Sunday, June 22, 2008

Princess of Thieves

This is a picture of Mary Fergusson, aka "Annie Grant" and sometimes "Annie Gleeson. Mary was a notorious Detroit badger, shoplifter, pickpocket, and pennyweighter. She was very successful in these arts of theft, and she was known for the conspicuous gowns, hats, and shoes she always wore. In 1905 she tried to steal a string of costly pearls from the Christie's Auction House in London. She appeared at the Auction House richly clothed, and appearing to be a person of great wealth. While inspecting the pearls, she swapped them for a string of fake pearls she had brought in. The tag on the fake pearls was not a good match, and she was caught as she was leaving the building. She was convicted, and sentenced to three years in prison. She served her term, but then continued her life of crime. Her many high profile thefts in the early 1900's led her to be dubbed by police, "The Princess of Thieves".

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