Register Clerk Faces Trial On Theft Charge

Hillis Search Said to Have Stolen from Mails.

Arrested by Inspectors.

A hearing was held this afternoon before Charles W. Moores, United States commissioner, for Hillis Parker Search, age fifty-one, 715 East Fortieth street, who was arrested Saturday by Indianapolis police and held for the postoffice [sic] inspection department on a charge of stealing from the United States mail.  Inspectors A.P. Owen, H.H. Wasson and A.S. Kelly said Search confessed to them Saturday night he had been stealing from registered mail dispatches during his twenty-three years in the service of the government as a register clerk.

Search had been a register clerk on the Pittsburg & St. Louis railway postoffice for a number of years, and he had charge of registered mail between St. Louis and Columbus, O. The postoffice inspectors said numerous losses have been reported, which have been traced to his division of the railway mail service, and that the postoffice inspection department has been working for some time on the case.

On July 21, Inspectors Owen and Kelly went to St. Louis and placed certain test letters in the registered mail.  The letters contained money.  When the inspectors arrived in Indianapolis Saturday they learned from a private course that the test letters had been diverted from the proper course in the railway postoffice.  Search was then taken to the registry transfer office in Indianapolis and examination disclosed the contents of the test letters on his person.

Many articles of expensive clothing and some jewelry, which Search admitted having stolen from the registered mail, were recovered by the inspectors.  A shipment of fine imported French gloves and silk goods was found in his possession.

Source:  Indianapolis News, July 24, 1922.  Note that “post office” is consistently spelled as “postoffice” throughout the original article.

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