Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. A jewellery heist resembles a Hollywood movie scene as locals try to stop the armed robbers in their tracks.
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Thieves will steal our cash, our cars, our valuables,
just about anything they can get their hands on.
But now the police are using cutting-edge technology
to catch the bad guys.
CCTV is gold dust.
-Great evidence for the police.
-We've got to have him stopped.
shops and businesses are fighting crime
with their own tricks and traps.
There's a eureka moment when you get that evidence.
And the public are using secret cameras to make sure
crooks get their comeuppance.
It makes me feel so angry.
He's paid the price. He's been dealt with.
Yes! We've got her!
So anyone who is up to no good had better think twice.
They might just get caught red-handed.
Today, this could be a scene from an exciting TV drama,
but it's real life.
An event so sudden and violent that the people in the shop
and in the high street outside will remember it all their lives.
They have knives and they have a hammer and they have axes.
I felt my heart... I couldn't swallow.
The local people outside are shocked and terrified.
But bravely, they decide to do something about it.
I said, "We have to help."
I thought if I put anything in front of the bike, it would stop the bike.
Also today... Malcolm, a disabled pensioner,
is paid a seemingly friendly visit from a local Good Samaritan.
We were actually quite happy.
Malcolm had got a nice new neighbour.
But this nice new neighbour is out to steal Malcolm's money.
What's that out your window there?
But Malcolm's deceitful friend is being deceived herself.
And a rogues' gallery.
Three cheats and liars who learnt the truth
of those two well-known phrases -
cheats never prosper, and the camera never lies.
First, if you're out shopping in the high street and suddenly see a
violent raid like this happening to a shop, what do you do?
Run? Shout for help?
Get involved? Well,
that's the choice that faced these people in this busy London street,
and what they did was quite extraordinary.
Kingsbury, in North West London, is a multicultural community.
There's a cluster of shops and restaurants along the main road
that had been opened by families from Iraq.
Sami moved here three years ago to begin a jewellery business.
His family left Iraq when he was just 13 years old,
after war broke out with neighbouring Iran.
My father was...
..not happy with this, so we're coming out of Iraq.
As refugees, Sami and his family lived in Copenhagen for many years.
He became fluent in Danish and, in his mid-20s,
renovated and opened his first jewellery shop.
We start very simple and small, but our business grow very quick.
Then, in 2013,
Sami brought his family to London
because he wanted his children to have an English education.
He identified Kingsbury as a good spot to open a jeweller's.
But first, the family had to spend many months of hard labour
sorting out some premises.
We started from zero.
My kids, my wife, they was also with me here.
We worked so hard to build the shop.
When they opened, the business soon began to grow.
Sami's son Amin was keen to learn the trade.
Being in the shop and seeing what is going on around you,
even though I'm not doing much, cos I was a kid,
you start to pick up on the business.
Things are going well for Sami and his family,
but then they were put through a terrifying ordeal
which was to test them and their neighbours to the limit.
It's early afternoon on a Monday in September.
Sami's jewellery shop's CCTV cameras show a busy main road outside,
and inside, there is Sami, working with a colleague and his son Mehdi.
It was two o'clock.
I was in this area, speaking with a customer.
Meanwhile, just down the road,
the owner of an Iraqi restaurant, Haidar,
is standing in the street
when he hears something that catches his attention.
I saw four motorbikes.
They went to the jeweller.
I feel there is something bad happening.
I have been through...three wars.
I am so sensitive towards these things.
I said, "This is not right.
"This is going to be very bad.
"I think it is a robbery."
Inside the jeweller's, Sami is concentrating on some customers.
Then, he hears someone kicking at the front entrance.
It is a security door,
normally only unlocked when letting customers in and out.
I think, what has happened?
In this second, they start smashing the door.
I was so worried about the customer and ourselves and my son and
Sami's son immediately presses the alarm.
When we first hit the alarm, all the neighbours,
they hear there has happened something here.
The pounding from the robbers battering ram
echoes around the street,
and Haidar hears it.
Unfortunately, that has got a very bad memory to me.
When I heard that noise, I couldn't do anything, I just, like, jammed.
I just stayed in one place.
Locals come to see what is going on.
Some start filming with their mobile phones.
Haidar is now standing outside his restaurant with his staff,
just out of this camera's picture.
