Wednesday, December 24, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 24

December 24, 1898 – A well-dressed, respectable looking young woman, giving the name of Mrs. May Smith, was locked up at the Minneapolis central police station today on the charge of shoplifting. She is accused of stealing several books of poems from the St. Paul Book and Stationery Company. It is alleged that the woman was caught taking the books by a clerk.

The prisoner declined to give any information about herself other than that she lived in Minneapolis and was married.

Detective Werrick and Mr. Holcomb, the manager of the Book and Stationery company, went to Minneapolis this evening and recovered 15 books valued at $14.50 in the prisoner’s room on Fourth Ave. S. Detective Werrick says Holcomb identified the books as property of his firm.  Forty-five other books were found in the woman’s room, but couldn’t be positively identified tonight. Their value is estimated at $135. In searching the room, Warrick says $159 worth of silks and other articles believed to have also been stolen were found.  All of the property, except the 15 books identified by Holcomb, was taken in charge by Minneapolis authorities.

Warrick says the prisoner’s real name is Mrs. L. E. Brown. She is said to be a member of a prominent Minneapolis Episcopal church. Many of the books recovered were prayer books, hymnals and Bibles.

St. Paul Globe; “Stolen Hymn Books. Detectives Found Religious Works in a Minneapolis Woman’s Room.”; Dec. 25, 1898; p. 5.

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