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HOTEL THEFTS.

"GLAD YOU CAME."

BEDROOM THIEF.

GREETING TO DETECTIVE.

REMITTANCE MAN GAOLED. A young Englishman, Edward Arthur Knox (28), described on the charge sheet in the Police Court this morning as a remittance man, admitted a series of systematic thefts from hotel bedrooms in different New Zealand towns, and was sentenced to a total of imprisonment. He was immaculately dressed, and pleaded guilty to eight charges of tlieft —seven of stealing sums of money ranging from 10/ to £30 in notes, and one of stealing jewellery and other property of a total value of £17 17/.

Mr., K. C. Aekins appeared for Knox. Senior Detective Hall, who prosecuted, said Knox frankly confessed to stealing from rooms at Hotel Cargen, Auckland, the Royal Hotel, Auckland (on two occasions), Hotel Stonehurst, Auckland, the Wairakei Hotel, Golconda Hotel, Coromandel, and Hotel St. George, Wellington. Arrest in Auckland. Detective H. C. Murch said that on August 6 he located Knox, who was staying at a hotel in Auckland. "He was in his room when I called on him,' said the detective. "When I told him that I was inquiring about a missing suitcase from Hotel St. George, Wellington, Knox said. Tm glad you came.' I said to him, 'What have you done ?' Knox said, 'What haven't 1 done?' " Detective Murch said he took Knox to the detective office, where he made a series of statements admitting all the offences. In these he said he was a native of Birmingham, England, and came to New Zealand by the Tainui. which arrived at Wellington on April 3 last. Knox said he went to Coromandel 'gold prospecting, and then came to Auckland, staying at Hotel Stonehurst. There he stole £0 in notes from a bedroom during the occupant's absence. Later he went to the Royal Hotel, where he committed two thefts of money. Knox sailed for Sydney on July 7 and returned by the Maunganui, which reached Wellington on August 3, On the way over, he s?.id, he met an American tourist and her daughter, becoming friendly with both. They went to stay at Hotel St. George, Wellington, where he also stayed. Rings On Her Fingers. "I noticed that Mrs. Richardson (the American tourist) had diamond rings of considerable value on her fingers, and 1 wanted to get them in order to get back to England," continued Knox ill .one of his statements. Knox said he had only £8 in cash when he returned from Australia, but this went quickly. He admitted taking Mrs. Richardson's suitcase from the hotel, and said he took it with him to the Midland Hotel, where he booked in. There he forced open the suitcase, but did not find the diamond rings. Instead there was | other jewellery and property." Mr. Aekins (to Detective Murch) : When you first saw him in the -Central Hotel, "did he show signs of having had liquor? —He was sober, but he said he spent his money on drink as fast as he got it. You went to see him about only one of these offences. You did not have any other complaints at the time? —That is so. Some of the other offences to which he has now pleaded guilty were never reported to the police ?—That is so. He told me about them and we worked back on what he told us. He confessed to the lot. Thefts from Ships.

Senior Detective Hall said Knox told him that he received remittances from England. "He also admits stealing a gold watch, a gold cigarette case and a match container from a Swiss doctor whom he met in Sydney," added Mr. Hall. "Further, he says he went on the pleasure cruise to Noumea by the Wanganella and while on the voyage he stole from a cabin. He also admits stealing money from a cabin on the Maunganui while voyaging to Wellington. He lias never been in trouble in New Zealand before —-—."

Mr. Wyvern Wilson, S.M.: You say ho has never been in trouble here before. He never had much chance. (Laughter.)

"Knox's trouble seems to have been due to drink," submitted Mr/Aekins. Knox's father was a colliery director in England. He was an adopted boy, and when only 17 he was sent to Canada. Knox received periodical remittances from Home, these being as much as £8 per week. "He has lee" a wandering sort of life, and it seems that he cannot keep away from drink," said Mr. Aekins. "He was frank and assisted the police in every way to clear up these offences. If your Worship is prepared to give him a chance by admitting him to probation, he says he can make restitution in full within a month."

Mr. Wvvern Wilson: This is not a case for probation. The conduct of the prisoner shows that he set out to lead a dishonest life. His thefts have extended over several months, and were committed in nearly every instance from persons who trusted him. He will be sentenced to eijiht months' imprisonment—one month, cumulative, on each of the eight charges.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19360821.2.53

Bibliographic details

HOTEL THEFTS., Auckland Star, Volume LXVII, Issue 198, 21 August 1936

Word Count
843

HOTEL THEFTS. Auckland Star, Volume LXVII, Issue 198, 21 August 1936

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