Episode 17 Caught Red Handed


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Episode 17

Dom Littlewood shows how technology is used to catch crooks. This episode features a pub landlord who misses a pair of prolific burglars by seconds.


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Transcript


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Thieves will steal our cars, our valuables -

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just about anything they can get their hands on.

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To cut down on crime

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and antisocial behaviour... SIREN WAILS

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..the police and other agencies are using new tactics and technology

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so the bad guys get caught in the act.

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The CCTV is gold dust.

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Great evidence for the police.

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Got to have him stopped.

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Local councils, shops and businesses

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are laying some traps of their own...

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The eureka moment when you get that evidence.

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..and the general public, too,

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can help unsuspecting crooks get their comeuppance.

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People won't stand by.

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I couldn't sit back and do nothing.

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-Yes! We've got her.

-SIREN WAILS

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So, anyone who's up to no good had better think twice -

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they might just get caught red-handed.

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Today, a pub landlord smells a rat

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when he finds his back door left open.

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This is the same door only seconds earlier

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and, in fact, there's two rats.

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They're burglars and the landlord's just missed them.

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They were very, very lucky that they got out before I caught them.

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Also today, like a scene from a thriller,

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a burglar with a knife lurks in the dark.

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He's sitting, just, like, talking to the mirror,

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with a knife in his hand.

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I imagine him saying, "You talking to me?" kind of thing.

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He's learning his lines

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and he's about to appear in a sinister role on camera.

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And here's a thief who really puts her foot in it.

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If you're going to steal someone's trainers,

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first check they've not been treading in anything nasty.

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Starting from Harlow in Essex,

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two men set out on a pub crawl around the country,

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but they're not binge drinkers -

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these are binge burglars,

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stealing a total of around £20,000 in 60 break-ins.

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One day they committed eight in a three-hour period.

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The raids hit their victims hard.

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DC Kirsty Swan's determined to call time on their crime spree.

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You take it quite personally.

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You want justice for the victims, and that's why I do my job.

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Harold took over the Phoenix pub in Harlow three years ago,

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after being made redundant.

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I've done 20 years in Royal Mail,

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and I ran a pub back in the '80s in East London,

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and it was quite good days.

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It's somewhere to work, it's somewhere to live,

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so, I thought, "I'll give it a go."

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The Phoenix had few customers when Harold first started.

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It was cold. It needed atmosphere.

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Hopefully we provided that by making people welcome,

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putting on functions for them,

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and we were happy that families came back into the pub,

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cos it is a community pub.

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Harold lives above the pub with his own extended family.

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Originally it was just me and the girlfriend,

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but now my daughter moved in and grandsons.

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Erm, no, we have a good time upstairs

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and it's easier just to commute down the stairs to work.

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But one Tuesday lunchtime

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this welcoming pub faces an unwelcome intrusion.

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Harold's served his 12 o'clock regulars,

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and he's on his way to grab his own lunch upstairs

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when he notices something odd.

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I started to go through the private area

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and I saw my front door open,

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so I stuck my head out the front door

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and didn't see no-one.

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The rest of the family are out so it's a puzzle.

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He goes upstairs to investigate.

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I saw the kitchen drawers were pulled out,

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so I went into the bedrooms and all the drawers were pulled out.

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My back went up, and I thought to myself,

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"Oh, someone has been in here."

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He goes back downstairs to the bar to find out

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if the customers have seen anyone.

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The customers said they saw two guys

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shoot across the car park like Linford Christie.

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He checks his CCTV recording.

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And to my astonishment

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I saw these guys in my corridor and I was really, really fuming.

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Harold's been burgled.

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Two thieves have forced open the door lock.

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They head towards where Harold keeps his safes.

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His CCTV system is there too so they can see Harold,

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who's serving at the bar, just on the other side of the wall.

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It's frightening. One was monitoring the CCTV screen

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while the other one was attempting to get into the safes.

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But the burglars can't open the safes,

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so they decided to sneak upstairs and raid the flat instead.

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Going through my personal stuff, looking for money.

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Returning downstairs, the men try to open the safes again,

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but a moment later they hear Harold heading towards them

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and run out of the door.

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He misses seeing them by these few short seconds.

