Shop Robbery at Denaby – Sea-Cook´s Career of Crime

December 1923

Mexborough & Swinton Times, December 29

Shop Robbery at Denaby

Prison for a “Dangerous Character” and His Accomplice

Sea-Cook´s Career of Crime

Joseph Sagar a ship´s cook, described as a dangerous character was charged on Saturday at Doncaster, along with Arthur V White, a labourer of no fixed abode with shopbreaking at Denaby on the night of Saturday December 15th.

Supt. Minty outlined the case and said that the two men broke into the shop of Wm. J. Parkes, a provision dealer of Denaby and took quantities of sugar, baking powder eggs, bacon, shortbread, biscuits, Nestles milk, Carnation milk, tinned crab, tinned lobster, pickles, coap, cocoa, butter, team, a number of packets of Gold Flake cigarettes, Players cigarettes, 127 packets of Woodbines, a number of pounds of tobacco and twist and some tablets of spearmint chewing gum. The total amount of the goods stolen was £7. 4s. 6d. Sagar had only been living in Denaby for the last six weeks, and White had been tramping abut the country for some time. Both men pleaded guilty.

The men were caught on the following morning, Sunday, when Inspector Dane and Sergeant Hick noticed them at Mexborough. Their pockets were bulky and sagging. On being questioned by the police, one of the men said; “we will own up. We have pinched the stuff from a shop at Denaby”. They were taken to the police station, when a large number of packets of cigarettes were discovered in their pockets, and White admitted that the rest of the stolen goods were hidden in a refuse heap on Old Denaby Lane. On making a search the whole of the provisions were found.

On Sunday morning William Joseph Parkes, of Ban street, Mexborough, the proprietor of the shop, heard that his shop had been entered, and when he arrived he found that the boarding at the back of the premises had been broken down and the two men had made a hole sufficiently large for them to creep into the shop.

Sagar had a remarkable career. In 1914 he started with a breach of the Mines Act. In 1918 he was fined £3 for stealing a bicycle, sentenced to two months hard labour for a further charge of stealing and before the year was up received a sentence of three months hard labour. In August of the next year he was sentenced at Bow Street to two months hard labour, and in the same year at Leeds was sentenced to two months hard labour.

In July of 1920 he stole a motor car valued at £275 and was imprisoned for six months. In 1921 he was sentenced at Chesterfield to one months´ imprisonment, for theft and to three months, later in the year for loitering with intent to steal. On the fifth of October last year he was sentenced to nine months at Liverpool.

Sagar a pale-faced man who appeared in court with his arm in a sling, said the charges were not so serious as they sounded. He was cripple and had simply taken the course he had “to save his wife and baby from starvation”.

Supt. Minty said the man had been a ship´s cook and had learned a lot more than was good for him. He had travelled all over the world.

The Chairman of the court said Sagar was a very dangerous man to be at large. Although nothing was known against White, he should have not given way to the other man.

Sagar was sentenced to six months hard labour and White to three months hard labour.

Inspector Dance and Sergeant Huck – through whose smartness the men were detected – were commended by the magistrates.

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