Teller In Coma Held in $19,000 Theft At Bank

Camden Courier-Post - February 25, 1928

Burd S. Garrett, of Hillcrest, is Under Guard at West Jersey Hospital

Believe He Took Poison as Discovery Neared

East End Trust Protected; Man Returned to Home Today Semiconscious

Burd S. Garrett, 42 years old, 200 Wayne avenue, Hillcrest, near Merchantville, was placed under technical arrest this afternoon as he was being admitted to the West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital.

Garrett is charged with stealing $19,000 from the East End Trust Company where he has been employed as a teller since the opening of the bank.

The bank will suffer no loss by the alleged embezzlement, being protected by insurance.

Garrett left his home early yesterday after telling his wife he was going to the bank. At 8.30 o'clock last night he returned in a bewildered state. He did not have his automobile with him and told his family he did not know where he had been, as he had regained consciousness while walking along a road near Seaside Heights. Then he lapsed into unconsciousness.

Doctor Is Called

Dr. C. T. Hadley, of Merchantville, who is also president of the East End Trust Company, was summoned and declared Garrett was suffering from a nervous breakdown.

Physicians at the hospital believed Garrett swallowed poison last night, as a friend took a small bottle away from him.

It was learned that Garrett remained away from the bank on Thursday to attend a funeral. While he was absent his books were checked by an auditor and the alleged thefts discovered. Garrett failed to report for work yesterday and a warrant was sworn out for his arrest.

It also was reported that when detectives went to his home this morning to arrest him they found a bottle of poison under his pillow but the detectives could not verify this report. They have been unable to find Garrett's automobile.

Protected by Bond

The $19,000 named in the warrant comprises the sum total of the alleged defalcation and the East End Trust Company is protected by bond, Albert C. Burling, solicitor for the bank declared this afternoon.

Burling said a statement from the bank would be issued later in the day.

Owing to the condition of Garrett, no statement could be secured from him. Burling said the alleged shortage was not uncovered until last night.

Detectives Howard Smith and William Cleary went to Garrett's home and found him in a semi-conscious condition. Alarmed they summoned Dr. Hadley who ordered Garrett's removal to West Jersey Hospital. Smith then swore out a warrant for Garrett's arrest before Justice of the Peace Peter J. Wallace.

As he lay on a cot, unconscious, at the hospital this afternoon, Garrett was being guarded by a constable.

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