Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. When a teenager gets home late in the small hours of the morning, she finds a burglar waiting at the door.
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Thieves will steal our cash, our cars, our valuables.
Just about anything they can get their hands on.
But now the police are using cutting-edge technology
to catch the bad guys.
CCTV is gold dust.
Great evidence for the police.
Got to have him stopped.
Local councils, shops and businesses are fighting crime
with their own tricks and traps...
There's a eureka moment when you get that evidence.
..and the public are using secret cameras to make sure
crooks get their comeuppance.
It makes me feel so angry.
He's paid the price. He's being dealt with.
Yes, we've got her.
So anyone who's up to no good had better think twice.
They might just get Caught Red Handed.
Today, when teenager Charlotte gets home in the small hours
of the morning, it's not her mother waiting at the door.
It's another woman and she's a burglar.
I was about to go, "Oh, Mum, are you all right?"
This lady turned round and it wasn't my mum.
At that moment I was like, "So where's my mum?"
The burglar does a runner but Charlotte is determined
not to let her escape.
Also today, Georgina has a new job running a travel agent's.
But it suddenly comes crashing down around her.
I had been manager one day and we got ram raided.
It turns out the short-sighted raiders really meant to ram into
John's fashion store next door.
You go and steal a car, drive it into the wrong shop.
How can you be so stupid?
But first, Neil and Andrew's family shop has survived
more than a century and two world wars.
But now it's under attack from thieves.
It's just so frustrating.
It's so, so frustrating.
Neil comes up with a cunning plan that flushes out one of the culprits.
But the crook comes up with a cunning answer.
He was protesting that his human rights were being contravened.
The city of Cambridge is famous for being a place of ancient learning
and amongst the many historic buildings in the city centre there's
a hardware store which, as managing director Neil Mackay will tell you,
has a long history of its own.
Mackay's has been here since 1912.
We've been through two wars,
loads of recessions and my forebears set it up on the basis
of - let's make ourselves useful and do things for the community.
And it's kept us going for the last 104 years.
Neil's son, Andrew, is next in line to take over.
It was never something I was pressured into.
I absolutely love it.
We have successfully passed the third generational curse which
they talk about a lot in family businesses.
I am now the fifth generation into the business and hopefully that's
going to continue a long way into the future.
But the family's business has recently come under threat from
persistent thieves. Neil estimates that in the past year alone,
£35,000 worth of goods have been stolen.
It has a huge effect.
It takes 10 to 12 sales to replace one that's stolen.
And the actions of this thief prove to be the last straw for Neil.
It's a Monday afternoon in February.
A man in a grey beanie hat walks in.
The store has around 30 cameras.
He is captured as he wanders round.
We invested in and installed our own CCTV systems and gradually expanded
it to try and catch every nook and cranny we've got in the shop.
It's not easy.
The man in the hat starts off in one of the few camera blind spots,
where he stops by a shelf and loiters for a bit,
but walks away when these other customers come near.
He crouches down where the camera can't see exactly what he's doing.
But shop supervisor Nigel has spotted him acting suspiciously.
He was looking down.
He was on his hands and knees, looking at the magnets.
I was just behind this stand watching him.
And at this point, he squeezed the packet where the magnets were,
dropped into his hand and proceeded straight out the back of the shop.
The man's not aware that he's been seen pocketing this specialised
and quite expensive magnet and that Nigel now suspects him.
The man leaves the store and following close behind him is Nigel,
who calls to a colleague to come with him in case things turn nasty.
They confront the man in the car park.
He says, "What item?" or "What magnet?"
Then I mention the magnet that he had taken out the packet.
He told me that he'd left it in the store, on the shelf.
Nigel asks the man to show him where he left it.
At this point he took the magnet out of his left pocket
and handed it to me.
The man pauses for a second and then runs.
Nigel chases him.
I wasn't too worried about my safety because the adrenaline's there.
I did it because I don't think they should get away with it.
But the thief's too fast for Nigel and does get away.
After losing so much money through shoplifting recently,
this latest attempt to steal from his store leaves the owner
near at the end of his tether and determined to track the man down.
