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PHOTOGRAPH BY PILOT FILMS CORPORATION, NEW YORK
THE CARELESS SHOPPER TEMPTS CHILDREN TO CRIME "The habit among women of carrying money loosely is to blame for more theft than almost any other agent” game of wits between the jeweler and the Four men drift casually into a jeweler's crook. The one knows that the other is store on upper Third Avenue. The one to after the diamonds, and he tries to safeguard enter first engages the attention of the watchagainst that gentleman's machinations. But maker in the window, dickering over the the crook knows that there is a very great repairs to a cheap watch, another engages profit in jewelry, that one sale may net the the shopkeeper's wife in a transaction over merchant enough to pay his expenses for a bric-à-brac at the other end of the store, long period—and he banks on this for a cer while the third, a very distinguished-looking tain margin of risk that the dealer will take. man, presently strolls in and asks to see
some unmounted diamonds. This game is trunk worth $20,000 away on the wagon of as old as the hills, yet the jeweler falls for it an expressman whom he did not know--and right along Sometimes, to inspire confi never saw it again. Later it turned out that dence, the distinguished stranger is accom the expressman " specialized " in jewelry. panied by a man, bare-headed and in his A drummer's trunk may be worth from shirt-sleeves. The bare-headed man says to $30,000 to $50,000. It's worth taking pains the merchant, “ You know me—my shop's to get. The specialist will follow it from town four doors above." The jeweler doesn't to town, seeking for a chance to "switch" know him, but the ruse works. The tray of checks in the baggage-room or “sneak” it diamonds is brought out and the distin- in a hotel. Not long ago a jewelry drumguished stranger picks up one of the beauties, mer left a grip with $7,000 worth of jewelry and even though the merchant's eyes never in it with the head porter of a hotel, while he leave his hands, so great is his art as a pres- went with another grip to meet buyers. tidigitator that he either substitutes a paste When he came back it was gone. diamond or a genuine stone of inferior qual And so the drummer has been warned ity or smaller weight. The latter is generally by the insurance companies never to leave the case, since paste is easily detected by an a trunk in a baggage-room over night ; expert, and could not be successfully substi- always to see to it that it goes on the same tuted except under the most favorable con- train with its owner ; never to put a grip on ditions. This process is called "penny- the floor in a jewelry store while he is disweighting.”
playing valuables from another on the counThe companies who insure jewelers con ter or elsewhere. Above all things, he is stantly warn them never to take their warned against talking-talking shop to any eyes from a jewel in the hands of a cus one but the men with whom he is sent to do tomer, and never to turn away from the tray
business. Talking is a fatal propensity in on the counter unless they have a mirror any case. It leads to much crime. Here's behind them in which they can watch it. The an example: jeweler is particularly warned against putting A little shoemaker from Naples had loa tray of rings on the counter unless all the cated on the East Side of New York. Here rows are filled, since it is difficult to note a he had worked and saved from day to day missing ring from broken rows.
until he had accumulated a thousand dollars. Notwithstanding his experience and his With this he intended going back to Italy, warning, the jeweler will take a risk for the buying a little hillside farm, and being happy sake of the money there is in it. But his the rest of his life. But his great happiness most unreasonable negligence is where he made the little shoemaker garrulous. He leaves his store unlighted at night, or locates told his plans to his assistant, a Sicilian. The his safe behind a partition, or puts his wallet assistant went to his boon companions, told of diamonds in his inside coat pocket and them of the shoemaker's savings, and the then, followed by the “sneak," boards a little Neapolitan received a demand for the car, does the strap-hanging act, and leaves $1,000 under pain of death. The gang got his valuables unguarded.
the money, and the cobbler continues to work Jewelers take great chances in displaying and save with the hillside farm ten years immensely valuable stocks in windows with further away. just the thickness of a glass between the An officer of a fidelity company told me precious stones and the thief. In fact, from the other day that he estimated that sixty the 15th of September last to the 5th of per cent of the defalcations by cashiers. January—the great holiday gift season-a clerks, and others in positions of trust are regular epidemic of window smashing occurred due to the negligent methods of those who in Chicago. The crooks would simply employ them. The bank that doesn't require steal a car, one of them being an expert frequent accountings from its clerks issues driver ; then, when the police were out of the an invitation to “help yourself," and is quite way, would dash up to a window, smash it, as guilty as the thief. grab the loot, make a getaway, and then The negligent business house allows a clerk abandon the car.
