The Trial of William Smith.
WILLIAM SMITH, THOMAS PREECE, theft: specified place, 05 Apr 1832.
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t18320405-16
Before Mr. Baron Vaughan.
809. WILLIAM SMITH and THOMAS PREECE were indicted for stealing, on the 2nd of April, 24 yards of merino, value 28s., the goods of Owen Roberts, in his dwelling-house.
OWEN ROBERTS. I am a linen-draper, and live in Brewer-street, Golden-square. On the evening of the 2nd of April, about seven o'clock, I observed the prisoner Smith waiting about my door - I was serving a customer; he came to the door, and inquired the price of a silk handkerchief, which I told him - he did not buy it; he then went off, and returned in about five minutes - I suspected, and watched him: I saw him leaning into the shop, and taking this merino off a pile - he ran round the corner; I immediately pursued, and overtook him - I tripped him up, and took the merino from him: I observed nobody with him - Hobbs came up, and I gave him in charge.
THOMAS HOBBS. I am a Policeman. I was near Brewer-street, and observed the prisoners in company before they came to Brewer-street, walking and talking together - I saw them go up to a shop in Hayes-court, and look in at the window; a lady came into the shop - they then left, and went to Brewer-street; Francis and I watched them - I saw them go up to Roberts' shop, and both look in at the door and window - I saw Smith by hold of some handkerchiefs which laid at the door; Preece stood at the corner of a post on the same side of the way, about six yards off; Smith left the door, and came up to him - they turned the corner into Great Pulteney-street, then came all the way down Brewer-street, on the other side of the way, and then came back to Roberts' shop; Smith went to the door - Preece stood on the other side of the way - two young women came out of the shop, and I saw Smith lay hold of something on the pile; he left it there - Preece moved from his station, and went into Great Pulteney-street, which Roberts's shop is at the corner of - I then saw Smith put his foot over the threshold of the door, lean forward, take this merino off the pile, and run off with it, followed by the prosecutor and a young man - Preece was not in sight at that time; he was a little higher up - I was round the corner, and could not discern him at the moment, till Smith came towards him with the merino; I saw him secured - I had seen them in company for a quarter of an hour.
THOMAS FARRANT. I am a Policeman. I first saw the prisoners in Sidney's-alley, in company together - they looked at the shop window, and then at the door; a female came out, and they went away together across different streets into Brewer-street - I saw them both go up to Roberts' shop door, and look in; they walked away a short distance - Smith then returned to the shop door; Preece was about two yards from him, looking through the window - Smith took hold of some handkerchiefs at the door; some person came out, and he walked away - they went together a little way down Brewer-street, and then returned- Smith went up to the door; Preece stood on the other side of the way; I saw Smith put his hand into the shop, but could not see what he took hold of - he then walked away; Preece walked over - they stood talking for a few minutes; Smith again went up to the shop door - Preece stood round the corner, looking through the window; I then saw Smith put one foot inside the door, and reach in; be immediately turned round with a piece of merino in his hand - the prosecutor followed, and took him just round the corner; Preece had his apron hanging down, and the moment he saw Smith pursued he undid his apron, doubled it up, and shoved it under his coat - I followed, and took him.
Smith. I know nothing of this man, except speaking to him in the street.
SMITH - GUILTY. Aged 18.
PREECE - GUILTY. Aged 19.
Of stealing to the value of 99s. only.
Transported for Seven Years.
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