A remarkable story of a Hoddesdon soldier’s busy night was told when Private Humberstone, of 104 Amwell Street, Hoddesdon, was charged on three counts of housebreaking and theft on the night of 8th January last. The first charge had reference to the prisoner forcing an entry to the International Stores, Hoddesdon, and stealing various goods, including a quantity of sugar, cheese, and margarine, of the total value of £3 8s 7½d. Evidence was given by Miss Margaret Cornwall, the manageress of the shop, to the effect that the place had been securely locked up when she left but that, on her return in the morning, she found that a pane of glass in a window to the warehouse at the rear had been broken and entry to the premises effected in this way.
The day following, the prisoner conveyed the stolen goods on a truck (which was the subject of a further charge) to the Gunnery Camp at Parndon, and sold much of the contents to the soldiers there. He told them that he was home on 7 days leave, that his mother had a general shop between Hoddesdon and Ware, but that she was getting rid of the business and that he was disposing of the goods for her.
The same night, it was alleged that the prisoner had broken into the house of Mr Edmund Tingay, and stole the truck, a lamp, and a quantity of tools to the value of 15s 6d. He also forced an entry into 10 North Road, Hoddesdon, occupied by William Halfhide, and took two electric torches, 3s 6d in cash, and a purse containing 6d. Evidence of arrest was given by Inspector Moles.
The prisoner was committed on all three charges to the next County Quarter Sessions.