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Every minute of every day, someone, somewhere is getting burgled.
It doesn't sound good.
With an average of 92 break-ins an hour, it is a huge problem.
It never ceases to amaze me how much mess these burglars cause for people.
For the victims of these crimes,
it can take months or even years to overcome the trauma.
How dare they?! Out of order! Out of order!
I felt sick.
Somebody's been in my house.
I don't want to drive up to a building and see it trashed again.
But in this series, we are fighting back against the burglar.
Police, forcing entry! Police!
Helping you to beef up your security...
Here we go.
..while the police catch the criminals.
How are you feeling about things now?
Oh, I feel loads better. Loads better.
Having your home burgled is an unbelievable invasion of privacy
and it can have a profound affect on victims.
In today's programme, we will see how a Leeds family cope
when they are hit by a calculated gold thief.
I just felt...
Something is wrong.
Something is not right.
And I am meeting a student who has had his pride and joy stolen
to give him some tips on how to tell any future thieves, "On your bike."
It was by very definition the heirloom of our family, really.
I think people seem to think,
"Oh, it's just a bike, it's gone, it won't matter."
But somebody has taken away part of your history.
They've stolen part of your life away, you know?
West Yorkshire Police investigate more than 200 burglaries a week.
A 999 call has just come in to the control room
from a residence in Leeds, reporting another break-in.
Manjit is a mum of three, with children ranging from five to 26.
After returning home from a teatime visit to the doctor's,
she and her young daughter, Ikjot, discover the break-in.
I've just been called out to a burglary.
All I know is that some jewellery has been taken.
I think the police are already in there.
About 600 worth.
Them big earrings, my husband just got me.
Earrings, OK. How many pairs?
-About four pairs.
Manjit is clearly shaken up from having her valuable jewellery taken,
which happens in 37% of burglaries.
While she is talking to the police, I want to find out
more from her elder son, Jatinder, about what has gone on.
So your mum is just having a word with the police now.
What has happened?
They've come through the toilet and they have entered the house.
They've tried to ransack the sofa and the kitchen area.
-Then they've gone upstairs.
And they have tried to go through the drawers.
And it looks like they have just been trying to look for gold.
As soon as they found the gold,
they then tried to escape out the bedroom window.
I didn't know,
but there was some cash that Mum had left as well, that she keeps.
That cash has gone missing as well. So he got lucky there, really.
And then seeing what has been taken as well,
it has shook her up a bit, yeah.
And particularly the little one as well. She was scared.
And like, normally, she'll just run around the house.
And she is absolutely scared of going into a different room
of the house without me being there, you know,
so it is that kind of element, you know, that they don't realise.
How are you feeling now?
You live honestly with your friends and family and then you've got people
that opportunistically just go and do this.
The police waste no time in cracking on with the investigation.
And inside the house, they are on the hunt for clues.
So what have you found, then?
On this occasion, very little, to be quite honest.
They have come in through the toilet window downstairs.
We powdered around the frame, we powdered the glass.
Probably wearing gloves in the winter months.
Nothing to find. No footwear marks.
This burglar may not have left any prints,
but he has left a potential calling card - a mobile phone was
found at the point of entry, and it doesn't belong to the family.
Maybe fallen out of the burglar's pocket.
We can live in hope, can't we?
Now, that would be a severe stroke of luck!
It would, yeah. There is DNA potential on the phone,
obviously, from where it is held against the ear.
Possibly fingerprints on it as well.
And the potential to send it to high-tech crime
and have it downloaded and see what contacts are in there.
This thief has really dropped himself in it.
The mobile phone could be a vital clue in tracking down the lowlife.
How did you feel when you came through the door, then?
I just felt this is...
Something is wrong. Something is not right.
My husband is not here, so... He is in India.
He is coming back tomorrow. But I just feel like...
I don't know what to do, really, because at night-time,
I'll be scared.
The jewellery has so much sentimental value for Manjit.
Much of what was taken was given to her at her wedding.
All the bangles, bracelets
and earrings were given to her by her parents and are irreplaceable.
