Looting Cabins During the Evacuation?


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Aaron_2016

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According to Colonel Gracie the cabins were locked to prevent looting. Was this a precautionary measure or was there a potential threat or a tip off that someone might try to loot the cabins while the evacuation was taking place? Were all cabins locked in First Class only? It appears the Olympic fell victim to robbers over the years who were caught several times. Wonder how the newspapers got hold of the stories (a dramatic scene or struggle to apprehend the thieves?). It would have been embarrassing for the company when stories were published. Wonder how many cases were dealt with 'quietly' in order to keep the press out?


July 1921 - First Class Staterooms are robbed. $29,000 worth of jewels stolen.

June 1922 - Broker who committed fraud and stole $60,000 ashore is caught and arrested on the ship by a private detective.

August 1926 - Thief breaks into First Class cabins while a high society ball was being held and steals $3,000 worth of diamond jewels.

July 1928 - Steward on Olympic is arrested for stealing a passenger's ring worth $10,000.

May 1930 - Passenger arrested as he tried to board the Olympic after stealing $300,000 ashore.



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Harland Duzen

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I read somewhere in the book ''Titanic Minute By Minute'' by Jonathan Mayo that in the wreckage in
a leather satchel formally belonging to Richard Beckwith was found with items also belonging to Charlotte Cardeza and the Duff Gordons showing someone (a stewart or passenger) had broken into the cabins and looted them. However, the fact the satchel was found in the wreckage field suggest's the thief didn't escape the Titanic.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Interesting. I have also heard that the pursers removed items from the safe and put them into a bag with the intention of putting them into a lifeboat. Wonder if one of the officers refused and assumed it was luggage and threw it overboard not realizing it contained the passenger's jewellery?


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Harland Duzen

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Interesting. I have also heard that the pursers removed items from the safe and put them into a bag with the intention of putting them into a lifeboat. Wonder if one of the officers refused and assumed it was luggage and threw it overboard not realizing it contained the passenger's jewellery?


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If that is true, then somewhere in the debris field should be a small mound of Titanic Treasure! I wonder if the Rubyalat could be found?
 
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Aaron_2016

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Scanned through the Titanic Inquiry to see if anyone mentioned the items in the safe. Survivor Frederick Ray told the US Inquiry -

"I walked leisurely up to the main stairway, passed two or three people on the way, saw the two pursers in the purser's office and the clerks busy at the safe taking things out and putting them in bags"

Wonder if those bags were placed into the lifeboats. The ships official papers were also put into a bag, yet it did not survive the sinking. Wonder what material the bag was made from and if the contents have been preserved a century later? Imagine the information it could tell us.


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Harland Duzen

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Does Frederick Ray give a time or rough estimate when during the sinking this occurred? Also the bags were likely made from organic materials meaning the sack and it's contents are now non-existence. Since we now know where in the wreck field:

Titanic sank: ''41 43.5 N 49 56.8 W

Titanic Bow's Final Location: 41 43 57 N 49 56 49 W

we can make rough guess where the sacks could have ended up.
22er.jpg
 
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Aaron_2016

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Mr. Ray gave a good description of the events but the timing is a bit puzzling. He witnessed the first boat being lowered and went down to his cabin to get his coat. When he came on deck again the last lifeboats were being loaded.


"I went to the rail and looked over and saw the first boat leaving the ship on the starboard side. By that time I was feeling rather cold, so I went down below again, to my bedroom......I got my overcoat on.....I went along E deck and forward, and the forward part of E deck was under water. I could just manage to get through the doorway into the main stairway. I went across to the other side of the ship where the passengers' cabins were; saw nobody there. I looked to see where the water was and it was corresponding on that side of the ship to the port side. I walked leisurely up to the main stairway, passed two or three people on the way, saw the two pursers in the purser's office and the clerks busy at the safe taking things out and putting them in bags, and just then Mr. Rothschild left his stateroom and I waited for him............So we walked leisurely up the stairs until I got to A deck and went through the door. I went out there onto the open deck and along to No. 9 boat. It was just being filled with women and children. I assisted. I saw that lowered away. Then I went along to No. 11 boat, and saw that loaded with women and children and then that was lowered away. Then I went to No. 13 boat."


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Harland Duzen

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Since the Titanic was the largest ship in the world and her layout wasn't symmetrical, Ray could have got lost or he spent the majority of his time below decks walking the whole length of the ship and back. On April 14th Lightoller had to walk from the bridge to the stern docking bridge and back walking a entire mile.
 

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