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Oh, it just gets me, seeing this footage again.

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I wish I'd caught them actually in that corridor,

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cos the intrusion, it's unbearable.

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It really, really gets my back up. It makes me very angry.

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Harold's daughter gets home

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and discovers her savings of £250 are missing,

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but apparently, nothing else.

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She was upset that people had been through her drawers

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and some personal things, but mostly she was angry.

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Harold calls the police

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and Detective Constable Kirsty Swan takes the case.

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It was a routine day at work.

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I had a call in from the Phoenix pub.

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It came in as a burglary.

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I didn't initially think this would be part of a bigger investigation.

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Kirsty visits Harold and his family at the pub.

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Burglary is an awful crime.

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You know, your home is your castle and it's your personal space,

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and when somebody invades that personal space for their own gain,

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it's quite distressing.

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She looks at the footage.

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The CCTV was just brilliant.

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They didn't take any option of trying to cover their faces,

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so somebody out there would be able to identify these offenders.

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Kirsty circulates still images of the two men around the force.

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Meanwhile Harold's daughter also puts the footage out on social media

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to find out if the burglars have been spotted in other local pubs.

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Within an hour

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she's had replies that said other pubs had been affected.

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Two landlords had discovered the men behaving suspiciously

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but didn't call the police because nothing was stolen.

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Harold tells Kirsty.

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And you just started to see more offences coming to light.

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Then there's a breakthrough -

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two of Kirsty's colleagues recognise the men.

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We got an identification on both suspects within a day.

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The two men are brothers - Warren and Wesley Linehan -

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and there's a further development.

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Kirsty hears something that suggests their crimes may

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spread wider than Harlow.

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I just happened to be driving in my car,

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listening to the news on the radio,

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and they were saying about five burglaries that had happened in pubs

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in the south of the county of Essex, and I just thought,

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"That sounds really, really similar to what happened at the Phoenix."

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Harold's burglary could be just the tip of the iceberg.

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Reports of more pub raids continue to come in.

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Kirsty finds there are similarities between them.

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Their MO was to come in the pub during opening times -

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they'd look like a normal customer -

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and then they would go towards the toilets,

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establish exactly where the private doors were,

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and then make their way through those private doors,

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whether they'd be locked or not.

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If a pub is shut the pair will still try to break in.

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This is footage from the Old Ship in Aveley.

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While this suspect is searching behind the bar area,

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the other suspect disappears and goes up to the private residence.

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Fortunately, on this occasion, they didn't get away with anything.

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The landlord at the Spread Eagle in Harlow isn't as lucky.

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They've stolen around about £1,300, £1,400 in cash,

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and the cheek of them, you can see then

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they leave with the cash in the victim's own bag as well.

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If they were confronted they would have a cover story

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and that's usually, "Oh, we were trying to find the toilets,"

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or, "Is this a hotel? Oh, I thought it was a B&B."

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Kirsty needs to stop the brothers.

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Armed with their pictures, she puts out a police bulletin

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and appeals on local news for help from the public.

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Then she spreads her investigation even wider.

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You start looking at other forces

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and making inquiries with them to see if they've had similar offences.

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She discovers that pubs are being burgled across seven other counties.

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On one day they committed eight in a three-hour period.

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It's real paramount that we located them in order to arrest them

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and stop them.

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There's now a police manhunt for the brothers across a wide area,

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and they soon almost catch them

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after a burglary in the south of Essex.

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The brothers escape on foot

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after dumping their car during a chase,

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but they've left valuable evidence behind.

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Within that car we found a hoodie and two mobile phones.

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The logo on this hoodie is the same as clothing

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caught on CCTV at some of the pubs,

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and the two mobiles hold some clues too.

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The phones were forensically examined

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and the DNA came back to one of our suspects.

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Kirsty asks the phone service providers for data that

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shows when and where the phones have been over the past few weeks.

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Once we've got that cell site data

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it tells us that that mobile phone was in that particular area

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at the relevant date and time

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of when those burglaries were committed.

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That was just gold dust to me.

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It was fantastic.

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Kirsty has strong evidence but the burglars are still on the loose.

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She decides to make another appeal on local media

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for help to find the men.

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It pays off.