Asian households are often targeted by criminals
hoping to find high-value gold.
And this thief has caused one hell of a mess.
When I walked in, there was things everywhere.
-Jewellery was in the books, you see, over there.
Behind that...that cupboard.
-It is a terrible state to see your own home looking like this.
Manjit now has to deal with the destruction
left behind by the burglar.
How do you feel about people who could do this?
I just... I feel sorry for the youngsters nowadays, you know.
I think they just need to...
They are desperate for money,
they are desperate for anything they can find.
But, you know, what people go through after, they have no idea.
After everything she has been through, it is a credit to Manjit
that she can feel so sorry for the person who committed the crime.
If it helps you out, it is part of our job
to make people's home secure when they have been burgled.
So we have got experts who can have a look at the place,
try and make sure it doesn't happen again.
We'll fix it up for you. Would that help you?
Yeah, that will be good!
-That is nice.
-Hopefully, it won't happen again.
Helping Manjit feel secure in her own home is the least we can do.
-Does it worry you now?
-Yeah, I was worried, but I think I'm really...
I'm really glad God sent you here.
I can't promise God sent me, the BBC sent me,
but we will do our best for you.
-I can promise you that.
We will do our best, try and make it more secure.
The police have done all they can at the scene for now,
so they are heading back to the station.
I'm worried about Manjit and her family.
She is the one who discovered the burglary
and it has really shook her up.
She needs our help as soon as possible.
I'm wasting no time with this one
and I have asked crime reduction officer Nick Whitcombe
for his professional opinion on Manjit's current security measures.
Nick, we are just coming up to the property here.
It is this one on the end.
I know it is, it stands out.
-If I was a burglar, I'd know that's the one I'd go for.
-Why is that?
Well, look at the height of all of the fences. Low, low, low.
You come to this, it is seclusion.
-It is like a big wooden cloak, isn't it?
It is just the shield to do what you want to do.
Make it higher with wobbly things, trellising,
things that won't hold body weight.
They'd also be happy because if you look in that little hand box,
it looks like it has been there for about 50 year.
-And it looks like it doesn't get used.
It doesn't look like it works, to be honest.
Oh, dear. Nick doesn't seem happy with what he has seen so far.
Now, look where we are now.
If they are in a panic, if they want to get away,
where do they want to go?
Within five yards, they have a choice of three different places to scoot.
And that is just at the back.
Then there is the front as well. It's just...
It is a perfect dispersal point
for somebody that wants to commit a burglary.
I wonder what he will think about the inside of the house.
So, what do you make of the door?
Excellent lock, three-star lock. Does it all work? No.
The bottom lever works, which adds security.
-The top one doesn't come out, so a bit of maintenance on that.
Keys... How many would you like?
You can drive away in the car if you want
or you can open the back door or the front door.
You could quite possibly hook them off with a stick or cane
from the letter box.
So the entry point was through the toilet window there,
which backs onto a really secluded spot.
It is in like a little alcove out there.
They were happy enough when they got through the gate
to be secluded.
And then to duck down inside here, next to the little
bunker that is there, oh, they'd just work away at that.
It is the only window in the whole building that is made of wood.
You can put so many screws in it, but the screws, they'll pull out,
and it has done there.
So overall, Nick, you have had a look around the property,
what assessment score would you give it for security?
From the outside...
It's location is a problem.
All those route-arounds.
We can't do anything about that. It's location will lower it down.
We'll give it a...five.
-Now, that is attractive to a burglar.
That is not exactly a score worth high-fiving.
Time to break the news to Manjit.
So, Manjit, it was a long night for you last night.
How are you feeling now?
Now I feel restless.
Not, you know, not to go to sleep last night.
I was all the time shaking.
And then my daughter didn't sleep well, you know, she was up.
Was she really worried by the whole idea?
Yeah, she was asking me questions, why the people are here.
-You know, why the policemen are there.
We have had Nick around to assess the place for security.
He only thought it was about five out of ten.
-We can make your place a lot safer.
-OK, that's nice, do it.