to sign checks, or it doesn't insist upon freJewelers have sustained heavy losses quent balancing of the books, or it allows the through the negligence of drummers. For same man both to send out bills and receive
ance, on one occasion such a one sent his payment, or there is an absence of audits
all of which the bookkeeper knows and retained in his position, and within two years takes chances.
was found to be $7,500 short-another case Expert accountants claim that if employ of rank negligence ! ers did their duty towards their clerks their In respect to carelessness of employers, a. criminal careers would be checked in their criminal court judge said to me a short time incipiency and their defalcations reduced to a ago : “ There is scarcely a day passes when minimum. There is a faise idea that bond a case does not come before me in which the ing a man necessarily protects his employer. complaining witness is not more deserving of The idea of a firm in bonding an employee punishment than the defendant." is principally to get the benefit of the inves An example of the rankest negligence is tigation of the man by the insurance com that of the well-to-do man who gets drunk pany and of the subsequent supervision of and reduces himself to a helpless mass. He him. But the bond itself is small protection. not only becomes a burden to the police, but For instance, a bank in a small Massachu- is easy prey for the jackals of society who setts town had its cashier bonded for $20,000, prey upon just such persons. He either and in the course of a few years he got away curries favor with strangers or he frequents with $600,000. In this case the previous the resorts where denizens of the underworld investigation may have been all right, but the hang out. subsequent supervision was not effective. The thief who specializes in drunks is perIn fact, the man was getting a salary of not haps the most loathsome crook of all—but more than $2,000 a year and was living at he is not the meanest. The meanest one the rate of $25,000. All his neighbors re is he who trades on the gullibility and neglimembered this—once he was caught. The gence of people of small means, such as negligence here lay not only with the clergymen, school-teachers, and the general board of directors but with the community. run of depositors in savings banks. One If, once the man had begun to splurge, some would scarcely expect to find carelessness one had put a flea in the ear of the directors, among people who have had to sweat blood that particular town would have been half a for the pennies they save, yet it is there to an million dollars the richer.
inconceivable degree. The crook knows it, There is a notorious lack of vigilance in the and he victimizes them through the medium management of charitable and fraternal socie- of fake oil or mining stocks and the like. The ties and building loan associations, since in curious thing is, they fall for his play again and these the treasurers are always personally again. He offers his stock at a few cents a known to everybody. It is a common thing, share, and the people take the gambler's chance when an officer of such an organization goes that some day one of these long shots will wrong, to find that the auditing committee turn out a winner. They can't realize that has been notoriously lax in its methods. In it's absolutely a brace game. Nor will they many cases no one even takes the trouble to take warning. As a matter of fact, a good call at the banks occasionally to see if the many of the great savings banks have inbalances are as stated.
vited their depositors to confer with their A few months ago the treasurer of a build officers before making any investments, and ing loan association in a town just outside of this with no other motive than to save them Boston was found to be $5,000 short in his from loss through just this kind of swinaccounts, which was just the amount of his dling. But it is doubtful if this avails much. bond. The officers wrote on to the fidelity Cowardice no less than negligence is responcompany; stated that they had examined their sible for the continued existence of the hightreasurer's books, but could not find how the wayman. As a matter of fact, that gentleshortage had occurred; believed the man to be man is a great bluff. In case one is held all right, and asked the company to continue up by a highwayman the best thing is to on his bond. But this was refused, on the resist him. If you do, in ninety-eight cases ground that the man was either dishonest or out of a hundred he'll run away. Always so lax in his methods that the result would be remember that this man wants your money the same, so far as the insurance company and not your blood. It is of the greatest was concerned. So they paid the loss on the importance to him that he avoid violence. bond and let it go at that. Notwithstanding He may use his gun to threaten, and if he this refusal and warning, the treasurer got discharges it, it is only to intimidate. Shooting another bonding company to insure him, was will create an alarm which the thief dreads
above all things, and bloodshed will increase The question is, Can the public be trained any possible sentence against him by many to be vigilant? Can it be made to see that years. A curious fact is that a highwayman the great antidote to crime is reasonable cauwill run away under resistance from a woman tion—the exercise of a little energy? Does much quicker than from a man. She not exploitation pay? only has more nerve, but is more terrible We are arresting pickpockets on the crossin her fighting than the male of the species. town cars and elsewhere all the time, and Joseph Taylor, the head of the auto bandits, giving the widest publicity. Ever since I who was recently arrested with his crew in this was a little boy I've read about the green city, and who always operated at the point of goods game, and for the last twenty years a pistol, told me ihat it was his absolute order the exploits of wire-tappers have been chronito his men that if anybody offered resistance, cled week by week and month by month. not to shoot, but to back away.
