It might sound like something from an Agatha Christie novel but it was a real crime case which happened in Leeds in December 1947.
It was reported on this day in that year in the pages of the Yorkshire Evening Post, which recounted that burglars had broken into a property using a ladder “borrowed” from one of the neighbouring houses.
The house in question belonged to Mr M Goldstone, of St Martin’s Crescent, Leeds. The intruders ransacked the house and stole a number of articles, including a gold dagger, before clambering down the ladder and making off.
Other break-ins were also reported on this day, including one at Allied Freight, Great Mount, where thieves stole a stock of pre-war pencils, the staff’s tea and sugar ration and a few shillings they found in a tin.
Meanwhile, in other news, 1,600 extra staff had to be drafted in by Leeds Post Office to deal with the amount of Christmas mail. In one day, the post office dealt with 598,900 parcels. For the army of temporary staff, frost and fog were the main enemy, as they could seriously hamper delivery plans.
Behind the scenes, staff were busy collecting, sorting, stamping and classifying half a million letters a day. Each letter needed about 20 people to handle it, between it being posted by the sender and delivered to the recipient.
A YEP reporter toured the GPO during this busy period and noted one pigeon hole marked ‘Blind’. It was for letters addressed to Father Christmas, whom it was noted still received a fair amount of mail.
There was another marked with a big red cross for parcels which had fallen or been damaged and needed re-sealing before being sent on their merry way.