Thanks to Diarmid Mogg for researching the story behind this 1941 mugshot which I bought on eBay several years ago. The following piece appeared in the local newspaper The New Castle News and tells the sorry tale behind the incident:
“Arrest Man In Service Station – Police Apprehend Stranger In W. Washington St. Station Early This Morning
Policemen Allgler and Price at 12:45 a.m. today arrested Harry L. McCleary alias John McDonald, 21, no permanent address, in a service station at Beaver and West Washington street. He will be charged with burglary before Alderman O.H.P. Green today. Chief of Police W.C. McMullen stated.
The man visited the station Monday afternoon, inquired as to closing time, entered the lavatory and reportedly fixed a window to permit him to enter the building later.
After the station closed last night, McCleary assertedly entered it through the window. Police in a cruiser car later noticed the building was not illuminated, as usual.
They made an inspection, discovered footprints in the snow and also found the window open, They entered the station and report finding McCleary hiding in the greaseroom.
He had in his possession a flashlight which he found in the station. He admitted, the police assert, to having entered the station to secure whatever money he might find.
He had a pawn ticket in his pocket for an overcoat he claims to have pawned in Pittsburgh.
McCleary stated that he was born in Washington and that he has a mother residing at Silver Hill, Md.”
Things must have improved for Harry as he lived to the age of 84! He died in Elkin, North Carolina, in 2003. See Diarmid’s Small Town Noir blog for similar stories from New Castle, Pennsylvania.