Man Who Operated in Minneapolis Arrested at Montreal When He Visits Jewelry Store of Subscriber Who Had Read of His Methods
Montreal, March 4.–The great value of The Jewelers' Circular's news service in keeping the trade informed of the operations of crooks throughout the country was again made manifest this week when the police of this city arrested a man calling himself, "H. H. Muggley," 48 years of age, who claimed he is from New York but who is stated to be wanted in Minneapolis for the theft of nearly $6,000 worth of jewelry. The arrest took place in the lobby of the Windsor Hotel and Muggley when taken into custody was found to have in his possession a large diamond ring with two sapphires and 62 gems, a valuable gold watch and other pieces of expensive jewelry which are believed by the police to be part of the loot secured in Minneapolis.
The arrest of Muggley was the result of work by the operatives of the Burns Detective Agency in Minneapolis and in Montreal of Chief of Police Walker, of Minneapolis, and of the local Detective Bureau. It was the information supplied by a local jeweler and by Chief of Police Walker, of Minneapolis, and by the operatives of the Burns Agency and the Montreal detectives.
Muggley is reported to have a police record, is claimed by the detectives to be a "confidence man" operating particularly in jewelry. His method is said to be that of buying some expensive jewelry at a large jewelry store and paying for it. A second purchase is then made, being for a very large amount, and the payment is by check which it is stated turns out later to be worthless. The man believed to be Muggley operated in Minneapolis during January and an article appeared in The Jewelers' Circular of February 25 telling how he had obtained a quantity of jewelry worth $5,400 from J. B. Hudson & Sons of that city by means of a worthless check. The Burns Detective Agency and the Minneapolis detectives were put at work on the case and Muggley was traced to Vancouver, B. C, where he tried a similar game at the store of Henry Birks & Sons in that city without success and it was believed later he was on his way to Montreal.
From what has now been learned, he arrived here about four days ago in company with his wife and 13-year-old son and went to the Windsor Hotel where he took a suite of rooms. Unfortunately for the man, he did not realize that The Jewelers' CircuLar has a large number of subscribers throughout Canada as well as the United States and that the account of his operation in Minneapolis had preceded him here. Among the concerns on whom he called were Mappin & Webb who have a store at 353 St. Catherine St., West. Muggley made several visits to this store and after having some jewelry repaired stated he intended to buy a $6,000 stone and would pay for it by a check on a United States bank. He stated particularly that he wished to make the exchange on this check and have it paid in cash in an amount aggregating about $900.
W. Talbot Payton, the secretary and treasurer of the concern, who had read of the operations of the man in Minneapolis, became suspicious and referred to The Jewelers' Circular, carefully reading the description of the man who had operated on J. B. Hudson & Sons. The Burns Agency was then notified and immediately the wires between this city and Minneapolis became hot with messages.
Yesterday morning at 8 o'clock, Chief of Detectives Lepage received a telegram from Chief of Police Walker, of Minneapolis, asking for the arrest of Muggley, and detectives were sent out on the case. They soon located their man at the Windsor Hotel and the arrest was effected. Muggley was taken to headquarters and his wife accompanied him. She claimed that she had no knowledge of the affair.
At headquarters Chief Lepage questioned Muggley, and all the jewels, as listed by Chief of Police Walker, of Minneapolis, were recovered. Mrs. Muggley was allowed to return to the hotel, but Muggley was detained at headquarters. The recovered jewelry, valued at about $6,000, was placed in charge of E. Laflamme, Bertillion expert and chief of the recovered goods' office.
A telegram was received last night from Chief Walker, of Minneapolis, stating that the necessary papers for extradition were being made out and that two detectives from Minneapolis would leave at once for Montreal. It is expected that they will arrive here on Monday. Muggley will be arraigned before Judge Choquet, in Extradition Court, today.
It was stated yesterday by William M. Birks that Muggley had visited the store of Henry Birks & Sons, Ltd., in Vancouver, and announced his intention to visit the headquarters at Montreal, when a warning was sent by wire from their Vancouver branch that Muggley's credit was very questionable. Last Friday Muggley had visited the Birks' store here, with his wife and son, all expensively dressed, with much costly jewelry. Muggley looked over some jewelry, and selected a $6,000 diamond ring to be held for him. Mr. Birks at once wired their Vancouver office whether it was safe to accept a check for $6,000 from Muggley, receiving a reply on no account to do so. Instructions were given to refuse any check, if he came in again.
E. H. Moore, managing director of Mappin & Webb, Canada, Ltd., said that Muggley had visited their store on the same day he called at Birks. His wife was wearing a very valuable diamond pendant necklace, which she wanted shortened. While she was arranging as to this Muggley started looking over a jewelry case, and was fascinated by the most expensive article in it, a $6,000 diamond pendant, which he wished to buy for his wife.
It was at this time that Mr. Payton mixed in and recalled the article in The Jewelers' Circular, giving a description of Muggley and his methods. The coincidence between the name and methods was too striking, and he reported the matter to the managing director, who communicated with the Birks firm, the Windsor Hotel, and the Burns Detective Agency.
Referring to the arrest of Muggley, The Jewelers' Circular is in receipt of the following letter from W. Talbut Payton of Mappin & Webb.
Montreal, March 5, 1920. Editor Of The Jewelers' Circular:
You will be interested to learn that The Jewelers' Circular has once more proved a valuable medium for running down that particular type of gentry who believe in obtaining goods by the use of bad cheques.
Further comments are hardly necessary, as the story from the Montreal Gazctte today will give you full detail.
Had it not been for the article in The Jewelers' Circular, which was noticed by the writer, and associated with the accused, whose methods were so similar, it is doubtful whether this man would have been apprehended, as the detectives did not begin operations on the case until they had been notified by our Mr. Moore.
The accused had made several visits to the store and stated that he intended to buy a $6,000 stone and would pay by cheque on a United States bank, but particularly stated that,he wished the exchange on this cheque paid in cash (an amount aggregating $900).
We have no idea what the outcome of this arrest will be but there seems to be no doubt that the police have the right man and that the goods taken from Minneapolis have been secured and will be returned to their proper owners.
Yours faithfully, Mappin & Webb (Canada), Ltd.
W. Talbot Payton,
Source: The Jewelers' Circular - 10th March 1920