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Somebody called in that they'd seen them in another pub

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and officers gave chase and apprehended them

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and I was just so relieved.

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I thought, "Finally, we've got them."

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The brothers' criminal pub crawl is over.

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They've stolen around £20,000 in just six weeks.

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The total number was 60 burglaries.

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My drive was to make sure that I got justice for

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every single one of those victims.

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Kirsty is able to charge the brothers with a serious offence -

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conspiracy to burgle.

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It carries the same maximum sentence as burglary.

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Now she needs to show the brothers are responsible

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for the whole crime spree.

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The evidence was different for every single offence -

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some we had CCTV,

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some we had the phones,

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some, you know, we just had descriptions,

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but when you overlaid everything,

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it was easy for me to look at them as one bigger conspiracy.

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The weight of Kirsty's evidence is overwhelming.

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The brothers decide to plead guilty.

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In court, they are both sentenced to five and a half years in prison.

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Kirsty is pleased, for the victims' sake,

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that the brothers have been brought to justice.

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The reason I became an investigator was this kind of investigation.

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You know, you take it quite personally.

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You want justice for the victims and that's why I do my job.

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That's what I love about it is that when you can get all of this

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evidence, bring it together and put these people behind bars.

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Back at the Phoenix, Harold hears that the men have been jailed.

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DC Kirsty Swan, I love her.

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She is brilliant.

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She helped us immensely, cos, erm...

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it's a shock...

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of having these people intrude on your privacy,

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and she helped us through it.

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A big thank you to the police.

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To truly understand someone

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they say you need to walk a mile in their shoes.

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Well, I wouldn't try that with this next thief.

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It's the early hours when this woman strolls down the street

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and starts suspiciously trying car doors.

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Nope, locked.

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Giving up on the idea of a grand theft auto,

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she then set her sights a little lower.

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Creeping into this front garden, she disappears from camera view

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and comes back with a pair of trainers.

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Seeing they'd gone missing,

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the owner couldn't help but see the funny side

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because the trainers had been left outside for a month

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as they were covered in cow muck and stank.

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She may think she has this stealing thing down pat

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but she's about to discover she's DUNG the wrong thing.

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The owner decides not to bother reporting the theft.

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Let's face it, nobody's going to be keen on sniffing this thief out.

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That thief, like many others,

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was initially looking to steal from cars.

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Opportunistic car crime is very common,

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so how can we best avoid being a victim ourselves?

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It's daily business for a thief to go around trying every

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car door handle until they find the one that's been left unlocked.

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It's like going shopping for them,

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so they're going to look in your vehicle and see anything of value -

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it might be a jacket, it might be a laptop, it might be tools.

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If you're using a remote locking system,

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just make sure that you double-check that the car has actually locked.

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And criminals can be more sophisticated now,

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and they've got products that can jam the signal between the fob

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and the vehicle itself,

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so you may think that you've locked the car

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when, in fact, is still open.

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So just make sure you do that double-check

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and it'll always remove that risk.

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It's not only high-valued vehicles that are at risk.

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Often criminals will steal a low-value car

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and use it to commit a crime.

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The older cars tend to come with less security,

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so it's easier for them to be stolen.

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The car becomes disposable.

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It's not traceable back to them

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and they can just leave it around the corner.

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Coming up... A chilling sight for a cafe manager

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when his security camera shows there's been a burglar with a knife

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waiting at the foot of his stairs.

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And that, for me, is the worst part of the entire footage.

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It wasn't absolutely a nice feeling to see that.

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I mean, it's the place that I come to work every day,

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and the place I lock up at night on my own.

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Now, for a bit of dirty business in Buckinghamshire,

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and an ex-cop who follows his nose to track down the culprits.

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A quiet country lane near Burnham, Buckinghamshire -

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a car pulls over and a couple get out,

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but they're not stopping for a picnic or to enjoy the view.

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They're here to spoil the countryside

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with foul-smelling waste.

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Oh, you could literally smell it from ten metres away.

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In terms of the stench,

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it was one of the worst ones I think I've ever been to.

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And this couple aren't the only ones to dump rubbish

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at this beauty spot,

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which is why ex-cop Chris Smith, from the council,

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has decided to drop something off there, himself.

