Forgot Prayer, 2 seized Pickpockets at Cemetery Say They Wanted to Honor the Dead - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the November 2010 Juniper Berry Magazine

Forgot Prayer, 2 seized Pickpockets at Cemetery Say They Wanted to Honor the Dead

(June 1, 1951) Two pickpockets with records dating back many years were arraigned on jostling charges yesterday because while visiting St. John's Cemetery, Middle Village, Queens, on Memorial Day, they failed to convince a detective that they knew how to pray.

The men were Joseph Morris, 62 years old, of 139 Second Avenue, with a record of thirty-two similar arrests since 1906, and George Kane, 69, of 48-17 Forty-seventh Street, Woodside, Queens, whose fourteen arrests date back to 1910. They were seized by Detective Francis A Travis of the Pickpocket Squad.

The detective arrested them after watching them from behind a hedge for half an hour as they mingled with persons waiting for a bus at Metropolitan Avenue and Eightieth Street, Middle Village. They said they were there to decorate the grave of a friend and pray, but when Detective Travis asked them for a sample prayer, they could think of none. They were held without bail for a hearing next Thursday.