Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. A workman steals a dumper truck and rampages through the Norfolk countryside.
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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.
The 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 that crooks get their comeuppance.
It makes me feel so angry.
He has paid the price, he has been dealt with.
Yes. We got her.
So anyone who's up to no good had better think twice,
they might just get caught red-handed.
Today, a workman steals a 30-tonne dumper truck
and sets off on a frightening rampage.
The people of a small town are terrified to discover
he's heading their way.
It was horrendous.
He didn't have any concern of what he was doing
or who he could have hurt.
Even the police don't scare this dangerous driver.
The truck is eating up their cars.
My concern was then, OK, if he's going to do that,
what else is he going to do?
The answer shocks everybody.
a cold-hearted thief.
He's not only stealing charity tins,
he's targeting the ones that are full of money
meant for sick children.
I was absolutely disgusted,
to actually steal from terminally ill children is the worst.
But this callous criminal has made a basic mistake
which could be his undoing.
And ghostly figures make repeated raids on a chain of camera stores.
You do think, "What have we done? Why are they picking on us?"
The owners lay a series of traps
so when the gang comes again,
the crooks get confused.
There is a big thrill to see the first one come through the door
and not be able to find the shop because we barricaded it.
The small Suffolk town of Brandon lies next to Thetford Forest.
Christine has been the town clerk here for 12 years.
I am a Londoner that moved up to here about 30 years ago,
after I had a car accident,
moved down near my parents and happened to move to Brandon.
Ever since her accident,
Christine has been passionate about road safety,
so she campaigned to change the town centre into a pedestrian-only zone.
It was just a free-for-all car park.
Eventually, it was signed off as a pedestrian area.
We've new planters, we've got seats, and people do socialise there.
It's just made it a better and safer place.
But Christine's safer place is about to become very dangerous indeed.
A truck-load of trouble is on its way.
A Monday in July,
just gone midday,
over 30 miles away from Brandon, at a quarry near Norwich.
A 40-year-old workman has an argument with his employers
and storms off in a dumper truck.
And this isn't any old truck.
Weighing 30 tonnes, with wheels five foot high,
this monster can be lethal in the wrong hands.
Traffic cameras on the Norwich ring road
catch the driver thundering through a red light
and smashing into some roadworks.
Norwich Detective Constable Andy Vinsen is alerted.
It's a very large vehicle and they're not supposed to be driven
on the road, they're not designed to be driven on the road.
The driver was driving this truck down a single carriageway,
moving across into the other lane with cars coming towards it.
Those drivers had a fairly terrifying experience.
Police cars are dispatched to pursue the truck.
One of the police air service helicopters is also mobilised.
Tactical Flight Officer Andy Wood is on board.
As we got up, we started recording, and downlinking our information
to the control room so they can view exactly what's going on.
The driver's hometown is Brandon
and that appears to be where he's heading
and it does not look like anybody's going to be able to stop him.
A police car tries to get him to pull over,
but he just ploughs on.
Up ahead, a policeman has laid a spiked strip, a Stinger,
across the road to try and puncture the truck's tyres.
It was at that point that I noticed
that the vehicle took a sudden turn towards the officer.
The policeman gets out of the way just in time.
Quite shocking, really.
It became very apparent that the vehicle was far too big,
the tyres were too large,
the standard Stinger just wouldn't have any impact on it at all.
What the truck driver does next is astonishing.
He sees the parked car of the officer who laid the Stinger.
The dump truck just drives straight into the side of the police car.
He obviously had some sort of malice towards the police,
and that's what we were thinking at that time.
My concern was then, OK, if he's going to do that,
what else is he going to do?
The truck driver pulls off the carriageway into Thetford Forest.
He's now just a few miles from Brandon.
The surface of those tracks is extremely rough,
very difficult for a standard vehicle to follow.
He was a local person, knew these back roads.
Suddenly, a policewoman in a pursuit vehicle
finds herself face-to-face with the truck.
The officer has managed to jump out
just before the truck drives straight into her car.
The truck driver continues towards Brandon.