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He's planting some cameras.

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It's a job that I feel passionate about

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and, when I do get my hands into a case that is detectable,

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I won't let go until I get the man.

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Rural Buckinghamshire,

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a few years ago, the council calculated that every year

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so much rubbish is dumped in the county

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it could cover an entire football pitch at a metre deep.

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Ever since, they've been on a crusade to stop fly-tipping.

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Chris Smith joined them as an enforcement officer.

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If you do not jump on fly-tipping, it will expand.

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If somebody sees a pile of rubbish,

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the chances are that they will add to it and make the situation worse.

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Fly tippers beware,

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Chris has been used to chasing and catching lawbreakers of all sorts.

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I was a police officer before

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and when the opportunity of this job came up I jumped at it

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because it's a job that I enjoy,

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that I feel passionate about in terms of the environment,

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but, also, it's using skills that I had and developed in the police.

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He investigates in three main ways.

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One is our covert camerawork.

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One is finding evidence amongst the waste and following up those leads

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and finally we have the public reporting incidents

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that they have eyewitnessed to us.

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Chris puts hidden cameras in place

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when an area becomes a dumping hot spot,

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and recently a country lane near Burnham is targeted.

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Adrian lives at one end of it.

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Allerds Road is an idyllic little road.

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It's very quiet and very peaceful, not too much traffic,

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and a very nice place to go for a stroll.

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Just after moving here,

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he discovers that there's a problem with rubbish.

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Within two weeks of moving in,

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one morning, it was literally, completely blocked,

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with furniture that had been tipped there overnight.

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Adrian's shocked.

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The barricade of rubbish cuts off the lane,

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and Adrian has to find another, longer way to work.

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He's sad that the area has been blighted.

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And I just thought, "It's just such a shame on such a beautiful lane."

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The council clear the waste away

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but for Adrian it turns out to be just the beginning of

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many unpleasant encounters with other people's rubbish.

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There would be literally one a week, two a week,

0:17:320:17:34

then I think the worst week there was five incidences in one week.

0:17:340:17:37

It's just a terrible thing.

0:17:370:17:38

It's astonishing when you consider the local tip

0:17:380:17:42

is at the other end of the lane.

0:17:420:17:43

They take... Literally, everything that has been dumped in the lane

0:17:430:17:46

could have gone there.

0:17:460:17:48

There is no excuse for not being able to go

0:17:480:17:50

during their opening hours.

0:17:500:17:52

But now Chris is on the case, it's time for action.

0:17:520:17:56

We've arrived here in Allerds Road and, as you can see,

0:17:560:17:59

there's a fly-tip of green waste here at the side of the road,

0:17:590:18:02

and it will just get added to if it's left.

0:18:020:18:04

Here we are at the household waste recycle centre.

0:18:060:18:08

It's literally 400 or 500 yards away.

0:18:080:18:12

Chris hides one of his cameras in the lane.

0:18:120:18:14

Our cameras are very small, they're very covert,

0:18:140:18:16

and they're triggered by movement.

0:18:160:18:18

We always deploy them at night

0:18:180:18:20

and, trust me, you will not see a camera when we've deployed it.

0:18:200:18:24

The public are warned that cameras are in use.

0:18:240:18:27

I spotted there were some signs

0:18:270:18:28

that say that surveillance was underway.

0:18:280:18:30

Adrian doesn't know where the cameras have been hidden

0:18:300:18:33

but he's on hand to report any new piles of rubbish to Chris.

0:18:330:18:36

It's a big help.

0:18:360:18:38

He made us very aware which made our life easier.

0:18:380:18:40

If he could say, "Well, there was a fly-tip overnight,"

0:18:400:18:43

we would go in, get the card

0:18:430:18:44

and we'd know that it was last night, you know.

0:18:440:18:46

And very soon there is a new case of dumping overnight.

0:18:460:18:49

The fly-tippers probably think the cameras can't see them

0:18:490:18:52

in the dark, but they're wrong.

0:18:520:18:54

I went down to have a look

0:18:540:18:56

and there was a pile of household waste at the side of the road

0:18:560:18:59

and it looked very promising that it was within the view of the camera.

0:18:590:19:03

Chris checks the footage.

