory negligence of the public had and leaves the window, mad to the roots of made a thief of this man. her hair--and the ticket-seller calls her back In every one of New York's seventy firstand gets his revenge. " You've left your
class theaters, valuables are found every change, madam," he says sweetly, handing night, such as fur pieces, eye-glasses, chateher eight dollars or eighteen dollars-for girls laine bags, jewel-studded combs, and purses, of this class very often have big bills—and the latter often containing hundreds of dollars. she grabs it and turns away, angrier still at During a season of one hundred and twenty this added humiliation.
performances at the Metropolitan OperaOccasionally women stand gossiping with House no fewer than 728 articles of value one another while they hold up the line, and were found, ranging all the way from a set then move away, forgetting their change. of false teeth to an immensely valuable pearl Obviously a man who was crooked in the necklace. This number takes no account of box office could not last long, because the loss hundreds of handkerchiefs, single gloves, and of a considerable amount of change is quickly the like, but it does include one hundred noticed and easily traced.
and fifty pairs of valuable opera-glasses. But women are not the only offenders in The list for a single day is about as follows: this way. Men in their hurry are constantly diamond scarf-pin, gold eye-glasses, opera leaving change. A certain cigar company bag, black gloves, and the like.
Under one having three hundred stores in Greater New scat was found a lady's bag containing a York reports a hundred cases a day of cus- kimono, breakfast cap, comb and brush, bottomers abandoning amounts of change all the tle of whisky, and a box of cigarettes. In a way from twenty cents to twenty dollars. In seat in the gallery was a package containing
two cans of pork and beans and a baby's a plane that the chauffeur will not be discrimnursing-bottle. Occasionally a man's tall hat inated against because of his calling." is found, and gold cigarette-cases are com- What a commentary on the status of a
Most of these articles, being found in vast army of skilled workmen—“discrimiboxes or chairs of subscribers, are easily nated against because of his calling.” traced.
Yet it is absolutely justified. There are A glance down the page of the book that probably seventy-five thousand of these men is kept by the custodian of these valuables in Greater New York, the majority of them would amaze one—almost nothing but gold, of good character, yet all more or less under gold, gold, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds ! the ban of suspicion because of the acts of a Surely, a fortune could be realized if the by no means small minority. attachés were dishonest. But, as a matter The negligence of the machine owner and of fact, fully 95 per cent of these valuables the public has developed the greatest definite are returned to their owners.
field of criminal operations ever known in At the Grand Central Station, through which America. Nor in any field has specialization from 35,000 to 40,000 persons enter the in crime developed the efficiency that it has city every day, two men are kept busy receiv- in this. So tempting is it, in fact, that many ing, classifying, and delivering articles aban- who were crooks before they entered it have doned in the trains. Among articles left in come in, and many have developed crookedthe trains of this company last year were sev- ness from the inside because of the opporeral pairs of crutches and a wooden leg. tunities found there. For sheer negligence, this puts the item of There are four classes of automobile crooks the abandoned false teeth in the Metropolitan —the chauffeur who robs his employer right into cold storage. To such an extent are and left; the man who steals the machine ; umbrellas abandoned that the custodian made the sneak thief who pilfers the accessories the remark that he could invariably tell by from the car ; and the taxi driver who cheats looking over his book of receipts whether a us in the matter of fares, steals whatever certain day was rainy or fair from the num- belongings we may leave behind, often robs ber of umbrellas brought in.
drunken fares, and occasionally carries unOn the Jersey Central, which brings 20,000 protected women to lonesome places and passengers a day into New York, 5,000 arti- relieves them of all they've got. cles were left in car seats last year. There And this is all directly due to negligence ! were overcoats, dress suit cases, golf sticks, The owner is negligent, either directly in and several hats every day—which is very leaving unguarded a machine, or in retaining remarkable. Others left chickens, parrots, in his employ, as he too often does, a melons, muffs, mechanics' kits, and in many chauffeur whom he knows to be dishonest cases shoes that the wearers had discarded or a drunkard or a dope fiend. to ease their feet and had walked away with- We wonder why an owner keeps a chauffeur out them, which was even more negligent whom he knows to be dishonest. It happens than leaving their hats. Most of these arti- usually with the first machine; then he (the cles betrayed the sex of their owners—the owner) becomes sophisticated. Usually he size of rubbers showed it without a doubt, has made a lot of money in some up-State but eye-glasses and umbrellas were of neuter town. The neighbors have machines. They gender. The commuter was indicated by are all regarded as expensive toys, yet an packages containing such things as bread, indispensable mark of social standing. Our butter, eggs, lard, pickles, and cans of bug friend's wife must keep up with the neighpowder.
bors. Very good. He gets a car. He has At the lost and found department of the heard that other men have been grafted on, elevated road and subway in New York but this is a necessary evil, he concludes. an average of 40,000 abandoned articles are So he submits to it. This is where his neglitaken care of every year.
gence comes in. He doesn't take the trouble Recently the older chauffeurs of · New to determine that he needn't submit to it. York City organized under the name of The The chauffeur comes to him with good referGasoline Engineers' Protective Association, ences and seems to fill every need. He keeps their purpose, according to a resolution the machine in first-class shape, makes good adopted, being “ to eliminate joy-riding and mileage, and avoids collisions. Immediately drunkenness and to put the profession on such he arrives, the chauffeur locates the repair