The Auckland Burglary.
The following are fuller particulars of the robbery of Howden's jewellery on Saturday. Mr Howden closes on Saturday at 3.30, without putting up the shutters, and re-opens at 6.30. McLean therefore knew what time he had in which to, operate. He got over the wall into the court yard with a chisel, and prising up the wood on the half glass back door, soon effected an entrance. He then removed all the jewellery from the shop cases, to the extent of £240 worth, tied it in a sheet, and put it in the yard ready for removal. He then went back and cleared the window of watches to the extent of £369 worth. The most amusing part of the business is that McLean removed them from the window in the deepening gloom only relieved by a gas jet he had lighted in the shop, and in the back room he was seen doing so, but the passers-by pouring along thought it was one of Howden's men putting the watches away in safes, as the early closing movement was on. Howden, returning for once contrary to his usual custom, at a quarter to six instead of half-past six, upset McLean's calculations. On calling at Gilbert's, next door, that gentleman asked him if he had anybody working inside. Howden replied in the negative, whereupon Gilbert retorted, " Then the rats have been going it inside." Howden on opening his shop door, espied a matt-getting up from behind the shop counter and making for the back room. He at once called out to Gilbert, " Rush to the back door." Gilbert did so, pursued McLean up the yard, over a boundary wall, and after a hot run secured him in High street, when a scrimmage took place in the mud. Constable Young, who was in the police guard-room, heard outcries, and ran out and aided in securing McLean, and arrested him. It was one of the most daring and skil-fully-planned robberies on a large scale i which has taken place in this city for some years past. The surrounding circumstances point to McLean being a first-class "cracksman," though nevr to Auckland. There is reason to believe that Howden's premises had been thoroughly examined, his habits and those of his neighbor, Gilbert, a chemist, carefully noticed, and the day selected as favorable owing to its gloomy and wet character, making the sti<jet« comparatively deserted. McLer had taken a quiet house at Mount Eden, where he had lived ulone since he came to Auckland three weeks ago. Detective Herbert searched the dwelling and found a vyce, files, a skeleton key arrangement, and key guage. McLean, has been committed for trial. It transpires that his Christian name is Alexander and not George. He says he comes from Duntdin. The Magistrates complimented Gilbert, the chemist, for the courage he displayed in the pursuit and capture of McLean. Remarkable correspondence was found on McLean to his "pal" in Sydney.
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The Auckland Burglary., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2467, 15 July 1890
The Auckland Burglary. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2467, 15 July 1890
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