0:19:030:19:05

The camera is designed to record a series of still frames.

0:19:050:19:09

It clearly captures the numberplate of the fly-tipper's van.

0:19:090:19:13

When you do get a result like this

0:19:130:19:14

it is very exciting and very encouraging.

0:19:140:19:17

The van's interior light helps

0:19:170:19:18

give a clear picture of the man's actions.

0:19:180:19:21

This was brilliant.

0:19:210:19:22

It enables us to see the offender depositing stuff

0:19:220:19:25

at the side of the road.

0:19:250:19:27

The man dumps a variety of household objects,

0:19:270:19:30

including an old ironing board and a chest.

0:19:300:19:32

As he drives off, his headlights reveal the pile of rubbish

0:19:340:19:38

he leaves behind.

0:19:380:19:40

The council clear it away

0:19:400:19:42

but Chris suspects there might be more rubbish dumped at that spot.

0:19:420:19:45

We were happy that we had deployed the camera in a good location,

0:19:450:19:49

so we decided to leave the camera in

0:19:490:19:51

and not make any attempt to contact that offender

0:19:510:19:53

until we removed the camera,

0:19:530:19:55

and lo and behold a few weeks later another offence occurred.

0:19:550:19:58

Once again, it's reported by Adrian.

0:19:580:20:01

There was a red crate.

0:20:010:20:03

It was exceedingly smelly.

0:20:030:20:05

You could literally smell it from ten metres away.

0:20:050:20:07

In terms of the stench

0:20:070:20:08

it was one of the worst ones I think I've ever been to.

0:20:080:20:10

Again, Chris checks what the camera's recorded.

0:20:100:20:14

Another very exciting moment,

0:20:140:20:15

and a good result for the camerawork.

0:20:150:20:18

A couple pull up in their car.

0:20:180:20:20

It must have been a smelly ride over.

0:20:200:20:23

They put on gloves and open the boot.

0:20:230:20:26

Then the woman backs up the car

0:20:260:20:27

while the man looks up and down the road.

0:20:270:20:30

We see their, sort of, furtive behaviour,

0:20:300:20:32

where he goes up and down to make sure that nobody's looking.

0:20:320:20:35

It just convinces me that they know what they're doing is wrong.

0:20:350:20:39

They dump the crate of rotting rubbish and leave.

0:20:390:20:42

Chris has the evidence he needs.

0:20:440:20:46

He traces the owners of the vehicles.

0:20:460:20:49

It's then that I write to the owner of the vehicle

0:20:490:20:51

and ask them for an explanation.

0:20:510:20:53

The couple reply straight away.

0:20:530:20:55

Bizarrely, they say that they dumped this waste

0:20:550:20:59

because they thought it was too smelly to take to

0:20:590:21:01

the recycle centre, and that they were going to get turned away.

0:21:010:21:04

I don't understand that, I really don't,

0:21:040:21:06

but that's... that was their explanation.

0:21:060:21:08

Chris discovers the night-time fly-tipper used a rental van

0:21:080:21:12

but Chris gets his details from the hire company.

0:21:120:21:15

We invite him into a local police station

0:21:150:21:18

and we conduct what's called a voluntary PACE interview,

0:21:180:21:20

in which he did admit what he had done.

0:21:200:21:23

In court, the man pleads guilty

0:21:260:21:28

and is ordered to pay £600 in costs and fines.

0:21:280:21:31

The couple also plead guilty.

0:21:340:21:36

Their combined total of fines and costs is £1,554.

0:21:360:21:43

Chris and his colleagues have a high conviction rate

0:21:430:21:45

and the word is spreading.

0:21:450:21:47

In the past few years,

0:21:470:21:48

fly-tipping in Buckinghamshire has reduced by nearly 90%.

0:21:480:21:53

We're proud of that performance and we always publicise it

0:21:530:21:56

to try and remind people that they're committing a crime

0:21:560:21:59

at the end of the day, and we think it's acting as a deterrent

0:21:590:22:02

to other would-be fly-tippers

0:22:020:22:04

and deterring them from committing offences in Buckinghamshire.

0:22:040:22:07

Guess who's coming to dinner?