I got so frustrated that I decided enough was enough.
What I was going to do was make a poster.
I put lines across his face so you couldn't actually identify him.
I was well aware people had been prosecuted for doing things like this.
My dad is a bit of a character.
When he gets the bit between his teeth he really goes after it.
He has a cracking imagination.
Neil puts up a wanted poster for Mr Magnet Man in the shop,
appealing for information.
Then he contacts the local paper.
They printed it complete with the lines across his face so you couldn't actually identify him.
What happens next takes everyone by surprise.
The police were on the phone saying that the gentleman by the name
of Mr Magnet Man had pitched up to complain his human rights were being contravened.
Apparently he was protesting that his boss had spotted it
and no longer trusted him and sacked him.
So he was looking for compensation from us.
Would you believe? It's beyond belief.
-You couldn't write it.
-Officers can't believe it either.
The police then said, well, would you like us to prosecute?
I said, yes, please.
The police arrested him for theft.
He's not the brightest tool in the tool box.
I think if he hadn't gone in to complain, he probably would have got away with it!
In court, the man was found guilty of stealing the magnet.
He was ordered to pay a victim's surcharge of £40,
£620 costs and fined £400 for his trouble.
That's a grand total of £1,060.
Encouraged by the success of his wanted poster for Mr Magnet Man,
Neil now does posters for all the thieves who've been caught stealing
from his store on CCTV.
Named after their crimes,
they are displayed on a wall of shame in the store.
The amazing thing is, every single one of the people in my
rogues' gallery has been taken seriously by the police and has been
either arrested, fined or is in prison
as a result.
And with theft now down in the store,
Neil and his family can look to the future.
We've been here on the same site for 104 years and we hope to keep going
for many more generations.
We're looking at the view from a security camera showing a suburban
back garden. The house owners are having a conservatory built by a double glazing company.
It's not exactly what you'd think of as a crime scene, so far.
The angry man on the phone is a builder,
A contractor hired by the double glazing company to build the brick
wall that supports their conservatory.
He's arrived on site, complaining he hasn't been paid for the work.
Failing to resolve his dispute with the double glazing company on
the phone, the builder and his men begin to act in an extraordinary and
horrifying way, smashing down the wall with sledgehammers.
It's terrifying for the homeowner and his wife,
who are watching from their living room when these builders suddenly,
literally put their home under the hammer.
Their conservatory is left teetering on a precipice.
But this angry builder does get his comeuppance.
He is prosecuted, summoned to court and convicted of malicious damage.
His rampage results in him being ordered to complete 270 hours
of unpaid work in the community.
He was also put under a supervision order for a year.
The other good news is the homeowners end up getting
an even better conservatory. The glazing company rebuild it,
this time enlisting a slightly more chilled out builder.
On average, there's a burglary in Britain every 40 seconds.
Burglars are on the lookout for opportunities 24 hours a day.
These pictures come from a taxi's dashboard camera,
normally used for evidence in road accidents,
but this one picks up evidence of a burglar escaping the scene of a crime.
Unusually, the burglar's a woman and so is her young victim,
-who gives chase.
-You don't know what she's got on her.
Could she have a knife? Could she have anything?
You don't know what kind of lady she is.
The village of Birchington-on-Sea
is home to Lynn and her 18-year-old daughter Charlotte.
They settled here after leaving London 14 years ago.
I moved down when Charlotte was four and the reason I came down here was
because my dad retired down here.
Dad was always around to make sure that Charlotte was fed and watered,
so to speak, as I was a busy mum, always working.
He was always there. We were like The Three Musketeers, you know?
Charlotte loved having her grandad live next door because they
shared a passion for dancing and as she grew up,
together they formed a plan that Charlotte would one day start
-a dance school.
-He'd have all his '50s and '60s music on.
She'd be often dancing in the front room.
Every weekend I'd go out to like little social club with him and go
rock and roll dancing with him.
But Charlotte's much-loved grandfather died five years ago.
Just before he passed away we went on a holiday to Norwich and we were
walking on the beach and there was an arcade called Silver Slipper.
We all kind of looked and went, "That's the name for a dance school."
