Sidmor ... Sitamore ... police and newspapers couldn't get it straight which last name was real, which one was an alias. While he was a thief who inconvenienced a lot of people, Harry Sitamore (aka Sidmor) seemed to fascinate the press; he was described as "one of the greatest jewel thieves of modern times" who had an "amazing history" and a "a brazen effrontery that left police gasping."

He was a career criminal who, when he didn't escape prison, convinced authorities that he had seen the error of his ways. But he hadn't, of course, and he was active well into the 1950s, by which time he was known by other aliases, including Carl Chester Fields, Harry Gordon, Ervin Siegel, Thomas Green and Jerry Lietel.


Syracuse American, March 19, 1933
MIAMI BEACH, Florida (INS) — A golf professional and a jeweler, both New Yorkers, today entered the fantastic setting police ingenuity has unfolded around Harry Sidmor, alias Harry Sitamore, as alleged accomplices of the suave “Gentleman Raffles” who stole a million dollars in jewels from winter visitors here.

Charles Yacht, the golf professional, was arrested on a charge of breaking and entering, police claiming the golfer “spotted” at least one of the “jobs” the dapper, 38-year-old Sidmor engineered.

Ralph Krakower, New York jeweler, freed on $4,500 bond a short time after he was taken into custody, is charged by police with receiving Sidmor’s stolen property.

Like a modern fiction detective story, the amazing history of Sidmor and his operatives gradually unfolded as the arrests of Yacht and Krakower filled in the missing links.

The golfer, police charge, “fingered” the $70,000 gem robbery of Mrs. Bertha Keller, New York society woman.

Yacht, police said, became acquainted with Miss Sophie Glemby, granddaughter of Mrs. Keller, while acting as her golf instructor.

Through Miss Glemby, it is claimed, he entered the Keller hotel suite and learned the location of the jewels. The golfer invited Mrs. Keller and Miss Glemby to the dog races the night of the jewel theft. Secure in his knowledge the occupants were away, Sidmor, using one of the 1,000 keys police found in his luxurious winter home, entered and rifled the Keller suite.

Police yesterday reveled Sidmor’s arrest was effected through the use of a “stool pigeon,” who entered into an agreement with Sidmor to “finger” the jewelry robberies in return for 5 percent of the take.


Syracuse Journal, June 3, 1923
MIAMI, Florida (INS) — With a brazen effrontery that left police gasping, Harry Sitamore, New York jewel thief, who looted Miami Beach’s wealthy winter colony of jewelry valued at $250,000, fleeing from a 40-year prison sentence, paused to wire his wife and baby here that he would see them soon.

The dapper, 38-year-old counterpart of the romantic fiction character, “Raffles,” walked into a telegraph office in Daytona Beach a few hours after he broke from the state prison at Raiford yesterday and nonchalantly dispatched this telegram: “Will see you and the baby soon, honey.”

The telegram was filed a few minutes after 5 p.m. yesterday. It was intercepted by police here who immediately set a cordon around the luxurious Miami Beach residence which Sitamore maintained here in the guise of a wealthy retired broker while he preyed on the wealthy winter residents.


Syracuse Journal, November 7, 1933
NEW ORLEANS (INS) — Harry Sidmor, alias Sitamore, million-dollar jewel thief, was “in again” today.

The dapper 38-year-old New York Raffles, whose nimble fingers lifted $250,000 in gems from wealthy social headliners at Miami Beach last winter, languished behind bars awaiting return to Florida to serve a 40-year sentence.

Sidmor was picked up by a Pinkerton agent on Canal Street. The capture ended five months of freedom since Sidmor, making good a boast he had hurled at the judge in Miami last April, escaped from the state prison at Raiford two months later by hiding in a pile of sacking while he was driven from the prison by two trustees.


Sitamore, described as being jockey-sized, also made a prison escape hiding under the hood of a truck. He was in the news up until 1959, at which point he had finally left Florida and was serving time in Ohio. However, Florida authorities suspected Sitamore might be involved with the thief or thieves responsible for taking $400,000 worth of gems from the Americana Hotel in Miami Beach.4

Police remembered that during Sitamore's most recent arrest he had in his possession a master key to all the rooms at the Americana. That key was recovered, but authorities theorized that Sitamore had made a copy of the key and given it to someone.

The newspaper account of the theft also dropped hints that Sitamore might not have had anything to do with the case, but that one of the victims might have arranged for his wife's jewelry to disappear so he could exaggerate their worth. This person told police one item alone was worth $300,000, but when questioned further he admitted it was worth less, maybe only $100,000.