0:22:110:22:13

A couple of men arrive at a restaurant without a reservation

0:22:130:22:16

and it turns out they've no reservations about stealing, either.

0:22:160:22:20

In fact, just about anything they can lay their hands on.

0:22:200:22:24

Ayr, Scotland -

0:22:270:22:29

it's a Monday evening

0:22:290:22:31

and these two men are checking out the town's new vegetarian cafe,

0:22:310:22:35

but the cafe closed hours ago and they're not customers.

0:22:350:22:38

When the manager arrives at the scene, he finds the door smashed in.

0:22:410:22:45

I didn't know, was someone in here?

0:22:450:22:47

I got a really horrible feeling of dread.

0:22:470:22:49

For good reason.

0:22:490:22:50

CCTV shows the men are burglars

0:22:500:22:53

and one of them is ready with a knife for anyone who disturbs them.

0:22:530:22:56

He's clearly intending to use it if he needs to.

0:22:560:22:59

Ayr is a major port on Scotland's West Coast,

0:23:050:23:08

great for shopping and dining out.

0:23:080:23:11

Just off the high street

0:23:110:23:13

Euan is the manager of a new basement bistro.

0:23:130:23:15

So, when we took this building on, it had been a coffee house,

0:23:150:23:18

so it wasn't a million miles away from what we were doing,

0:23:180:23:21

but that was pitch-black.

0:23:210:23:22

We spent probably about the best part of a month

0:23:220:23:24

preparing the building before we opened.

0:23:240:23:27

But Euan and his team are taking a risk -

0:23:270:23:29

theirs is the first cafe in Ayr to serve only vegetarian food.

0:23:290:23:34

You get your usual people who's like,

0:23:340:23:36

"Oh, I don't eat vegetarian food."

0:23:360:23:38

You know, ignoring the fact that, that salad is vegetarian.

0:23:380:23:43

Early on, it looks like their gamble may not pay off...

0:23:430:23:46

At the start we had a lot of quiet days.

0:23:460:23:48

We'd be lucky to serve a handful of coffees.

0:23:480:23:51

..but over the next few months,

0:23:510:23:52

word-of-mouth means they slowly build a loyal following.

0:23:520:23:56

My favourite thing is the customers.

0:23:560:23:58

We get to develop a real relationship with them.

0:23:580:24:01

The cafe is in a basement, with its entrance at street level.

0:24:010:24:05

They use CCTV cameras to look out for customers

0:24:050:24:07

coming through the door.

0:24:070:24:10

Security wasn't really the aspect that we got it for.

0:24:100:24:12

When you've got all these great intentions for your business,

0:24:120:24:15

and great visions, you don't really think about

0:24:150:24:17

the bad things that'll happen.

0:24:170:24:19

But the business has been open barely three months

0:24:190:24:23

when Euan get a nasty surprise.

0:24:230:24:25

When he arrives to open up one Tuesday morning,

0:24:260:24:29

he finds the door's been kicked in.

0:24:290:24:31

He's been burgled.

0:24:310:24:33

And the till was forced open, wedged open,

0:24:330:24:35

and everything was lying all over the place.

0:24:350:24:37

I looked at the kitchen - the doors were hanging off.

0:24:370:24:39

The fridge was broken, the food was everywhere

0:24:390:24:41

and it obviously started to sink in what had happened.

0:24:410:24:44

At that point, I didn't know, was someone in here?

0:24:440:24:46

And I didn't want to find out, you know.

0:24:460:24:48

There's sharp knives in the kitchen.

0:24:480:24:50

I got a really, kind of, a horrible feeling of dread,

0:24:500:24:52

so I just, kind of, left the building.

0:24:520:24:54

Euan waits for the police to arrive,

0:24:540:24:57

and then he replays the previous night's CCTV to see who's caused

0:24:570:25:02

all this damage to the new business.

0:25:020:25:04

The cameras show that at 7.20pm the night before

0:25:050:25:08

these two men approach the entrance.

0:25:080:25:11

Checking the coast is clear, they prise open the metal shutter

0:25:110:25:16

and then batter down the door.

0:25:160:25:18

It's totally dark inside but the burglars don't realise

0:25:190:25:23

that the cafe's cameras are infrared and are seeing

0:25:230:25:26

and recording their every cautious move.

