Hartford Faience manager interrupts safe robber


Publication: The Hartford Courant

Hartford, CT, United States
p. 14

Plant Head Interrupts Safe Robber At Work


The general manager of a Hamilton Street factory walked into his darkened office Friday night and spoke to a man he thought was the night watchman, only to discover later he had let a safecracker get away. According to police, Lawrence H. Rankin, of 71 Toby Avenue, Windsor, entered his office at the Hartford-Faience Company, 271 Hamilton Street shortly after 8 p. m.

He walked into the second floor office without turning on the lights and went directly to a wash room adjoining the main office and a smaller room where the safe was located.

While in the wash room he heard a noise through the thin partition separating the two rooms. Then he heard footsteps in the main office.

Thinking it was the night watchman, Rankin called out, but received no answer. Rankin called again as he heard someone going down the stairs.

Leaving the wash room, Rankin also went down stairs where he came across the night watchman. He asked, “Why didn’t you answer when I spoke to you upstairs.”

“I wasn’t upstairs,” was the reply.

Rankin then returned to the office to investigate. This time he turned on the lights. Going into the room where the safe was located, he saw on the floor the safe’s dial which had been pried off the door.

He called police. Detective Sergeant Matthew Durkin and Detective John Mancini were sent to the scene by Detective Captain George Dworak. But they found no clues. The safe robber had left behind only the dial and a company towel he used to muffle hammer blows.

The burglar obviously had been interrupted by Rankin, but was apparently cool enough to pick up his tools, walk out of the office under the cover of darkness and leave the grounds through the main gate.

Rankin told police, however, that even had the thief finished the job he would have found no money. Only company records are kept in the safe, he said.

Keywords:Hartford Faience Company
Researcher notes: 
Supplemental information: 
Researcher:Zack Mirecki
Date completed:January 19, 2014 by: Elton Gish;