An assault, followed by a robbery, a search by 200 men for the thieves, and the recovery of their booty, is the outline of a story from Charlton, S.E. Mr. George Dumville, office manager of the United Glass Bottle Manufacturing Works, at Charlton, was walking across the factory yard late on Friday night, when he was set upon by two men, one of whom struck him a violent blow on the head, and then snatched a box which he was carrying, containing about £100, intended to pay the wages of the night shift. Mr. Dumville was dazed for a moment, but went in pursuit of one of the men, who, however, escaped in the darkness. Afterwards, about 200 men employed at the works took part in a search of the neighbourhood, but found no trace of the men. There was a sequel yesterday, when the box, with its contents intact, was found on some waste land adjoining the factory, where it had been dropped by the men, who evidently feared that its weight would make it impossible to escape from the pursuit which they realised would be made. The police are making inquiries , but at present have no clue.
There was great excitement, and not a little alarm in the district abutting on Riverbank, Charlton, when the buzzer at the United Glass Manufacturers Works sounded a prolonged and insistent warning note, and it was some little time before the astonished residents discovered what really was the matter - that a couple of bandits had attacked and robbed the office manager, Mr. George Dumville. It appears that at about ten o' clock on Friday night, in accordance with his usual practice, well known no doubt to the desperadoes, of whom there were two, Mr. Dumville was crossing the yard, carrying a box containing about £100, which represented the wages of the employees engaged on the night shift, when he was attacked by the men, one of whom struck him a violent blow on the head and snatched his burden. They immediately decamped, and by the time Mr. Dumville, who was stunned for the moment, had recovered sufficiently to go in pursuit, the attackers had disappeared in the darkness. A hue and cry was raised, and the sound of the buzzer brought the night-shift workers running pell-mell into the yard. Other workers living in the neighbourhood also hurried to the scene, and within a short space of time about two hundred men were engaged in the pursuit. There was a complete comb-out over a wide area, but it was barren of result, the men having succeeded in getting clear away. There was, however, a quite unexpected sequel to this attempt at robbery with violence, for on Saturday morning the missing box, with its contents intact, was found on a piece of waste ground not far from the factory, where it had evidently been dropped by the robbers, who presumably feared that its weight would render it difficult if not impossible for them to escape from their pursuers. The police have been investigating the matter, but they are handicapped by the fact that they have only a vague and hazy idea of the appearance of the men, who, of course, approached the manager from behind, the blow being struck while he had no idea of impending danger. Everything points to the inference that the men were well acquainted with the works and its routine, as well as with the habits of the manager.