Legendary fugitive William Posters has died in his home at the age of 93. For most of his life he had been on the run from police, following a notorious robbery of a Dorking sweet shop in 1933. His gang the Shop Lifters stole £2 worth of sherbet and then disappeared almost without a trace. Most disturbing of all, the shop owner was beaten up and left in a coma. It was one of the first widely reported instances of violent teen crime, and shocked the country in the otherwise peaceful 1930s.
Unusually, Posters and his fellow gang members were publicly threatened by the police for decades. On noticeboards and public spaces throughout the UK, signs were put up saying "Bill Posters will be prosecuted".
It was a unique form of policing, intended to guilt the subject into handing himself in. However it had the opposite effect, making him something of a hero among the general public. British police have not repeated the experiment, and the only known examples of police intimidation by public billboard are Mr Poster and his fellow gang members.
He will now go to his grave an unconvicted, innocent man. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death - he was in poor health, unsurprisingly for his age. He is the last of the Shop Lifters gang to die. Fellow gang member Johnny "Fly" Tippers underwent a similar police campaign, but also managed to evade arrest until his death in 2005.