Theft and Trousers: Adventures in Research

From the NYT November 6, 1894 “The Burglar Stole His Trousers”

In Bayonne, New Jersey, a burglar entered Mr. Darvel’s home, forcing him at revolver point to give up his trousers. The trousers had  fifty dollars in the pocket. The burglar retreated, and Mr. Darvel took action, firing his own revolver.  The burglar attempted to return fire. He tried three times, but his gun failed him.  Mr. Darvel, taking advantage, aimed at the burglar: he had no more bullets. He stepped forward and struck the burglar with his revolver. The burglar was unperturbed by this, he “walked leisurely away”. Mr. Darvel recovered his trousers.

From the Whitstable Times and Tankerton Press September 21, 1935 “Whitstable Man’s Trousers”

Mr. Saunders, brought before the magistrates at the Chatham and County Petty Sessions, was charged with breaking into a public house. He left behind a putty knife, electric torch, and a library book.  The Det. Constable readily traced the book to Mr. Saunders.  Inquiries brought him to the Sailor’s Rest, where Saunders lived under an assumed name.  Here the detective discovered a parcel containing trousers.  The left leg of the trousers had traces of paint and red lead which corresponded to evidence from the window frame at the crime scene.  Watching the address, the detective saw the suspect enter, approached him. The suspect admitted “I am Saunders”.  The trousers were found to contain further evidence; the suspect was remanded in custody.


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