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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1804, Sunday October 24, 1830.

Daring Burglary and Robbery.

Singular Detection of the Burglar.

On Tuesday the Magistrates of Greenwich, Colonel Foreman and Richard Smith, Esq. were occupied a length of time in the examination of a desperate character named Jack Cannon, who, with his gang, has been for some time, the dread of Kent, upon a charge of burglary and robbery on the premises of James Russell, Esq. at East Greenwich, on the night of Thursday morning or of Friday last, and stealing plate and other articles.
The dwelling-house or Mr. Russell stands alone in the Marshes upon the brink of a mill-dam which branches out from the river Thames. The burglars purloined a wherry from the stairs at East Greenwich, in which they proceeded up this creek or dam, from whence they found an easy access to the back of the premises. They forced open the kitchen window, and proceeded up stairs, into the parlour, an entrance to which they gained by taking out one of the pannels of the door with a centre-bit; here they ransacked all the closets, stole several articles of plate, and broke up several plated articles to ascertain if they were silver. After this they forced a lock of an adjoining room, in which was deposited a considerable sum of money but in this act they made such a noise that they awoke Mrs. Russell, who aroused her husband, but he believing it to be his wife's imagination went to sleep again. At this moment it is thought the robbers escaped in the same manner they had entered, leaving the most valuable property behind them. In the room, the lock of which had been forced, a piece of a yellow cotton handkerchief was picked up near the door, about three inches in size, which had belonged to the robbers, and which is supposed to have been torn off in forcing the lock. This piece off handkerchief was the principal cause of the capture of the prisoner, and his subsequent committal for trial.
  Serjeant Phipps, division R, No. 18, having gained possession of the scrap of handkerchief, went immediately in search of the robbers, and having learned that a man had been inquiring in the neighbourhood, on the day previous to the robbery, as to what dogs were kept on the premises of Mr. Russell, and as to what time at night the domestics retired to bed, he obtained the description of the man, and knowing it corresponded with that of the prisoner Cannon, he at once suspected him to have been implicated in the business, and therefore went in search of him amongst his old haunts. On Sunday morning he received information that he was at a house in Lewisham-lane, kept by a woman with whom he cohabited. Sergeant Phipps disguised himself and repaired hither, when, upon opening the door, he saw the woman making a pudding upon a table which was placed against a closet door. The officer inquired if "Jack" was there? The woman coolly replied, "No, curse him, he don't come here now" Phipps, however, was not to be deceived, and suddenly throwing over the table from the closet-door, he there found concealed the object of his search. The prisoner swore with a tremendous oath that he would not be taken, but upon being told that no quarter would be given, he surrendered, and Phipps carried him to the station-house, where he was searched by Mr. Stevens, the Inspector, when in his hat was found a handkerchief. Upon the discovery, the prisoner's courage forsook him; he turned pale, and his lips quivered, and with a feigned indifference he said,— "Curse the handkerchief, burn it, it is so very dirty." His request, however was unattended to; and upon the piece found on Mr. Russell's premises being compared with a vacuum in the handkerchief found upon the prisoner, it was ascertained to correctly correspond, and the prisoner muttered, "It's all over." The prisoner, when before the Magistrates, denied with strong asseverations having any knowledge of the robbery, and denied also that the handkerchief belonged to him.
A man named Cobb, a waterman, proved that he met the prisoner at the Pilot public-house, in the Marshes, on the day previous to the robbery, and he asked him several questions respecting Mr. Russell's house.
The prisoner denied having seen the witnesses before
The Magistrates said the evidence of the handkerchief alone was sufficient to send the prisoner for trial, but the evidence of Cobb made it a complete case against him.
The prisoner was then fully committed to take his trial at the next Maidstone assizes.
Great credit was given to Serjeant Phipps for his conduct in the apprehension of the prisoner.