The police car he leaves behind is a write-off.
From the helicopter,
Andy sees two more police cars heading down the road
towards the dumper truck.
I immediately radioed to the control room
and they tried to get out of the way.
A dashboard camera on one of the police cars shows it
desperately reversing away from the oncoming truck.
But it's too late to turn around.
The two officers who were in that vehicle just had time to get out.
Police control decide to change their strategy.
The supervisor advised all units to back away
and I think the tactic then was
to follow this vehicle and wait for it to run out of fuel.
After two hours of mayhem, the driver approaches Brandon.
The damage to his truck means it's getting more dangerous
by the minute.
Due to the way he was driving,
parts of the vehicle were starting to fall off, as well.
The truck's tailgate is hanging off.
That's probably a tonne piece of steel flapping about.
When the driver reaches his hometown,
he drives headlong into Brandon's pedestrian-only zone.
Christine is at the council offices in the town centre.
I just looked up and I just saw this huge, huge dumper truck
and thought, "What on earth is happening?"
The way it was angled,
it looked as though it was coming straight for the window,
cos we're really in a direct line.
The truck careers through the precinct,
sending pedestrians fleeing in terror.
Christine bravely runs outside to try and stop it.
It was an instinct, really, to protect the town.
I waved my arms for some reason,
could just about see the person in the cab.
It was so high up.
I've never seen a vehicle that big, and it was horrendous.
The truck driver ignores Christine
and miraculously reaches the other side of the town centre
without hitting anybody.
He was very fast, very fast.
He couldn't have stopped even if he'd seen anyone,
it would have been impossible to stop at that speed.
On the far side of the pedestrian zone,
the town's roads become narrow, and the truck slows to a crawling pace.
At this point, one of the police officers
who was in one of the vehicles behind got out of his vehicle,
approached the cab of the truck in an attempt to speak to the driver.
He was met with some abusive language.
The officer uses a special spray to stun the driver.
It causes irritation in the eyes and nose.
The truck then continued to drive off,
but very shortly afterwards...
..it became apparent that the driver was suffering the effects
of this incapacitant spray. The truck stopped.
He's still stationary, hasn't moved yet.
A team of officers pull the driver out of the truck and arrest him.
His rampage is finally over.
No-one was injured, fortunately.
To the police vehicles, the damage was in the region of about ?26,000.
Christine struggled to come to terms with what had happened.
I just was in shock, because at that time of the day, normally,
you have mobility scooters,
children from the playgroup,
children from the school...
It's an absolute miracle no-one was injured.
In court, the man pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking,
dangerous driving, criminal damage
and driving whilst under the influence of illegal drugs.
He was sentenced to 14 months in prison.
The aftershocks of this driver's actions
affected Brandon's townsfolk for months.
People tended to go on the outside, I noticed, for quite a while,
you know, under by the shops,
rather than straight across the middle.
So, I don't think it spoiled it for Brandon, the incident.
Just made people cautious at the time. But...
now I think we're back to normal.
This chap's being recorded on a secret camera
set up by Walsall Council
in a known hot spot for illegal dumping of rubbish,
and White Van Man here is illegally chucking his rubble and debris
all over a grass verge.
He seems to have more buckets than Blackpool beach.
After the buckets, he starts on his bags full of rubbish.
One, two, three bags full,
and would you believe it?
This flagrant fly-tipper is actually saving his bags.
Well, he doesn't want to be wasteful, does he?
You get charged for them these days!
But the messy muppet doesn't realise his number's up.
His van registration has been caught on camera.
Tracked down by the council,
he's convicted, and ordered to pay a hefty ?1,900.
Every year in the UK,
there are 45,000 burglaries of retailers and wholesalers,
and for some unlucky businesses, lightning does strike twice.
Thousands of visitors come to Bournemouth on the south coast
That's why Brian felt it would be an ideal place to set up
a camera business after he left university in 1974.
My passions in life really are cameras and bicycles,
and both of them you can actually take apart, put back together.
I perhaps should say you could take apart and put back together!
And I suppose it's gone on from
that simple love of just improving things.
