The journal shows how James and Thomas had to deal with a fair amount of petty theft including the theft of flannel from the local Glynn flannel factory and thefts from local farms. The following extract describes an apparently successful piece of detective work in January 1846 that came to nothing (a series of Victorian cartoons might appropriatey illustrate events!):
2 pm Llanidloes – Received information that there had been a quantity of turnips lost from Brynycwm Farm the property of Mr. Thomas Roberts Esq. – farmer of this town – Const. Owen and me churched several Bad Characters’ houses in the town. Found a Quantity of turnips in the dwellings of Rees Morris which did answer the description of Mr. Roberts’ turnips – they were identified by Mr. Roberts’ servant man to be the property of Mr. Roberts.
January 5th 1 pm Penyrallt Brynycwm (1½ miles) – I accompanied Const. Owens to Brynycwm the farm of Mr. Roberts ware the above mentioned turnips was stoal from – Mr. Roberts’ servant would not swear to the turnips.
The general public were not always very co-operative but then one turnip does look very like another!
The newspapers also reported that James brought to justice miscreants who allowed their pigs, donkey or horse to wander on the public highway.