The robbers have now smashed through Sami's front entrance
and are starting on the interior door that's also locked.
More than 14 or 13 times, they hit the glass door.
Sami and his colleagues pick up baseball bats that are kept at hand
to protect their jewellery.
This is our business, we did that from zero with hard work.
How can I leave them to take our stuff?
But there are seven robbers, Sami and his staff are outnumbered,
and they see that the robbers are heavily armed.
When I saw they have knives and they have hammers and they have axes,
and they can hit us -
my son there, my colleague there, me and customers -
so I tell them, "Go back!"
When the robbers burst in,
the terrified customers manage to run past them.
Sami and his colleagues dash into a back room where they locked the door
and call 999.
One of the customers is so panic stricken,
she trips and has to be dragged to safety.
Trapped in the back office,
Sami hears the glass cabinets out front being smashed to bits.
This was very bad feeling, because in the second, I feel
they break my life.
Outside, a crowd is gathering.
A student from the neighbourhood, Jaffar,
is on his way home from school.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
I could believe my eyes.
Here is the street I have been visiting for, like,
six years, and seeing that really shocked me.
Three of the robbers stay outside the shop to scare off anyone nearby.
We were so panicked what to do.
We don't know what they're holding in their hand.
We thought, gun.
Haidar thinks about tackling the lookout men,
but decides it is too dangerous.
Maybe because of the big responsibility I have -
I have so many people who work for me, I have to look after them.
From inside the backroom,
Sami can hear there is chaos taking place on the other side of the door.
We hear all the glass and alarm and many voices.
It was very terrible.
In the street,
the pressure builds in the crowd for someone to do something.
As a defiant gesture, a man throws a large knife towards the lookout men.
Haidar's thoughts turn towards Sami inside the shop.
I can't imagine what is going to happen to that man.
I felt my heart...
I couldn't swallow. One moment, I said, "We have to help."
And help they do.
With great courage.
Oh, my God.
Later, as the gang of robbers get ready to leave,
the locals surge forward.
They grabbed whatever they could find, from crates, wood, everything.
And they just started attacking the thieves.
And Haidar risks his life trying to stop them getting away.
I said, "This is the best moment to hit them."
Go on, go on, they've captured him.
And now, liar, liar, liar.
Three fraudsters who have been caught out on camera.
First, there is this canteen chef,
who claimed for personal injuries after a fall at work.
Spotting somebody mopping the floor,
the woman sees the chance to clean up in a whole different way -
by faking a tumble.
The cheeky chef makes a right meal of it.
She then takes three weeks off work,
saying she has suffered multiple injuries.
She also cooks up a claim for compensation,
but the insurance company show this video to the police and she is
convicted of fraud by false representation.
Now, that really hurts.
If you think that's shameless, look at this fraudulent fellow.
He has just got out of his car at a supermarket when,
a few moments later, another shopper backs into his vehicle.
Not exactly a major incident,
but the rotter in the red shirt later claims
£2,000 for damage to his car
and a further £5,000
complaining the collision has injured his neck and back,
which is strange, seeing as he was nowhere near the car at the time.
Crash, bang, codswallop.
When the police fraud department find out about it,
he gets an official police caution and it goes on his record.
But if there is a prize for telling porkies,
this bodybuilder in the Mr Universe contest would be a strong,
very strong contender.
Over the years, he has swindled more than £7,000 of taxpayers' money
in disability allowance.
Apparently, he struggles to walk and needs a wheelchair.
But when investigators from the Department of Work and Pensions
muscled in and secretly filmed him flexing his biceps, the game was up.
He was jailed for 12 months for benefit fraud.
Stretching his pecs in public has earned him a stretch in prison.
Having helpful neighbours is useful in times of need.
But beware, the neighbour who seems friendly on the surface
might actually be nothing of the sort.
A camera hidden in a disabled pensioner's house
shows his new-found friend
from next door to be something of a wolf in sheep's clothing.
The only reason why she befriended him was to take advantage
in whichever way she could.
Cheadle Village, in Greater Manchester,
has been home to Malcolm his whole life.
Malcolm has suffered from multiple sclerosis since his teens.
But that has never stopped him from being a favourite uncle
for his niece Louise, especially in her childhood.
He was a really lovely uncle.
He had always got a little present for me,
he'd play a little game with me.