Brian's business went from strength to strength,
and soon he opened another camera shop in Salisbury.
Rachel is his long-time business partner.
I joined from school. I came from 16 and I started behind the counter,
working my way through the company, really.
And I've just been here ever since.
It's my life.
If we can encourage anybody to take pictures on whatever format,
I think it makes us all smile, cos we all love looking at memories.
But cameras don't only capture happy memories,
and one day Brian and Rachel's shop's camera system
records a video nasty,
when both their stores become a target for crime.
It's 6am on a Tuesday in November,
and Brian's Salisbury store has just been broken into.
The alarm is set off and the company who monitor it call him
with the bad news. PHONE RINGS
The thieves targeted certain areas of the shelving,
indiscriminately from that point.
Once they went for a shelf, they took the whole shelf.
The men are seen coming out of the store carrying large bags.
When a person who sees them goes up to one of the gang,
they are threatened.
They were told not to go near because he had a knife,
so he did back off, because of the threat.
The gang gets away with ?28,000 worth of camera equipment.
It really is a sinking feeling.
Your faith is knocked with the world in general.
The robbers knew exactly where to find the most expensive cameras,
and may have done a recce of the store beforehand.
Brian and Rachel fear their larger Bournemouth store
could be targeted next.
It's our flagship.
We promote Bournemouth more than we do Salisbury, so you think,
are they doing a dummy run in Salisbury?
That increases your paranoia that they're going to come and get you
Brian and Rachel increase security at the Bournemouth store.
We did double-check the CCTV,
heightened that to make sure we were recording the various areas
of the store. They also set some traps,
altering the store's layout in the hope it might hold up the crooks.
We did start putting different barricades up,
just to give them a little bit of a challenge.
We actually moved a tripod stand
to make their life a little bit more traumatic
if they did decide to come in.
And soon, the thieves do come in.
It's Saturday night, 11:45pm,
and the infrared security cameras are rolling.
At the close of business,
Rachel placed the large tripod display across the gangway
A ghostly figure suddenly appears.
The masked man is confused by the shop's new layout.
He's joined by three accomplices, and they pull down the display.
Carrying two large bags,
the men scurry behind the counter.
They've worked out where the more expensive cameras are stored.
They start ransacking the shop, and the alarm is triggered.
I got the call from the monitoring company again at quarter to midnight
to say there'd been a break-in at the Winton shop.
The phone goes at ten to 12.
It was Brian just saying, yes.
That was all. No more words, no need to say anything else.
Gives you that dry mouth feeling.
So I jumped in the car.
Brian gets to the store first and finds the police are already there.
The thieves have gone but they've left a trail of destruction.
The back door had been beaten in.
We thought the door was secure,
but they kept hammering until the frame gave way.
That triggered off the alarm and, in the past,
that would be enough to scare off anybody who'd had a go,
but this lot kept going.
It is chaos. There was stock all over the floor.
They'd literally just gone in and done a supermarket sweep,
pulling the stock from one end to the other to put it into the bag.
Over ?50,000 worth of goods has been stolen.
I think you feel stupid, because you hoped your business was secure.
And it's your livelihood. You do feel it is a personal attack.
And you do think, "Why?
"What have we done? Why are they picking on us?"
Rachel checks the CCTV.
It's upsetting to watch the store being ransacked.
It's quite wrenching, because you think,
"Urgh, there's people running in."
I think what is frightening is how quick it all happened.
Even in the dark,
these criminals knew where to find the expensive cameras
and were in and out in just a few minutes.
They weren't opportunists.
It's scary thinking they had been in the store
and watched us working on perhaps two or three occasions
that we'd missed during the week.
The crooks have taken care not to leave the police any forensic clues.
They had hoods up. They all had gloves on.
They clearly had some experience.
But some of the robbers' features can just be made out on the footage.
It's almost as if he's looking up at the camera, defying,
"Oh, there's a camera but they can't get me."
Brian and Rachel cleverly changing their shop's layout
did hold up the crooks a little.
