Juvenile Roguery

The arrest of the juvenile thieves at San Francisco, mentioned in our telegraphic dispatches yesterday, led to the discosure of a singular series of robberies. one of the principal rogues in the gang, whose name is Durkin, confesses, according to the Herald's report, that he has accomplished so many robberies that it is impossible for him to recollect and enumerate them; but that within eight months he was committed nearly six hundred robberies—in some places getting not more than three bits, and in others securing one hundred dollars. He patronized a butcher on the corner of Kearny and Pacific streets three times in one night. He has been arrested over one hundred times, but has always escaped, on account of his age, which he says is nine years.

One of the largest robberies committed by these boys was that of Tubbs & Co., ship-chandlers, on Front street, whom they robbed on the 27th of October of $420. The Bulletin has the following account of this robbery, as confessed by McGrath, alias “Billy Goat:”

According to the confession, McGrath and Wm. Kelly went to the rear of Tubbs & Co.’s store with the intention of robbing the store of J. & M. Phelan, which adjoins. He pointed it out to McGrath, who immediately stole in through a rear door and abstracted teh sum of $420 from the safe and handed it to Kelly, who was upon the cooper’s shop; Kelly started off in one direction and McGrath in another, and met at an appointed rendezvous, together with Ed. Farrell, “Limsey” and Rowland, who had been secreted in the neighborhood. they began dividing the money, and on counting, found it to consist of only $200, and McGrath therefore charges that Kelly embezzled $220 before distribution. After the $200 had been divided, the young thieves went to the bay, filled the buckskin purses in which the money had been with stones and cast them into the water. The next day they hired a lot of horses and took a spree to the Lake House.

Sacramento Union 1857