Britain's Most Prolific Burglar

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Harry Edward Vickers, aka Flannelfoot, was possibly Britain's most successful ever burglar. Not financially - he stole cash and low-value items (even, bizarrely, false teeth!). The success was in his hundreds of burglaries spread over many years without being caught.

The lives of career criminals are invariably dotted with prison sentences, but thanks to his caution and cunning, Flannelfoot operated night after night, year after year with an impunity which embarrassed the police. In the twenties and thirties, Londoners were deserting the overcrowded capital for the burgeoning suburbs of 'Metroland'. Flannelfoot was equally attracted to these areas, and one of his hallmarks was to steal a bicycle at the scene of his last break-in of the night and cycle to the nearest tube station.

Burglars and burglaries are never glamorous, but one reason why the Flannelfoot saga engendered fascination more than fear is that he was never confrontational, never violent, and in fact so stealthy that few ever saw him. His one-man crime epidemic led to Scotland Yard assembling a team more used to solving murders than the plundering of gas meters. After a lengthy and painstaking investigation, a carefully planned night-time surveillance operation involving several teams of officers led to the sensational capture of Flannelfoot.

Flannelfoot routinely features in crime anthologies and was the subject of a feature film, but this is the first full biography of the man who became a legend in his own lifetime.

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Manufacturer/Publisher: Pen & Sword
Binding: Hardback
Author: Martyn Beardsley
Date Published: 2024
Pagination: 224p

SKU: 9781399054836