There was a big thrill to see the first one come through the door
and not be able to find the shop, because we barricaded it.
So that was really quite rewarding.
And the tripod display Rachel placed in the way
causes the escaping thieves to stumble.
We did enjoy a little giggle, cos they did trip on the way out.
The footage from Brian and Rachel's cameras
may help identify the culprits.
They hand it over to Dorset Police,
but don't hear anything for months.
Then, out of the blue, they're contacted by HAMPSHIRE Police.
They had a gang based in Hampshire that had been out and about
and they thought it might be one of theirs.
The gang has been responsible for a spate of burglaries
at different businesses across the south coast.
After a police raid,
an expensive camera is found at the home of one of the suspects.
Hampshire Police had a camera and it was a Nikon camera
and could we confirm the serial number?
And then we were able to confirm that, yes,
it was one of our items that had been supplied to us.
When they see the footage from the Bournemouth camera-store burglary,
Hampshire Police officers recognise members of the gang and arrest them.
You can see very clear characters and distinguishing marks,
so it is reassuring our cameras were useful at the end of the day,
helping to solve this crime.
In court, a total of seven gang members
aged 22 to 29 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal.
The offenders received varying sentences,
with the longest being four-and-a-half years in prison.
Brian and Rachel have improved their security
and decided to put the burglaries down to experience.
It's just part of the world, and hopefully it won't happen again.
Life has to go on, doesn't it?
We've persevered and come through it and we're still here smiling.
You get the impression that criminals are continually looking
for devious ways to rob hard-working businesses,
so what can business owners do to limit the risk they face?
One of the things I'd like to urge people to do
is to consider approaching their business with the eyes of a thief.
What can you do now that would prevent crime taking place?
Looking at where the weak spots are, repairing them, getting advice,
getting in some CCTV, for example.
You can get motion-activated, sound-activated,
and even cameras that work in complete darkness.
There's a range of different alarm devices that you can have
for your premises. All of them will deter an offender.
Aberdeen on Scotland's east coast is nicknamed the Granite City
after the hard, grey rock used for many of its buildings.
But as Keith, the owner of a local takeaway business, will tell you,
this city has a soft centre.
It's a lovely area. It's more like a village feel.
All the public houses, small shops, we all talk to each other.
We all know each other. So, it really is a small-community feel.
And generous locals regularly fill the charity tins
Keith puts on his counter.
The two charities, one is child cancer,
and the other one's child brain tumours.
A friend of mine, whose grandchild had a brain tumour...
..I thought it was the least I could do, was taking in a charity tin.
So that was very personal.
This tin raises money for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust,
a small charity that helps families across the country,
like Charlene and her three-year-old son Jacob,
who live in Harlow, Essex.
Lots of my friends had babies around the same time. Jacob was the oldest.
I started to notice he had, like, a white shine in his right eye,
in the pupil.
As I was a first-time mum, I just sort of left it and...
it wasn't until he was about 11 weeks old
that I googled the white shine,
and the first thing that came up was retinoblastoma.
Specialists at the Royal London Hospital
confirmed her baby son did have this rare form of eye cancer.
It was really horrible.
Like, really horrible. He was only 12 weeks old.
We didn't really know a lot about it.
As soon as they say cancer, you instantly think...
I just thought, "He's going to die."
After emergency surgery and chemotherapy,
doctors were able to give Charlene some wonderful news.
Jacob's condition was stable and he was out of danger.
He does need a little bit more help now
but it hasn't affected him in any other way.
Like, he's still a normal three-year-old boy.
Throughout the process,
it was the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust that helped the family cope.
They've been invaluable.
They're always at the end of the phone.
They do weekend meet-ups.
You meet so many families.
It's not all doom and gloom.
They make the best of it for you.
The charity couldn't survive without collection tins
like the one in Keith's takeaway.
But he and other residents of the Granite City
are about to encounter a thief who must have a heart of stone.
It's a Sunday night in November.
As usual, the CCTV is recording at Keith's takeaway.
There were a few people in the shop.
It was round about closing time.
So, we're just running everything down.