From that day, we said Silver Slipper would be...
I'm getting emotional.
We both miss him desperately, yeah.
Charlotte has been through another sad time this year.
She gained a place at a dance college,
but due to illness her dreams of becoming a professional dancer were
ruined and a series of operations left her at a low ebb.
It was meant to be the year.
Everyone says, it's going to be the year, but it hasn't been the year.
I said, "What do I want to do with my life?"
I said, "I'm going to open my own performing arts school."
Determined to make the best of things,
Charlotte started to try to set up her own dance school.
But they say bad things come in threes and she received a third blow
when her home was burgled.
It's 5am on a mid-week summer morning.
Charlotte's been out very late on a big night out.
I was out with loads of my friends.
I rang a taxi to obviously take me home.
Once I got into the taxi, it was a lady.
And I've never actually seen a lady taxi driver at that time in the
morning. I was like, "All right?" Just chatting away.
The taxi has a dashboard camera constantly recording and it shows
what happens when they reach Charlotte's road.
She's a lovely lady, so, obviously she said,
"I'll wait for you to go in." I was like, "Thank you so much."
Charlotte walks back to her house,
checking her car is locked on the way.
As she nears home, out of the camera's view,
she spots someone by her front door.
I saw a lady leaving our house and I thought it was my mum,
so I was about to go, "Oh, Mum, you all right?
"Sorry I'm in late." This lady turned around and it weren't my mum.
Charlotte can't believe her eyes.
Just looked at her. I was like, "Who are you?"
And she was like, just looked at me stunned.
The woman's carrying some bags.
I could see they were filled with my stuff.
They weren't closed. She hadn't closed the bags.
I went, "What you doing with them?" She went, "Someone sold them to me.
"Someone sold them to me." She was panicking herself.
So I kind of took the bags off her.
Then Charlotte notices the woman
is holding the front door key of their house.
Mum used to leave a door key out for me.
At that moment I kind of looked towards my mum's car
and was kind of like, OK, she's actually home, so where's my mum?
Frightened what may have happened to her mum,
Charlotte leaves the woman and rushes inside.
The thief runs away, carrying a stolen bottle of wine.
She runs past the taxi with its camera recording.
Back at the house, Charlotte's relieved to find her mum safe and sound in bed.
I tried waking her up and she was fine.
She was like, "What, what are you doing?"
I went, "Mum, we're getting burgled." She went, "What, what?"
I just sort of woke up, startled, didn't really know what was going on.
Outside, the taxi driver moves forward
after she hears Charlotte shouting.
I just saw the taxi and I was, like, help is there.
The driver says she saw the woman run by and Charlotte asks if she can
follow her. Charlotte gives chase on foot,
despite losing a shoe in the process.
While sprinting, I was calling the police,
because obviously I didn't know if she was harmful.
You don't know what she's got on her, could she have a knife,
could she have anything? You don't know what kind of lady she is.
The taxi driver searches the local street,
but there's no sign of the thief.
She'd gone, by that time, but she went to me, "I've got it on camera".
I went, "What?" She went, "I've got her on camera". I went, "Really?"
She went, "Yeah, we've got a dash cam."
So, instantly I thought, "OK, we might have her."
The police soon arrived.
They asked Charlotte if anything's been stolen.
At first I was, like, "Well, I've taken everything off her,"
because I had all the bags that she had in her hands.
The police go, "Look round the house,
"make sure you've got everything."
They do a thorough search and find that jewellery and Lynn's expensive watch are missing.
And that's not all.
She'd got my keys and gone into my car,
and taken all my money out of my car.
We have a cupboard in the kitchen that has emergency money in it for me.
The money had all gone from there as well.
She must have been in the house for quite a long time,
to go through everything.
And all while Lynn was asleep.
Scary, very scary.
I try not to think about it, really.
Just put it to the back of my head.
The thief had got in using Lynn's front door key,
which had been hidden outside.
We got the locks changed that day.
I'd never leave the key out again, ever.
Because the thief didn't break in, they can't claim anything on insurance.
But the police call a couple of days later with some better news -
all thanks to the taxi camera's footage.
