Twomey’s Garage break in

 5th January 1940 


On the morning of 5th January 1940 there was a break it at Twomey’s Garage at the back of 411 High Street Northcote on Elm Street. The garage proprietor, John Charles Twomey, who resided at Harold Street Thornbury, said he received a call to his garage early in the morning of 5th January and found his office in disorder. A night watchmen and a milkman saw men carrying motor tyres wrapped in brown paper in the early hours of the morning of the robbery. 

The accused, Stanley William Taylor, of Robb’s Parade, went into the garage on 4th January at 7:30 p.m. and asked John Twomey if he could use his telephone to ring a doctor because his little boy was hurt. The request was granted the telephone was unlocked with a key attached to a bunch of other keys. The telephone required the key to function. A witness saw the keys the following morning on a seat near where he saw sitting. The Mr. Taylor was defended by Mr. F. P. Walsh, who said he was in no doubt of the boy’s accident. He also would not deny Mr Taylor handed the keys back to him on the night he used the telephone, as they might have been left on the seat by the witness. 
The Night-Watchmen
James Michael Cahitt, night-watchmen, of Spencer St Croxton said that at 4am on January 5th while he was at Hartmeyer’s shop in the Plaza buildings he saw Mr. Taylor come from Elm Street and cross High Street in a northerly direction. He was carrying a motor tyre wrapped in paper.  Mr. Taylor was running at the time. Mr. Cahitt watched as another person followed Mr. Taylor and walk into a shop between an undertaker’s and an estate agents. The night-watchmen proceeded north along High Street to Elm Street and went about six yards from Elm Street he noticed accused return from the flat he had gone into. When Mr Taylor saw Mr. Cahitt, he returned towards the flat. 
When Mr. Cahitt got to Twomey’s garage he noticed that the door was open and there were three tyres wrapped in paper and three tubes leaning against the door. He notified the Northcote police and returned to the garage to see the door had been closed. At 5:50 p.m. on 5th January, Mr. Cahitt at the Northcote police station identified accused as the man he had seen the same morning.  
 The Milkman 
Dairyman Robert Walter Horne of Dundas Street Thornbury said that he was between Robb’s Parade and McCutcheon Street delivering milk at 5 a.m. on 5th January when he noticed men with tyres wrapped in paper.  When he returned to his cart the men had disappeared. Afterwards Mr. Horne drove into Dennis Street, and saw the men. One man carried a tyre in the direction of Salisbury Grove. One of the men was wheeling a tyre across the road, and the third man was carrying two tyres.  
Detectives told to “Mind their own business” 
Detective Thomas and Detective Egerton spoke with the accused on 5th January at 5:15 p.m. Detective Egerton told the accused they wanted to see him about Twomey’s garage and Mr. Taylor responded with, “mind your own business." When evidence was presented to Mr. Taylor, he said he was away “swimming and drinking” with friends. He would not give the names of the friends. He admitted to making the phone call to the doctor. When the police searched him, he had £6/2/ in his possession, and he said £3/1/ of it was sustenance, but he would not say where the remaining £1/1/ came from. Detective Egerton argued there was sufficient evidence and the bench found there was a case. Mr. Taylor pleaded not guilty but was committed to trial at General Sessions on February 1 1940. Bail was fixed at £50 with one surety of a like amount. In the General session court the men were acquitted by a jury and found not guilty on 9th February 1940.  

Acquitted by Jury (1940, February 10). The Age, p. 29

Found Not Guilty (1940, April 17). The Age,p.11

Motor garage breaking. Money and tyres stolen. Northcote man committed for trial (1940, January 17). The Northcote Leader, p.1

Sands andMcDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory 1864- 1974. [Microfiche]. (1974).Melbourne, Australia: Sands & McDougall.