We really need to make a difference to that bad security score.
And I know a man who can - security expert Neil Goldup.
Hi, Neal. I've just been to a burglary
and the family are pretty shaken up.
And I got to be honest, their house is probably the most
attractive to burglars in the neighbourhood.
So it would be great if you could pop out
and do another job for us, mate.
Fantastic. Nice one, Neil. Cheers, mate.
He is a good lad.
We will be back later to find out just how that security upgrade goes.
Meanwhile, I am in Swansea, South Wales,
which is home to more than 240,000 people
and has a student population of around 20,000.
One of the students has just discovered
he has been a victim of crime.
Officers have been dispatched to the scene of the crime to take
a statement from 21-year-old victim Max.
-Do you mind if we come in, have a quick chat?
In here is...
It was here.
See, these are the two... Obviously, I think it was bolt cutters
-that were used. This was on an Oxford chain that was...
What we'll do is I'll just grab those off you now
and keep them just in case there is any sort of potential
forensic opportunities with them.
So we'll go back in the house there,
I'll get the rest of the chain off you.
-Pop them in there for us.
-Was this door... Was this door open?
-No. This bit was unbolted.
-But it was actually closed.
-As you can see, it has been...
It has been forced for sure, yeah.
We will pop outside now and have a quick look to see
if there is any more, maybe CCTV.
Max has photos of his beloved bike
to show the officers what they are searching for.
-Would you be able to e-mail that to us?
-Yes, definitely I will.
It is easily identifiable by those features, really.
It is just completely custom, you know.
What we will do with your registration as well is
we will put it up on the ANPR camera
and then obviously it goes through the control room.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition, or ANPR,
is something the traffic police use to track down stolen vehicles.
-Thanks for your help, guys.
-See you, Max. Thanks.
The police start their investigation with some door-to-door inquiries.
Max is still left thinking about what happened.
That is the... That is what was bolt-cutted off on this side.
As you can see, it's not there now. That is where it would have been.
And then it attached to this, which was then taken off by the officer.
It was a 21st birthday present from my father.
He built it and customised it for years,
and it has been his pride and joy for a long time.
You know, he's put a lot of money and thought and care into the bike.
And he thought it would be nice for me to have something
that he has made and put that much effort into for my 21st.
It is clear that this bike has played a significant part in Max's
upbringing and the relationship he has with his dad, Darren.
I want to find out how the theft has affected them both.
Part of Max's life. I mean, he's known the bike from birth,
to being 21, to being given the bike,
to then it being cruelly taken out from him.
And how did you feel when Max told you that the bike had gone?
Max really didn't want to tell me. He was very quiet.
And I knew something was wrong.
Previously, he has had accidents and that.
And I have had to, you know, walk and see him laid on the floor
and things like that, which has been pretty awful.
But this was a different type of pain that he was in.
And it was a pain because he was clearly in distress.
And of course, I felt, you know, quite sorry myself
but more for Max because... It's gone.
And there is no... There's nothing you can do about it.
You know, although I am his father, I can't do anything.
You know, so you feel completely pointless almost.
You are there, and what do you say? What do you say to your son?
What can you say?
It was always the prize amongst the pieces, you know,
the bike to have, the bike to own, the bike to aspire to
in a lot of ways for me.
It was by very definition the heirloom of our family, really.
-And that is the actual bike that we've lost.
No, that is actual bike there when he's only about six.
You've been robbed of something.
You've been robbed not just of the machine.
I think people seem to think,
"It's just a bike, it's gone, it won't matter."
But somebody has taken away part of your history.
They've stolen part of your life away, you know.
Earlier in Leeds, I met Manjit and her family,
who had just been burgled.
Manjit was understandably devastated by having a stranger ransack
But this bungling burglar left a vital clue at the scene -
a mobile phone was found that didn't belong to Manjit or anyone
else in her family.
West Yorkshire Police are now doing the detective work
to try and find out who the phone belongs to
in the hope it will lead them to the culprit.
In this police lab, there is a mobile phone
that has been tested for traces of DNA.
