The pattern of theft didn't change over the years

Hertfordshire Mercury, 6th July 1918


At the Quarter Sessions at St Albans on Tuesday, Alfred Northway, a soldier in the Artillery, stationed at Luton, was found guilty of breaking into the YMCA at St Albans on the night of 14th May, and stealing money and stamps from the tills which he broke open with a poker.  He was caught red-handed by the Superintendent of the premises who awoke during the burglary and captured the prisoner.  Captain Miller, A.P.M., said the prisoner had broken out of detention barracks at Luton whilst awaiting a court martial on a very serious charge.  They certainly did not want the prisoner back in the army.

An officer of the Surrey Constabulary said that there was a string of convictions recorded against the prisoner since 1898, commencing with a theft from a till, and including house-breaking, stealing a bicycle, shop-breaking, stealing a cheque, office-breaking, 2 years imprisonment for stealing from the person, his last sentence being at the Surrey Assizes in 1914 for breaking into a counting house, when he was ordered to do 5 years penal servitude.  He joined the army when he came out of prison in January last.

The Bench sentenced the prisoner to 3 years’ penal servitude.

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