A Retriever Pays his Way

This is from the Scandal mongering IllustratedPolice News of 1892:


At the Lambeth Police court, Frederick Hampton, 45, fishmonger, and Emily his wife, residing at London rd, Croydon, were charged before Mr Biron with stealing and receiving a silk umbrella, value 7s 6d, the property of Louisa Squire. the complainant, on the evening of the 15th ult, was walking along the Kenington Park-road when she saw a horse and cart being driven towards her. Suddenly a dog ran from the direction of the trap, and seizing with its teeth a silk umbrella she was carrying, forcibly dragged it from her, and ran off with it in his mouth in the direction in which the horse and cart had gone. A gentleman named Boddington came up and saw the dog run with the umbrella in its mouth behind the cards driven by the male prisoner, who had by his side the female prisoner. There was a cry for the male prisoner to pull up, but he, without stopping, called out, “The dog does not belong to us.” The male prisoner late in the day was found in a drunken state in charge of a horse and cart in the Walworth-road. He was charged with this offence, brought before the court, and fined 20s. or 14 days. In the meantime, upon the trap being searched, 7 umbrellas were found, including that one identified now by the complainant. Mr Biron asked if anything had been heard with regard to a dog being trained to steal umbrellas. Inspector Dunleavy said he was informed there were several cases of a similar nature to that brought before the court. The other umbrellas found in the trap had since been identified as stolen in a similar manner. when the male prisoner was spoken to about these articles he declared they were his own stock. He at first said the dog (a retriever) did not belong to him, but afterwards admitted that it did. Mr Biron said there must be a remand. It transpired that Detectives Wright and Chick proceeded to Croydon and there saw the female prisoner who said she knew nothing about what the dog did. Several umbrellas, as well as other articles which it would be necessary to inquire about, were found on the premises. Mr Biron discharged the female prisoner, and remanded the man, agreeing to accept bail. During the hearing the alleged thief-dog was detained in the prisoner’s waiting room, and howled piteously.

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