Braintree Jeweller's Shop Raid

Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 25 August 1933

Friday August 25, 1933




On Friday, at Braintree, before G. T. Bartram, Esq., WIliam Anderson, 25, seaman, no fixed abode, was charged with being concerned with others not in custody with breaking into the jeweller's shop of Mr. D. W. Jeffrey, High Street, Braintree, on July 23, and stealing therefrom 219 rings, 17 wristlet watches, and 12 pads, together of the value of £500, contrary to the Larceny Act.

Det.-Con. Mumford stated that on the previous day he saw prisoner at Romford Police Station, where he was detained. Witness told prisoner he was a police officer from Braintree and he understood prisoner had made a statement to the Det.-Superintendent respecting jeweller's shop that was broken into in Braintree adn a quantity of jewellery stolen. The statement refered to was shown to the prisoner, who examined it, and said, "Yes, that is my statement." He was conveyed to Braintree where he was seen by Inspector Giggins and was charged with being concerned with other persons not in custody with breaking and entering Mr. Jeffery's shop at Braintree at 3.30 a.m. on Sunday July 23, and stealing jewellery to the value of £500. Prisoner was cautioned, and replied, "I have nothing to say at present."

Upon this evidence, prisoner was remanded in custody to the Petty Session next Wednesday, when Supt. Sach sid the case was the sequel to a smash and grab raid at Mr. Jeffery's shop at 3.30 a.m. on July 23. The shop was secured on Saturday night, a light was kept burning in it all night, and an iron grid was fixed for protection outside the window.

At 3.30 a.m. on the Sunday morning people sleeping in High Street were awakened by the sound of smashing glass, and, looking out of bedroom windows, they saw a motor car standing near the jeweller's shop and men going from the broken window to the car. The poice relied in this case on a statement made by the prisoner.

Donald Jeffery deposed that he secured the shop, fastened the grid, and lit the lamp within. At 4 a.m. on Sunday he was called and found the window smashed, the grid lying in the road, and pads of rings and jewellery missing from the window. He identified the 12 pads produced as his property and from his window. They had contained 221 gold rings set with diamonds and gems, and 17 wristlet watches. On July 28 he was shown the pads, 24 rings, and 2 watches, which he also identified. The value of the goods stolen was £500, an of those recovered £80.

Patricia Couperwaith stated that she lived in High Street and slept in a bedoom overlooking Jeffery's shop. At 3.30 on the Sunday morning, she was awakened by the sound of smashing glass, and on looking out saw a car standing near the shop. There was a rear light on the car, and by that light she could see the number - XY8205. She could also see tweo men passing from the shop window to the car. She heard one man say, "Don't drive yet, you fool." She saw the car driven away towards London, and on coming down to the street, she saw that Jeffery's window had been smashed and the iron grid was on the road.

Vera Thorogood, Boar's Head, sleeping opposite, said she was also awakened by the smashing of glass. She jumped out of bed and looked out. She saw a car with dim lights and two men, one of whom ran from the broken shop window to the car carrying something. He threw that into the car, which was then driven away towards London. The engine was running while the car stood near the shop. She went out into the street, and found that the window of Mr. Jeffery's shop was smashed.

Insp. Boreham, Metropolitan Police, Ilford, deposed that on the evening of July 23 he went to Oak Lane, Barkingside, where on a piece of waste land he saw a Rover saloon motor car with the number UY9205. The car was open, a tyre was missing from one wheel, and the rim was considerably worn. In the car were 12 jeweller's pads; on one pad there were 23 rings, and on another one ring. In the back of the car were two lady's gold watches. A telephone message was sent to Scotland Yard for finger prints to be taken from the car.

Det.-Con. Mumford described a hole in Jeffery's plate-glass window large enough to admit a man. The grid had been wrenched from the front and was in the gutter. Witness received prisoner into custody at Ilford Police Station. In a statement, prisoner said he joined three other men at Barkingside, and he forced the lock of a garage in which he found a small car. He drove the men in the car to the country, and when they reached a town one of the men told him to pull up outside some shops. This was between three and four in the morning. The three men got out of the car, and he heard a crash of glass. Shortly afterwards the three men came back to the car and he drove back to "somewhere near where he had pinched the car." He had none of the stuff that was stolen, but receieved £2.

Witness conveyed prisoner to Braintree by car, and as they passed Jeffery's shop prisoner pointed it out, and said, "That is the shop." At Braintree prisoner made another statement, in which he said he was approached by three men at Aldgate; two he knew as "Scottie" and "Slim" from Manchester. They asked him if he would like to earn a few pounds, and if he would drive a car to Essex. He broke open a garage and took out a car into which three men got, and he drove them as directed. He was told to stop and then he heard a crash of glass He realised what had taken place. He rove the car back, and a tyre came off one wheel. They walked some distance, and the men gave him £2 with the promise of more, but when he went next day to keep the appointment and they did not turn up, he concuded he had been deserted.

Prisoner was then charged with stealing the car, value £75, belonging to P.c. Albert Newley, Ilford, between July 22 and 23. It was stated that the car was taken from a lock-up garage at Barkingside, and next day was found abandoned at Oak Lane, Barkingside, one of the tyres being missing and the rim of the wheel damaged through being driven without a tyre.

Prisoner was committed for trial at the Essex Quarter Session on October 4.


Essex Newsman - Saturday 19 August 1933

Saturday 19 August 1933



A smash and grab raid at Braintree had a sequel at Romford on August 11, when William Anderson, 25, seaman, no fixed address, appeared before E. G. Bratchell, Esq., on a charge of being concerned with the men in the last case of breakign and entering a Braintree jeweller's shop and stealing gold rings and watches worth £500.

Det.-Sgt. Sutton said that about 3.30 a.m. on Sunday, July 23, residents in the vicinity of of the shop heard glass being smashed. Several men were seen to go from the shop and jump into a motor car, and the police found later that the iron grid in front had been wrenched off, and a window had been smashed. The jewellery was missing. It was found subsequently that that a motor car belonging to a police officer had been stolen from a garage at Barkingside, and it was found abandoned at Barkingside on July 23. In it were found articles stolen from Braintree the same morning. 

On August 10 witness and Det.-Supt. Totterdell arrested Anderson in the East India Dock Road with another man. When taken to Romford, Anderson made a statement admitting that he was concerned with three other men in custody. When charged he replied: "I have nothing further to say."

Anderson was remanded in custody until Thursday, when at the Petty Session, Det.-Sgt. Sutton asked that the charge might be withdrawn so that it could be heard at Braintree. Permission was granted.