And that is exactly what happened to the mobile phone
that was found at Manjit's place.
Looking for DNA on the mobile phone is the first link in the chain
to finding out who it belongs to.
The DNA analysis procedure
takes some time.
But if we do obtain a DNA profile,
we can load it down to the national
DNA database in an attempt to identify an offender.
So before the police can even check for who is Mum and Dad
in the address book, it has to go for DNA analysis.
Yeah, the DNA analysis has to be done first.
Certainly the recovery of the DNA from the phone.
Because all subsequent procedures will potentially
contaminate the phone.
Hopefully, the DNA analysis of the phone will throw up
a match on the police database so the bad guy can be found.
Back at Manjit's, I've called in my trusty pal Neil Goldup
to make the place as safe as ours is so she can rest easy at night.
-Neil. Hi, mate.
-I know you.
-How is it going?
-Yeah, not too bad.
-Lovely day for it.
-Yeah, it is nice and sunny.
All right, so what have you got for us, then?
Well, on this one, we're going to put some defensive stripping...
strips on the spikes so they can't climb over the fence.
-I can get on with that.
-Yeah, that would be helpful.
-Full alarm system.
-Additional locks in the windows.
And we're to put some trellising on the front there
just to raise it up a bit, so it is not easily accessible at the top.
Fantastic, let's do it.
-There is a full box of strips, so...
-Use as many as you need.
There's your screws.
-And I am off in where it's warm.
-Lovely. I'll stay out here, eh.
-Shout if you need me.
It is only hard plastic,
but it really is difficult to get your fingers on that.
That is to put off any burglar.
And those keys have been moved out of view from prying eyes.
I can secure a full house while Dan is securing a small fence.
And I'll be finished before he does.
Ikjot and her friend are jumping for joy at the improvements
we are making.
This is thirsty work.
Thankfully, Manjit is to the rescue with a brew,
so we can take a quick break.
-What is that?
-What is it?
-It's a rabbit!
-Oh, yeah, yeah.
I couldn't tell because of the three mouths it's got.
No, that's his hands!
'Maybe I should stick to the day job.'
Neil is installing a new alarm, putting the box
in a more visible place.
We are even putting up a CCTV camera as another deterrent.
We are raising the fence with a wobbly trellis,
making it difficult for burglars to get over.
So, I reckon if we just cut out a little hole,
just above the gate here,
it will mean the trellis will go all the way across.
There won't be any easy gaps.
Because this is a fairly low gate. It'll look good.
-I like that.
-That looks well.
Just looking at that, the boundary of it, it's great.
It is a good job, that.
With the new security measures in place,
fingers crossed we have boosted Manjit's security score.
In Swansea, it is the late shift,
and I am heading out with PC Simon Chapman
to see how Automatic Number Plate Recognition is used.
-Hi, are you all right?
-How are you doing?
-So you are part of the roads policing unit?
-Yeah, that's right.
And all of the vehicles have got these funky little high-tech
-screens and counters in them?
-They do, yes.
The Automatic Number Plate Recognition system is fitted
to all of our vehicles.
This nifty gadget can check so many details about a vehicle
just from its number plate, like if it has tax, insurance,
who the owner is and even if it has been stolen.
And that is not all.
We will have intelligence hits.
So this is information that has been supplied to us
sometimes about potential drunk drivers, that kind of information,
and then it will allow us to target the right kind of person to ensure
they are not committing motor offenses on our roads.
-Oh, there we go, there is one come up now.
Oh, so what is it saying?
That is from the DVLA with the potential to say
there is no keeper details held on that vehicle.
So what does that mean? That car was...
The car has got no keeper details.
What I can see from it, though, is that the vehicle is insured
and I can also see it has current and valid MOT on it.
So we are able to assume that is a recent purchase.
And probably find that the log book is in the post.
-And I wouldn't go after that vehicle.
-They are safe for now.
They are safe for now.
Max has lost his beloved motorbike.
-Could you find it on this kind of system?
-Yes, we could.
The vehicle may well have driven past us,
but we didn't know at that time that it was stolen.
