February 22, 1924

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News from February 22, 1924

News from February 22, 1924 (The Ithaca Journal, via Newspapers.com™)

Man Gradually Recovers a Fortune in Stolen Jewelry

In 1924, an elderly man, residing in an exclusive hotel in New York City, drew attention due to his unusual actions. Each night, he would leave his hotel and venture into the city, returning with valuable jewels which he handed over to detectives. This activity was part of a larger story involving a significant robbery of Mrs. Irene M. Schoellkopf’s jewels during a New Year’s Eve party. The stolen goods amounted to around $300,000.

John W. Mahan, known as a “fence,” had initially bought these jewels from the thieves and then resold most of them. However, after being indicted, Mahan sought to make amends by recovering the stolen items. Despite his failing health, he continued his nightly quests to gather the jewels.

Mahan’s efforts had been met with intrigue by those who knew of his background. His determination to right his past wrongs involved returning to his hotel with the jewels, which he would leave with two detectives. These items were then deposited into the vaults of the Fifth Avenue Bank.

Overall, Mahan turned over jewels worth approximately $230,000. Although the original jewelry settings, made from platinum and gold, were destroyed, his actions focused on bringing back the remaining pieces. While the real jewel thieves remained at large, Mrs. Schoellkopf expressed more concern over retrieving her lost jewels than seeking their punishment.

Learn more about February 22, 1924 through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.

Source Articles and Clippings

"February 22, 1924," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/century-ago-today/february-1924/february-22-1924/ : accessed April 24, 2024)