5,500 cigarettes stolen

Hertfordshire Mercury, 4th September 1931


5,500 cigaretees stolen from Peartree Stores, Welwyn Garden City

At the Occasional Court at Hertford, on Friday last week, before Alderman A.P. Ginn, a charge of stealing 5,500 cigarettes, of various brands, from Peartree Stores, Welwyn Garden City, on the night of Wednesday and Thursday last week, was preferred against a young man who gave his name as Joseph Albert Price .

The theft of the cigarettes and the apprehension of the accused were reported in our last issue . The man at the time gave his name as George Smith, but subsequently gave the above name .

P.C. Paton , of Hertford , said that at 6 a.m. on August 27, he received information that the Peartree Stores had been entered, and on going there in a Police car he examined the premises and found two windows at the rear had been  broken and a window at the side of the premises partly opened.  Within the premises he found a jemmy. He then proceeded by Police car towards London, via the Barnet bye-pass and passed on to the Great North Road.

When he came to the Coffee stall at Bell Bar he saw a man mount a bicycle and ride in the direction of London. The police car caught up with the man and witness stopped him and saw he had a large bundle on the back of his bicycle. Witness told him he was a Police Officer and when the man was asked what was in the bundle he said  ”cigarettes.”  Witness told him of the Peartree Stores being broken into and said he was going to arrest him. Accused then said,  ” Yes, I did it .”   When charged at the Hertford Police Station accused replied, ”I don ‘t wish to say any more than what I have already said .”

On that evidence Supt Furrow asked for the accused to be remanded until the Welwyn Sessions, which are held today (Friday).

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