They said, "We've caught a lady and we think it's her."
They've gone to me, "Can you do a video parade?"
I was, like, "Oh, no.
"What if I get it wrong?"
Charlotte overcomes her nerves and goes to the station to look at video
images of people the police have compiled.
I just kept looking at this one.
I was like, "That's her". They were like, "Are you sure?"
It was the eyes. You know, you just don't forget eyes.
Charlotte's identification of the thief,
together with the taxi cam recording,
helps the police press charges.
The woman also admits to other crimes.
In court, for two burglaries and one theft, plus other offences,
she was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.
Charlotte played a key role in helping bring the thief to justice.
It's really scary, isn't it?
To think we had a burglar in the house and you went after them.
And I lost my shoe.
And Charlotte didn't allow the setbacks to prevent her
from doing what she loves.
Step and a kick, good.
At just 18 years old,
she's achieved what her grandfather had wanted her to do.
With money left by him, and funds from her mum,
she's opened a performing arts school.
My grandad, hopefully, would be really proud of me.
I want to nurture little children from the age of walking and make
sure they're on stage and have the opportunities that I had as a child as well.
Charlotte's a very strong character.
She's had a real tough year, but she's very determined.
If she wants something, she normally gets it.
I think she'll make Silver Slipper a very big success.
We've got so many exciting things coming up.
We're trying to look for the future,
and that's all you've really got to do with life.
Leaving a front door key where burglars can easily find it is just
one of the common mistakes people make which thieves pounce on.
There's a couple of other things that people do,
people leave mobile phones out their back pocket,
their wallets in their back pocket.
The best advice is anything of value, you need to put in your front pockets.
I've often seen members of the public out with handbags and purses.
They leave their handbag and purse on the bonnet of the car whilst they
are loading a child into a car.
Again, leaving themselves vulnerable.
Don't leave your keys in your car, particularly when defrosting it.
If someone steals your car in that way, your insurance may be invalid.
And when you fill up at a petrol station, lock your vehicle,
take the keys with you when you go and pay for your fuel or any goods
you're buying, then come back to it.
That also ensures that any handbags or any other belongings
in your car are safe whilst you're not actually with it.
Don't announce the fact that you're going on holiday on social media.
It's simply an invitation to wannabe thieves and burglars
to come and attack your home.
We think we're just talking to friends when we post information
about this, but it's amazing how far that information can travel.
It's 3am and, in Gloucester,
where they claim the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty comes from,
this youth climbs onto an egg-shaped fibreglass sculpture nicknamed
Scrumpty Dumpty by local rugby fans.
He enjoys the view for a while,
then one of his mates starts kicking poor Scrumpty.
Maybe this numpty on top is heading for a great fall.
But no, the lad scrambles off the egg and it seems like Scrumpty
may survive sunny side up.
That is, until the lad in blue snaps off the spoon handle from his head.
It's his silly idea of a joke.
But the yolk is on them,
because they've done the damage in full view of a CCTV camera.
And when the footage is released,
all the king's horses and all the king's men,
in the form of a group of angry locals,
take a hard-boiled view of their behaviour and come after the vandals.
The vandals are left with egg on their faces.
They own up and soon have to help put poor Scrumpty together again.
Ram raiders smash in to a travel agent's.
But they've got the wrong shop. So, take two.
This time, they hit their intended target - the fashion store next door.
It's laughable, but no-one's laughing.
This store's owners lose clothing worth thousands,
and the travel agent's has been half demolished.
There was just glass absolutely everywhere.
It was very upsetting to see my store in that kind of state.
The largest city in the south-west of England, Bristol,
has a thriving retail centre.
After spending most of his working life in the fashion industry,
John became co-founder of a new high street clothes shop here in 2010.
We found a niche.
I think it's customers that like to dress up, like to go out,
just like a bit of fun.
It's what fashion's meant to be, really, just a bit of fun.
They sell high-value fashion brands.
But as the store is not part of a chain, John and his colleagues,
like co-founder Michael, have had to put their life savings into it.
We've all given up everything to start this.
