Grain burglars apprehended at last | Turning Back the Pages

•100 years ago — Feb. 1914•

Grain burglars apprehended at last

A tip from an angry woman recently put the sheriff’s office at Lake George on the trail of burglars who for a year are alleged to have been stealing grain and provisions from the store-house of Selleck & Cole near the Delaware and Hudson station at the village. Quick action by Sheriff Bolton and his ever alert deputy, Under Sheriff Mac R. Smith, resulted in the arrest of William Gifford, Lewis and Delbert Combs, Clarence Ross and Rob Roy Lockhart, of Lake George and Gordon Persons of Thurman, who were arraigned before Justice Morris Stanton and held to await the action of the Grand Jury on charges of burglary and larceny.

Clarence Ross, whose sister is the wife of William Gifford, was arrested a few days ago for drunkenness. Mrs. Gifford, who does not live with her husband, believed Gifford had caused her brother’s arrest and suspected that the operations of the gang might have become known. Angry at her husband, she approached Under Sheriff Smith and told him that if Gifford had been talking she would give some information about him. She then stated that Gifford and others had been stealing goods from the Selleck & Cole storehouse.

Warrants were sworn out for the miscreants and they were rounded up and lodged in the county jail.

Search warrants were also secured and at Lockhart’s place about 3,000 pounds of grain alleged to have been stolen from the storehouse was found. At the boarding place of one of the Combs men, a barrel of flour was found which the boarding mistress stated had come from the Selleck & Cole storehouse. It was ascertained in various places that the men had been selling flour for $2 a barrel and that they had also been selling grain for almost nothing, compared to its actual value. Lockhart, Gifford and Persons are married men and have families. Persons at one time was employed by Selleck & Cole. The value of the goods stolen is estimated at more than $1,000.

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