0:25:260:25:28

Forcing open the till, they find only small change

0:25:300:25:33

as the day's takings have been banked.

0:25:330:25:35

The pair start searching the rest of the cafe.

0:25:370:25:41

Then one produces a large kitchen knife.

0:25:410:25:44

It's a frightening image.

0:25:440:25:45

He's walking around the building with an extremely sharp knife,

0:25:450:25:48

clearly intending to use it if... if he needs to.

0:25:480:25:51

No-one carries a knife unless they would use it.

0:25:510:25:54

The men take their time ransacking the bistro for valuables

0:25:540:25:58

for over three quarters of an hour,

0:25:580:26:00

and then, standing in front of a mirror,

0:26:000:26:02

the knifeman's behaviour takes a sinister turn.

0:26:020:26:06

This is the weirdest part.

0:26:060:26:07

He's sitting, just, like, talking to the mirror

0:26:070:26:10

with a knife in his hand.

0:26:100:26:11

I imagine him saying, "You talking to me?" kind of thing.

0:26:110:26:14

It looks like he's rehearsing a possible confrontation.

0:26:140:26:18

Suddenly the man hears a noise.

0:26:180:26:20

He darts over to hide by the stairs with

0:26:200:26:23

the knife at the ready in his hand.

0:26:230:26:25

It's a chilling sight for Euan.

0:26:250:26:27

It's the place that I come to work every day,

0:26:270:26:29

and the place I lock up at night on my own most nights.

0:26:290:26:32

I don't know, it just wasn't the nicest feeling in the world.

0:26:320:26:35

Satisfied no-one is there, the man grabs his stuffed bag and leaves.

0:26:350:26:40

The thieves have stolen food, knives and some money,

0:26:400:26:45

but all the remaining food in the kitchen has to be thrown out

0:26:450:26:48

for fear of contamination.

0:26:480:26:50

The clean-up operation means the cafe has to close for two days

0:26:500:26:54

and loses nearly £2,000.

0:26:540:26:57

You're kind of dejected about the whole situation

0:26:570:26:59

because it's everything you've been working on,

0:26:590:27:01

is all of a sudden, just, you know, flung up in the air,

0:27:010:27:05

just because some idiots decide that their needs outweigh yours.

0:27:050:27:08

Euan worries about the cafe's future,

0:27:100:27:13

but, thanks to the high-quality cameras,

0:27:130:27:15

at least the police can clearly see the burglars' faces,

0:27:150:27:18

and more than that, they recognise them.

0:27:180:27:21

They were impressed.

0:27:210:27:22

They said it was, like, the best CCTV footage they'd seen.

0:27:220:27:25

I put it on for, I think, all of 30 seconds, and they knew who it was.

0:27:250:27:29

The police track the men down and they are arrested.

0:27:290:27:32

In court, pleading guilty to charges of housebreaking

0:27:350:27:38

and malicious mischief,

0:27:380:27:40

One of the burglars is sentenced to a year's imprisonment.

0:27:400:27:44

The second man, who carried the knife,

0:27:470:27:50

is jailed for 18 months.

0:27:500:27:52

Since the burglary

0:27:560:27:57

Euan's vegetarian cafe has not only survived in Ayr - it's thrived.

0:27:570:28:02

We got shown a lot of support.

0:28:020:28:04

Our customers became more dedicated to us, you know,

0:28:040:28:06

in sort of a small level of defiance perhaps, I don't know.

0:28:060:28:11

The local press featured the story and that's helped the cafe.

0:28:110:28:14

The amount of people we've just got coming down for a coffee.

0:28:140:28:17

"So, is this the place that got broken into?

0:28:170:28:19

"Is this the place in the papers?" It was quite funny.

0:28:190:28:21

It was quite good, as well, cos it got us new customers out of it,

0:28:210:28:24

so I can't complain about that.

0:28:240:28:25

That's it for today.

0:28:270:28:29

Join us next time when police and the public

0:28:290:28:32

catch more criminals red-handed.

0:28:320:28:34

This episode features a pub landlord who misses a pair of prolific burglars by seconds and a thief with a knife who waits at the bottom of the stairs.