A funny little vignette from my reading of A Brief History of Britain 1660-1851: The Making of A Nation.
It seems that in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the people of Britain were very concerned with crime. Many crimes were considered capital crimes, including theft. In 1693 a reward of 40 pounds was introduced to anyone who apprehended and successfully prosecuted highway robbers. Later this was extended to burglary. It was hoped that this reward would cut down on crime. One thing it did was create an entrepreneurial opportunity.