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Sergeant William Thick

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Sergeant William Thick

Post by Karen on Tue 28 Dec 2010 - 21:40

A STRUGGLE WITH COINERS.

At the Thames Police-court, on Sept. 10, James Cranley, Mary Cranley, Margaret Collett, and Michael Collett, dwelling at the time of their apprehension in Old Church Road, Stepney, were charged, James Cranley with uttering a counterfeit shilling, and all of them with being in the unlawful possession of a quantity of bad money and certain articles used in the manufacture of such coin. The Treasury prosecuted. It appeared that about a month ago James Cranley engaged apartments in Old Church Road for himself and his wife, and gave the name of Thompson. On Sept. 2, Abberline, an inspector, and William Thick, a sergeant of police, went to 29 Church Road and forced open a door which led into a small room. The two Colletts and Mary Cranley were seated round a table, on which was a quantity of counterfeit coins and other articles. Each of them was holding a file, and on catching sight of the police all the articles on the table were swept into the lap of Margaret Collett, and they all rushed towards the back kitchen. The inspector took hold of the two Colletts, and the sergeant secured Mary Cranley, who was very violent, scratched his face, threatened to "do for him," and attempted to reach over the table to get a knife. He was obliged to throw her down for self-protection, and detain her there until two constables arrived and the prisoners were given into custody. On searching the place the inspector and sergeant found a quantity of counterfeit coins, some being still hot, while others were finished and unfinished, and the usual articles used in the manufacture of base coin were there. On Aug. 29, James Cranley entered the Red Lion, Balsam Street, Plaistow, and called for half a pint of ale. He was served by a young woman, and tendered in payment a coin which she handed to the prosecutor, who at once detected it as a bad shilling, and gave the prisoner into custody. He was brought up at the Stratford Police-court, and on the application of Sergeant Smith was discharged, and brought to this court. Previous convictions for uttering counterfeit coin were proved against James Cranley and Margaret Collett, and Mr. Lushington committed the prisoners for trial.

Source: The Week's News, September 14, 1878, Page 1175

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Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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Re: Sergeant William Thick

Post by Karen on Tue 28 Dec 2010 - 21:52

ROBBERY FROM THE PERSON.

Charles Woods, 19, was indicted for having stolen a bag, a purse, and diverse moneys, the property and moneys of William Aikin, from the person of Sophia Aikin. - The prosecutrix is the wife of a seaman, and on the 10th of May she was in Shoreditch shopping, having a bag in her hand containing a purse, in which was 3 pounds 10s. in gold, some silver, and other articles, when the bag was snatched from her hand by some one, who ran away with it. He was seen by two women, named Margaret Sullivan and Margaret Johnson, both living in Flower and Dean-street, to commit the robbery, and in consequence of the information they gave William Thick took the prisoner into custody, when he said he knew nothing about the robbery. - The jury found the prisoner "Guilty." - James Bolton, warder from Holloway prison, proved several convictions against the prisoner, the last on May 8, 1876, in this court, when he was convicted of stealing a basket and other articles from a railway van, and sentenced to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for two years. - The Assistant-judge said the prisoner had only been out of prison one day when he committed this robbery, and sentenced him to be kept in penal servitude for seven years.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, May 26, 1878, Page 4

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Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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His Retirement

Post by Karen on Tue 28 Dec 2010 - 22:59

UPRIGHT JOHN'S CAREER.

For many years Detective-serjeant William Thick, of the H division, who has just retired after completing 25 years' service, has been known by the soubriquet of "Upright John."
Joining the force in 1868 Mr. Thick soon came under the notice of his superiors, and three years later his conduct of a difficult case drew from Mr. Paget, one of the magistrates at the Thames police-court, such eulogistic remarks that he was at once attached to the Criminal Investigation department. He had hardly been in plain clothes a few hours before he succeeded in capturing a thief who, in a most daring manner, and in broad daylight, robbed a sailor of a gold watch and chain in Ratcliff-highway. Detective Thick has done splendid work, having been commended by judges, juries, and magistrates no less than 121 times, and has received a very large number of rewards from the Commissioners. Except for a short interval the whole of the 25 years Mr. Thick spent in the East-end attached to the H division, and during that time he has had through his hands some 300 prisoners, and has succeeded in tracing and restoring nearly 40,000 pounds worth of stolen property.

