A seventy-seven-year-old widow named Alice Johnson opened her door to William Brest, whom she mistook for a neighbor’s son. She let him in, leaving him alone in her living room for a minute. He took her wallet and left. After he removed the $16 that it contained, he threw it into the weed patch behind the United Presbyterian church on Countyline street, where it was recovered by police once William had been arrested and signed a confession. William returned the money, including the $2 that he had already spent, and Mrs Johnson withdrew the charges against him.
William had just turned eighteen. Within three years, he was married with two sons. He found a job at Rockwell’s auto and truck spring plant on Furnace street and got a place on its bowling team, which met with reasonable success in the town’s industrial league. In 1977, William was treated for smoke inhalation when the Rockwell plant was struck by lightning, which started a fire in the duct work. There is no further record of his life.Sources: New Castle News (11 June 1960, “Faces Larceny Charge”; 28 July 1962, “Births Reported”; 7 Aug 1963, “Births”; 8 Sep 1969, “Deaths Of The Day”; 16 Oct 1972, “Bowling Results”; 21 Dec 1976, “Bullish Rockwell Charges Into $6.5 Million Project”; 18 June 1977, “Wind, Rain, Lightning Hits Area Hard”).