It's not like we have millions and millions of pounds behind us
like a big fashion brand would have.
Next door to John and Michael's store, there's a travel agent's,
where Georgina has just been promoted to manager.
It was a massive achievement, really, really pleased.
So, yeah, really proud that I got to this stage.
What I love about my job is the excitement on clients' faces
when they book their dream holiday.
That's really, really rewarding, to see people so happy.
But, unlike their customers, Georgina,
John and Michael are about to be far from happy when their neighbouring
businesses are both attacked by ram raiders on the same night.
It's a Wednesday night in June.
Coming up to 2am,
a white car drives into the street
outside the travel agent's and fashion store.
A local CCTV camera is filming when the car suddenly reverses...
..and smashes through the window of Georgina's travel agent's.
It's a ram raid.
The sound shocks a man sitting at the bus stop nearby.
He turns to see what's going on.
But then the car pulls out of the travel agent's.
The burglars have realised they've smashed into the wrong shop front.
It turns out their real target is John and Michael's
fashion store next door. So, moments later,
the car repositions and ploughs into their window, too.
Two raiders get out of the passenger doors
and grab as many clothes as they can.
A minute later, they jump back in the car and the driver races away.
At home, nearby,
Georgina is woken by the security firm telling her what's happened.
She rushes straight there.
Both the shop fronts were just completely open,
so anyone could have walked in.
There was just glass absolutely everywhere, all over the pavement,
all over the road, in the shop.
I think especially because I'd just been promoted,
it was very upsetting to see my store in that kind of state.
By now, Michael is also on his way after being alerted about what's
happened to his fashion store.
Obviously initial shock, you don't really know what you're going
to head into. That kind of gut-wrenching feeling.
When he arrives, he's stunned to find a scene of devastation.
Glass here, on the floor, all the product underneath, damaged.
All these rails were empty.
Then obviously that went through to next door as well.
We couldn't see what was next door, but from what we could,
it looked like it had been ransacked.
Michael realises that thousands of pounds' worth of items have been stolen.
That was the worst feeling, how is this going to affect not only
our futures, but the people that work here?
We've all given up everything to start this.
All this effort, all this sacrifice that you've done,
and it's just been taken away like that.
As well as the £20,000 worth of stock that's been taken,
Michael and John also face a hefty bill to repair the shattered storefronts.
We don't have the large reserves of a bigger company behind
us and we don't have deep pockets where we can just throw money
at the situation to make it better.
But John and Michael find a way to make the best of a bad situation.
The raiders' comedy of errors,
and their bungling behaviour is so extraordinary it's easy to publicise.
This is ridiculous.
They've gone into the wrong shop, they reversed out again.
How can you be so stupid?
You know, there's got to be a story here.
John came up with the line, should have gone to Specsavers.
The press picked up on the headline and I think with that comical value,
that's what made the story run.
The story appears across the national media,
with everyone amused by the confused ram raiders.
And it leads to the police receiving some information.
They raid an address which turns out to be full of items that were stolen
from the fashion store.
They arrest two men and a woman for handling stolen goods.
The police were amazing.
I mean, obviously you have a sense of justice being done.
Someone has been caught, someone has been held accountable for it.
In court, the woman was given a 12-month community order,
while the two men were given 12 and 14-month prison sentences,
suspended for two years.
All three had to pay costs.
John's brainwave to release that comedy angle of a gang of short-sighted
shop raiders to the media has paid dividends for both his fashion store
and the travel agent's.
You create awareness, you know, good or bad.
People now know about Garment Quarter
that might not have known about it before.
It drew attention and then people started coming in and actually
-shopping with us more.
-What kind of dates were you looking for?
I do think it has put us on the map,
because more people do know about us and people do still comment,
saying you're the store that was ram raided.
You can hit us once, but you won't knock us down.
It's as simple as that.
That's all for today. Join us next time to see some more villains
getting their just deserts when they're Caught Red Handed.
When a teenager gets home late in the small hours of the morning, it is not her mother waiting at the door - it's a burglar. And when a family shop comes under attack from thieves the owner comes up with a cunning plan, but the crook comes up with a cunning answer...