The curious thing about this phase of it is A little calmness in the presence of a that the men who are victimized are them burglar is often very effective. The best selves crooks in intent, if not in act, and thing to do with such a one who enters your should have more vigilance. house at night time is not to show fear, but One large house in Chicago had its winto reason with him. Treat him like a human dow smashed and property stolen three times being. You might say to him, “ Some of within a month, yet the manager wouldn't those articles belong to my wife and can't be hire a special officer to stand outside on duplicated. They were given to her by her guard. Another jeweler in the same city mother or sister, and have small value except was the victim of "pennyweighters" three to her. Leave them alone and I will give times within three months. If men won't you money instead.” Or you might say, learn from their own experience, what will “ Yours is a nerve-taxing business—you've they learn from the experience of others ? got to be keyed up all the time—now I've Only a few days after the Equitable fire I got some good old rye down in the dining- was in the office of a friend of mine downroom-let's go down and have some.” Such
He had only one room and employed talk is very disconcerting to a burglar-in no help. He was talking about the great fact, any talk is. He doesn't know at what fire, the fearful loss of property, and loudly moment it may attract attention. He wants censuring the fellow who'd thrown the fatal silence. In most cases, such perfect calm- match. He held up a paper which he'd ness will result in the retreat of the man with- been reading and pointed to some vivid picout spoils, or at least with only a small part tures taken at the fire. Then he locked his of the plunder he came to get.
desk, lighted a cigar, tossed the charred A friend of mine asked one of these men, match into the waste-paper basket, and, as How did you come to pick out my place? we went out, locked the door. Before we I don't want to criticise your work, but I'd got to the elevator my friend remembered that just like to know. Did anybody put you he had left something behind and returned to This led to general talk, and they
As we opened the door we were finally went downstairs and had a drink. greeted with a cloud of smoke. The basket
But it's very easy to force an intruder to was ablaze and flames had already caught shoot by a sudden alarm, a shriek, a rush for the lower side of the wooden desk. We the telephone, or an assault that must be quickly put the fire out. suppressed by the use of the gun.
Will people never learn?
ISCOUNT HALDANE, who is vis country. He is the keeper of the Great Seai,
iting Montreal to attend the Con which is of even more importance than the
ference of the American Bar King's Scepter. It has to be affixed to Acts Association in September, is the highest of Parliament, of necessity in the Lord Chanofficer of state in England. One of the cellor's presence, and to other documents busiest men in England and also one of the conveying the ultimate expression of the will ablest, he has attained pre-eminence in five of the sovereign. careers, as lawyer, politician, scholar, educa So great and important are the functions tionalist, and diplomatist. While he was and powers of the Lord Chancellor that it is occupied in one position, there was always difficult to describe them in a few words. He at the back of the public mind the conscious exercises considerable patronage in appointness that his talents were being squandered; ing ministers of the State Church. He is for he was so eminently fitted for other the head of the legal profession, and in that spheres of activity.
capacity is responsible for the selection of Officially, the Lord Chancellor is one of the Judges of the High Court, for the the great bulwarks of the King and Consti- appointment of Justices of the Peace—the tution, and only on very rare occasions is he unpaid magistrates who preside at petty granted a special dispensation to leave the sessions and in police courts to administer