When we put the registration into the computer,
it will then do a historic search
and it may be that we do have a hit and then we will certify
we've seen the vehicle on a particular road.
And it will give us a far greater area to search.
I can only hope that Simon and his team will spot Max's motorbike
so it can be returned to him soon.
Locking his beloved bike in a garage wasn't enough to stop
thieves from taking it, so what else could Max do?
I have called on the help of one cool rider -
crime reduction officer Tony Pain for some top tips.
If you are going to be securing something that is valuable,
it is worth spending that little bit extra money
to get a really good quality padlock
and make sure that the first wall of defence is as secure as it can be.
And what about once we get inside the garage?
Should we be securing it like we do our home?
-Should we put in an alarm or anything like that?
If you've got an alarm,
it increases the chances that the offender is going to get caught.
A bike alarm is good. You can put tracking devices on your bike now.
So if the bike is moved, it will send you a message
to your phone saying the bike is being moved.
-You can track it in real time.
-Is Max ever going to get his bike back?
There are three main reasons why motorcycles get stolen.
Joyriders, stolen to order and stolen to be stripped down.
The chances of getting it back if it has been stolen for joyriding,
they are reasonably high.
If it has been stolen to order or it has been stolen to
break into spare parts, it is going to be much, much more
difficult for us to find the people responsible and get his bike back.
I've got to ask, how do you secure your bike?
My bikes are in a solid brick garage.
It has an external independent alarm with ground anchors
and I've got a CCTV system pointing at my garage door as well.
-You really do practice what you preach, don't you?
-I have to.
Some great advice from Tony.
The investigation into Max's missing bike remains ongoing.
For now, he and his dad,
Darren, are not letting the burglary dampen their passion for two wheels.
Over in Leeds, there has been progress with the police
investigation into the gold thief.
The DNA recovered from the mobile phone dropped
by the butter-fingered burglar has been matched to a profile
on the police database.
Detective Constable Nick Joyce and his team are making
an early-morning knock at the door of suspect Ryan Ellis.
We can open it for you.
Hi, Ryan, you all right?
We know him quite well.
Known him for a couple of years. And he is always quite friendly.
OK, Ryan, I am formally arresting you here. The time now is 7.53.
OK, you have been arrested on suspicion of burglary.
You don't have to say anything, but it may harm your defence
if you don't mention something you later rely on in court.
Anything you say may be given in evidence.
The grounds for your arrest is a prompt and effective investigation.
-We need to do a search, interview, you know that.
-OK, all right.
Just take you to the car now.
Watch your head.
When it came to court, Ryan Ellis,
who is 18, was sentenced to eight months in a youth offenders
institute and ordered to pay £100 to a victims' fund.
And I am hoping to have some more good news for Manjit,
as crime reduction guru Nick is about to reassess the security
improvements we have made.
So, overall, last time you gave it a five out of ten
because there was so many weaknesses.
How about now?
Now, when that window is fixed, and it is going to be fixed,
it stands out more than all the others. We'll give it an eight.
-Eight out of ten?!
-Eight out of ten.
-Do you want to sit down?
-Blown away by that.
We have done the best with what we've got. We can't make it perfect.
There is no way you can make it perfect.
But it just stands out a fair more
than the vast majority of other houses.
I can't wait to tell Manjit the good news.
So, Manjit, last time we got Nick round to have a look
at the place and he only gave it a five out of ten for security.
Now, you know, it was a bit of a woolly.
We've got him back round,
he has had a look around the place,
and he has given it an eight out of ten.
Now I will be... Inside, I'll be more confident to go out.
Grateful to you, I feel a lot better, yeah.
And the council have now changed that wooden window
for a more secure one. Brilliant.
It was great to see the difference in Manjit after
the security upgrade.
I am so pleased she feels safe in her own home again.
I just can't believe she thought that you were a gift from God.
I've got to be honest, I think she was still in shock at the time.
And Max now knows
the safest way to store any future bikes. That is it for today.
-Until next time, from us... Bye-bye.