Thadeus Harlan
App thief taker general
The Thief-Taker General as he appears in Thief


Thief-Taker General




The Watch Commander


The Watch



Hair Color:


Eye Color:



5' 8" (1.73 m)

Voice Actor:

Matthew Edison

Thadeus Harlan (aka the Thief-Taker General) is the secondary antagonist of Thief. He is a ruthless commander of The Watch, and the effective right-hand man of The Baron. Although publicly regarded as a hero, In reality he is a rottenly corrupt lawman who squeezes the criminal element of The City into submission through the "Black Tax", abuses his own men, and callously strips the dead of valuables to line his own pockets.

Background Edit

Thadeus Harlan was born in NRy802 in The City, although little is known about his early life. Thadeus joined The Watch where he rose through the ranks and later acquired the position of commander. Originally he upheld an honourable reputation for apprehending and capturing criminals and was publicly hailed as a hero.

Over time however, Thadeus grew to become a corrupt and sadistic lawman who began extorting his given power for self-personal gain. He began imposing his self-proclaimed 'black tax' upon members of the criminal underworld (including Basso and Madam Xiao-Xiao) in exchange for protection form The Watch, whereas any who refused were either severely beaten or publicly executed.

Events of Thief Edit

Personality and Characteristics Edit

The General holds a vendetta against Garrett after an incident at the Northcrest Manor.  Garrett inadvertently impaled the Claw through his leg to prevent himself from falling to his death, resulting in said leg's amputation.  Garrett is also one of the few criminals in the City who doesn't pay the General's Black Tax, remarking that "You can't tax what you can't catch."  This makes Garrett not only a symbol of defiance against the General, but someone who would be a prime example to the criminal element should he be hung by the neck.  For these reasons, the General has put Garrett at the top of his hit list.

Physical Appearance Edit

Skills and Equipment Edit

The General's weapon of choice is a wrist mounted crossbow which he can arm with several unique bolt heads ranging from fire to blast.  It mirrors the arrow heads that Garrett employs in his profession.


The Baron's right-hand man is in his late 30s and is the ruthless commander of the City Watch. He's more commonly known as the Thief-Taker General and strikes fear into the hearts of the lifters and blackhands in The City.

Prior to the problems in The City, he upheld a decent reputation and was considered to be the ‘hero' of the Watch because of his apparent success at catching criminals. Yet behind the scenes the general is corrupt to the bone and extorts a fee known as the black tax on members of the underworld, in return for Watch 'immunity'. Those who don't pay soon find themselves at the end of a beating or the long drop of the noose.

Although he works for the Baron, the Thief-Taker General is only really loyal to himself and demands respect from the men beneath him. His lust and greed for coin is remarkable. His power has grown considerably since the Baron became more and more obsessed with the progress of industry and the general has welcomed this opportunity to squeeze The City for profit harder than ever before.

As the Thief-Taker's name would suggest, Garrett remains the General's ultimate prize. The master thief remains a painful thorn in his side and his obsession with the shadowy figure continues to fester deep within him.


  • The name Thadeus is of Greek and Aramaic origin meaning 'heart' or 'courageous heart'. His surname Harlan is an English baby name meaning 'from the hare's land'.
  • The Thief-Taker General's personality and traits appear to be very similar to that of Sheriff Truart in Thief II.
  • Historically "Thief-Takers " were publicly commissioned law men in Victorian London prior to the establishment of an organized police force. They were often extremely corrupt, abusing the powers given to them by the population. The most infamous one was Jonathan Wild, who was heralded as a public hero and known as the "Thief-Taker General" despite his numerous abuses of authority.
  • Thadeus Harlan in many ways is the opposite of Garrett.  Where as Garrett is a subtle and principled criminal, the General is a brutal and immoral authority figure.  Even the way they steal from the population differs heavily, with the General robbing the dead in a soulless assembly line while Garrett is all technique, risk, and treats his profession like an art.
  • He bares a striking resemblance to Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York.
  • It is implied during a conversation between him and Madam Xiao-Xiao that he is a paedophile.