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Robbery & Thievery

Loaded revolvers and buglar tools

Probably one of the worst years for robberies in this area was 1928. The Seagrave store was robbed as was the Greenbank store and a number of cars were stolen in the region.

Alix Gilboord's clothing and drygoods store on Queen Street in Port Perry was robbed in 1926 and 1927. In December of 1928 he suffered his third robbery, losing over $500 worth of merchandise.

In the same week, Smallman's blacksmith shop was broken into and tools stolen, and Brock's store was robbed of $300 of merchandise. When the thieves were caught in Scarborough, they were in possession of loaded revolvers and a "full kit of burglar's tools including skeleton keys and jimmies."

One of the thieves was a Port Perry resident. He and his accomplice confessed to having carried out a number of robberies in Pickering, Whitby, Trenton and Brighton as well as some vacant summer cottages throughout the area. They were each given six year sentences.

Harold Archer shot

During the night of Sunday, August 29, 1926, thieves broke into the garage of Harold Archer and stole a number of tires and some gasoline. The car used in the robbery was seen by a number of residents.

Encouraged by the success of their first haul, the thieves decided to return the following Tuesday. Their vehicle was recognized as they approached the garage. Harold Archer and his friend, Art Knight jumped onto the running boards of the car.

It sped away and the villains shot Mr. Archer in the thigh as he attempted to hang on. The thieves were later apprehended and sentenced


.

Boyd Gang robs local bank

The Bank of Commerce at 165 Queen Street was subjected to three major robberies. The first occurred in June, 1934 when, at closing time two robbers entered and tied up the manager and a clerk at gunpoint and drove away with $200. They were later apprehended after they had stopped at the Superior store to get gas.

In a 1945 robbery, the manager, Ernie Hayes was left locked in the vault after thieves absconded with a large quantity of cash. Mr. Hayes managed to escape by opening the vault from the inside with a screwdriver.

In August that same year it was robbed again. This time three employees were locked in the vault. This robbery was conducted by the infamous Boyd gang. One of the three employees was Margaret Day. Margaret reported that the Boyd gang members were very polite, but the employees were scared.

In December, 1951, Mr. Helm, the bank manager, his wife, his son Robert and the caretaker, Mr T. Asher were all bound and gagged in the apartment above the bank while the robbers attempted to blow up the safe. Fortunately, the telephone rang and the would-be robbers fled.

The Helms at that time lived above the bank. In all three cases of robbery, the robbers were eventually apprehended and sentenced.

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HISTORIC HOMES
& ESTATES

By: Paul Arculus &
J. Peter Hvidsten



HOT OFF THE PRESS
By: J. Peter Hvidsten



MAYHEM TO MURDER
The History Of The
Markham Gang
By: Paul Arculus