There's a man with a cap and a woman who come in separately.
The man ushers her along the counter to get served first,
but he's no gentleman.
Instead, he's moving her out of the way of
what he's really come here for:
the children's charity tin.
Pretending to look at a menu, he gets closer.
When nobody's watching,
he picks up the tin and hides it in his jacket.
Then he calmly goes to wait for his food.
He's long gone by the time the crime is discovered.
When we closed up, I noticed that the charity tins had gone.
I checked back the CCTV footage.
It was a shock to the system, when you actually see the act.
The tin was nearly full.
It could be anything from ?70 to ?150.
Very hurt and sad that somebody would take a charity jar.
More so because it was the charity that's very personal to myself.
So, I was very aggrieved at the time.
And really sad. Really, really sad.
To make it worse,
on the same night the crook in the cap commits another callous crime...
..against another children's charity.
He obviously feels these tins are the most lucrative.
He walks into this pub just around the corner from Keith's takeaway.
Bar manager Alison is on her shift.
This man's come up to the bar.
I say hello and what have you to him, as you do.
Greet him nicely.
he asked for his pint.
The man pays his money and sits down to drink his beer.
I never thought nothing.
I just thought, nice customer.
He spoke away.
He sat himself directly opposite a charity tin on the bar.
It is really important to us.
It actually is for terminally ill children.
When Alison's distracted,
the man takes out a tool he's brought with him
to cut the cable tie that secures the tin to the bar.
He waits for a few moments to check the coast is clear,
and then picks up the tin, putting it under his coat.
He comes away, puts his drink at the end of the bar and just leaves.
After closing time, the pub staff discover the tin's gone,
and realise the man must have taken it.
To actually know that he knew what he was going to do,
and I'm being so nice to him...
It just isn't right.
To actually steal from terminally ill children is...the worst.
There was around ?100 in the tin,
but the thief has made a foolish error.
A flat cap isn't the greatest disguise in the world,
and the pub security cameras clearly show his face.
The police arrive and take the CCTV footage away
to begin their investigation.
Bar staff ring around,
to see if any other local businesses have been hit.
The following morning, Wagley's then contacted myself.
Then I let them know that I also had mine taken as well,
the same evening.
The police then came here for a statement.
The CCTV footage shows it's the same man,
a man who stupidly doesn't seem to realise
pubs and cafes have security cameras.
The pub puts the footage of their charity-tin theft
out on the internet,
in a bid to identify the flat-capped criminal.
There is public outrage.
We got some cheques sent, cos everybody was touched by it.
And soon, there's a breakthrough.
Alison gets a tip-off about the thief's identity.
We got a phone call from an anonymous caller,
from the town he was living in to tell us his name and address. And...
Cos they'd obviously recognised this guy.
The pub passes the information on to the police.
Soon, officers come to see
if Alison can pick the thief out from some photos.
It was just one A4 piece of paper with possibly about 12 photos.
I knew, as soon as I got to the bottom one,
didn't have glasses on, didn't have his hat,
but I just knew by his face that it was him.
Two weeks after he stole the charity tins,
the man is arrested.
In court, he pleads guilty to two counts of theft
and is sentenced to five months in prison.
Charlene was delighted to hear that the Aberdeen charity-tin thief
had got his just deserts.
I don't understand how anyone can steal from any charity,
let alone such a small one like Chect, where it is so valued.
And if they could see where the money went
and they could see children like Jacob,
hopefully, it'd make them think twice.
The pub held a special event
to raise funds for the charities whose tins had been stolen.
We did a quiz night and we had a raffle. It was really successful.
They managed to raise ?1,800.
The money to both charities far exceeded
what they'd estimated to be stolen in the first place.
So, from a horrible thing that happened,
there was some good came out of it.
It brings your faith back in humanity.
That's all we have time for today.
An increasing number of criminals
are being captured on camera every year.
Join us next time to see more villains who've been...
We've a spell of sunshine heading our way.
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A workman steals a dumper truck and rampages through the Norfolk countryside, and a thief steals two charity tins for sick children but makes a crucial error.