News reports are typically written with “who, what, when, where, and why” in mind. In this front-page story from the June 26, 1903 Skidmore Standard, we can only wonder at the who. We are told some of the what (thievery and graft), and we can guess the where (the fine city of Skidmore) and the when (gone on too long, at any rate). The why was clearly obvious to the editor, but the “what next” appears lost to history. Nevertheless, the Standard’s stance on low-down cigar thieves was quite clear:
Better Leave Town
It would probably save some one trouble if the people of this city were made aware of the fact that there is a sneak thief and pick-pocket living in their midst. This interesting and smooth? individual is well enough known to all parties in this city, as a loafer and a grafter, to make them easily believe that he would relieve a benefactor’s pockets of $5 and smoke cigars off of a firm without their permission. But care had better be used or some one will be drubbed out of town as a vagabond.
Take that, unnamed person everyone knows! The Standard has its eye on you.