THE ORIGIN OF THE SOUBRIQUET.

It is now some 20 years since Detective Thick first became known by the soubriquet of "Upright John." A gang of expert thieves were captured by some officers of the H division, but the accused men protested against the construction put on their actions by the officers, declaring that the conclusions drawn were not warranted by the facts. Into the dispute stepped Detective Thick, whose evidence drew forth the remark from a prisoner that he was the only "upright witness"

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he had known for many years. His evidence altered the complexion of the case, and he was invited by the prisoners to tell the court what he knew about them. Fearlessly Mr. Thick told the jury that the knowledge that the men in the dock were convicted thieves weighed heavily against them when the facts of the case were looked at by the police. The joy of the prisoners at this statement knew no bounds, whereupon Justice Kerr remarked sotto voce to one of the sheriffs sitting beside him, "Upright John has pleased them." This remark was overheard, and henceforth Detective William Thick was known by judges, barristers, his fellow officers, and the criminal classes as "Upright Johnnie."

2,000 WATCHES PACKED LIKE BRICKS.

Early in the August of 1891 a most daring robbery was committed, when some 2,000 watches of the total value of 7,000 pounds were stolen from the London Bridge Goods depot of the South Eastern Railway company. For some years the London agent of a Swiss jewellery firm was in the habit of receiving periodical consignments of watches which were removed from London-bridge by a horse and van in charge of a carman, who had been many years in the same employment. The goods were delivered upon the production of an order, but so well-known was the carman that the presentation of the order was a mere matter of form. The goods were collected once a week on a Monday, the order for delivery being handed to the carman on the previous Saturday afternoon. This came to the knowledge of a gang of van thieves, who for some years had carried out the most daring robberies, and as the carman went home on the Saturday he was met by a "friend" and induced to partake of some drink. By this means the order was obtained, and before the carman became aware of it the signature copied. The head of the gang then obtained a van which was as near like the van driven by the carman, to use his own expression, "as made no odds." The next step was to procure a carman, and so well were they "matched" that it was almost impossible to "tell t'other from which." The counterfeit carman, van, and order were so well imitated that when the goods were applied for on the following Monday the railway officials at once handed them to the carman who drove rapidly away. A few minutes later the real carman appeared. Details of the robbery and the description of the property were at once put on the "wires," and in this way Detective-serjeant Thick became acquainted with the robbery. He at once set to work, and before nightfall the same day he had discovered where the stolen property was and who were the thieves. Before daybreak he had himself seen the 2,000 watches packed in a stable "like so many bricks," where they had been deposited by the thieves. Observation, most carefully conducted, was kept upon the premises and before 10 on the morning following the robbery, the whole of the property had been removed to the Commercial police-station, and the two thieves (the heads of the gang) arrested. The two men - Lee and Marshall - who pleaded "Guilty" - were sentenced to long terms of penal servitude. The "running of this gang to earth" resulted in Mr. Thick discovering the rendezvous of a couple of notorious receivers, upon whose premises the proceeds of numerous burglaries and van robberies were afterwards found.

THE BOROUGH JEWEL ROBBERY.

About the middle of 1892 at travellers brougham containing watches and jewellery to the value of 4,000 pounds, was, during the momentary absence of the driver, stolen from the outside of a coffee-house in the Borough. Under the direction of Mr. Thick a public-house in a low quarter of Whitechapel was surrounded, and one of the men standing at the bar was found to be in possession of 700 pounds, which he confessed was to purchase "some stuff." Unfortunately, circumstances over which the officers had no control placed the thieves on their guard, and it was not until some months later that Mr. Thick discovered what became of the 4,000 pounds worth of jewellery, and where it went to; but even the two men named Kemp and Neill were detected dealing in the stolen jewellery and were sentenced to long terms of penal servitude and police supervision.
In detailing some of his triumphs Mr. Thick has a kind word to say to those officers - Serjeants Pearce, Cumner, Cole, Whitbread, and Thompson - who have by their tact and intelligence helped him in many difficulties, and it is a pleasure to hear him refer to Superintendent Arnold and Inspector Reid, of whose advice he often availed himself, as he did in City matters of that of Inspector Davidson and Chief-inspector Macdonald.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, April 30, 1893, Page 2

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Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"
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