Alexander Mundy was a cat burglar and professional thief who had style, class and talent. He made only one mistake—getting caught. While serving a sentence in San Jobel Prison, he was contacted by representatives of the US Government spy agency, SIA. They offered to get him out if he would put his talents to work stealing for the government. Accepting the offer, he worked closely with an SIA department head, Noah Bain, who was his boss, aide, associate, friend and watchdog. During the second season he was now a free agent and his new SIA contact was Wallie Powers. Alexander's dad Alister became a semi-regular who was also a retired thief, from whom he had learned all his skills, and who occasionally teamed with his son on special jobs.
Runtime: 60 minutes
It Takes a Thief - Thief-taker - Netflix
In English legal history, a thief-taker was a private individual hired to capture criminals. The widespread establishment of professional police in England did not occur until the 19th century. With the rising crime rate and newspapers to bring this to the attention of the public, thief-takers arose to partially fill the void in bringing criminals to justice. These were private individuals much like bounty hunters. However, thief-takers were usually hired by crime victims, while bounty hunters were paid by bail bondsmen to catch fugitives who skipped their court appearances and hence forfeited their bail. Both types also collected bounties offered by the authorities. Sometimes, thief-takers would act as go-betweens, negotiating the return of stolen goods for a fee. However, they were often corrupt themselves, for example extorting protection money from the crooks they were supposed to catch. Government-funded rewards for the capture of criminals were a corrupting influence, leading directly to the Macdaniel scandal.
It Takes a Thief - The seventeenth century - Netflix
The seventeenth century saw a peculiar phase of political and religious instability: the Glorious Revolution brought William III to reign over England, and the rise of violence in the streets of the capital because of the removal of armed soldiers from service; the government feared conspiracy and felt the urgent need to protect its currency from coiners and clippers; on the other side, a period of poor harvests contributed to deepen people's bad conditions and the issues of public security that poverty originates.
In this period property was the most valuable thing to people: for this reason, what affected citizens the most were property crimes. Theft was the most perpetrated crime, and the most tried at the Old Bailey: it was mainly caused by hunger and poverty, but also by the aspiration to social mobility. Common petty crimes such as shoplifting or theft by servants became more and more frequent, later culminating with the pressure for turning them into capital offences as deterrent. Stealing from shops that exposed their luxury good in their windows was a great temptation to women in particular, who desired to have the latest fashion or imitate the higher social class style. Furthermore, the freedom of travelling safely was connected to the importance of commercial trades, hence, attacking people on the main roads was a threat to the economic system and already a capital offence. Those who committed thefts or robberies on the King's Highways, namely the streets of London and its major surrounding roads, were called Highwaymen. These individuals were often brutal and worked together in gangs carrying weapons with them to commit robberies with violence. Gangs were particularly feared because of their alleged connection with political dissidence and plotting. The counterfeit of money and clipping were as well a danger to the economy of the state, as they diminished the actual value of hard cash and increased the inflationary pressure. This practice was to be reduced with the Great Recoinage of 1696. In addition to the financial issue, coiners were thought to be politically involved with the Jacobites in plotting against the king. Along with the rise of criminal issues, concern with morality started to be taken into account since they were thought to be highly connected: sinning and breaking the law were the two sides of the same coin. This belief led to the Reformation of Manners campaign against brothels, which were thought to be frequented mostly by criminals. Homosexuality was another moral target for The Societies for the Reformation of Manners, who made use of informers to bring to an end the business of molly houses and sentence homosexuals to death. In the 1690s the criminal activity became so critical that it urged the government to take alternative measures: a series of rewards were introduced by statute to stimulate the prosecution and conviction of felons.
It Takes a Thief - References - Netflix