We didn't have a car when we were younger, so he would take me places.
And he was just an all-round nice guy to be around.
Until recently, because of his MS,
Malcolm has never moved out of the same family home.
He lived in the house that he was born in,
and he did seem quite happy,
living with my Nana, and they just really looked after each other.
When his mum died, Malcolm continued living in the house alone,
but started showing signs of dementia.
His family visited often,
and they noticed his new next-door neighbour had started to call round
a lot, too.
He would make reference to her and say, "Oh,
"she came around this morning and she brought me a bacon butty,"
so we were actually quite happy to think that, you know,
he'd got a nice new neighbour.
As a family, when you're not actually living on his doorstep,
that is kind of nice and reassuring to know.
But it soon became apparent that Malcolm's Good Samaritan
was nothing of the sort.
It's midsummer, and Louise's family suddenly start getting phone calls
from Malcolm asking for money,
which is odd, because he has never normally needed any help with cash.
At first we did think,
it has got to have something to do
with this suspected dementia that we think he's got.
But it is not just more money that Malcolm is getting through,
it is also household items and food.
Malcolm, not being able to explain
why one day he'd have a full fridge
and the next day it would be half empty,
it just all seemed really weird.
Then, on one visit to his house,
Louise finds a shop receipt for expensive goods
that Malcolm has paid for.
There are a number of items on this receipt that Malcolm wouldn't have
bought and that weren't in his house,
for example there was a laptop,
Malcolm didn't recall these items being bought.
He'd never seen them.
It is not just his family who feel all is not right with Malcolm.
His social worker calls Louise because she is worried
about a new friend who keeps calling on him.
She was really concerned that Malcolm's neighbour
always seemed to be in the house when she was there.
She went so far as to say that she felt that she was even perhaps
trying to monitor her interactions with Malcolm.
Malcolm's family fear the over-friendly neighbour
is taking advantage.
He was just so vulnerable, and we felt that she was grooming him.
But Malcolm just wouldn't hear a bad word being said about her.
The police are sympathetic to the family's plight.
But there is no evidence to take the neighbour to court.
It was too circumstantial,
and they suggested that we really needed to get something on camera.
Louise decides to get help from an old acquaintance called Paul,
who was in the police for 32 years.
He is now a private detective.
We can't show his face because of the confidential nature of his work.
Having experienced dementia in my own family,
I fully understood the situation she was in,
and I think, out of the jobs I do,
the actual capture of somebody that's stealing
from a vulnerable person,
that is probably the one where we get the most satisfaction.
Paul's an expert at using surveillance techniques
and technology to establish whether suspects are up to no good.
You can either capture them and bring them to justice,
or you can actually prove that they are innocent
and that their integrity is at the highest level.
Louise and Paul come up with a plan.
They set up a covert camera
in Malcolm's front room while he's out
and Louise leaves some money in sight.
I put a £20 note behind the clock on the mantelpiece.
And everything was ready.
They leave to wait and see what happens.
The camera is set up to trigger when it senses motion.
Malcolm is now at home and sitting in his favourite chair.
Louise placed a £20 note beside this clock.
Malcolm is visited daily by carers, who Louise trusts,
and she primes then to phone her if they notice that the £20 note has
gone. She doesn't have to wait long for news.
The very next day,
I got a call from the carer that had gone to see Malcolm to tell me that
the money had gone.
Private Detective Paul retrieves the camera footage.
We just couldn't believe what we were seeing.
I was speechless.
This is what the camera reveals.
The neighbour has just popped in.
She's on her way to the shops and Malcolm asks her
if she wouldn't mind getting him a newspaper.
Yeah, of course I will.
How are you, all right?
-Have I got any money?
I've not got a penny.
What paper is it?
Then she spots the money by the clock.
That's all right.
What's all that on your window there?
She distracts Malcolm and steals the cash.
Here it is again.
Then she continues chatting, as if nothing has happened.
Oh, it's not. There's something shining through.
I just couldn't believe how cold and calculated it was.
I was absolutely horrified and I felt sick.
That's all right.
The crime couldn't be more clear-cut.
Oh, it's not. There's something shining through.
The woman never comes back with the newspaper.
All she saw in Malcolm was
a vulnerable old guy with dementia.
The only reason why she befriended him
was so that she could groom him in
order to take advantage of him in whichever way she could.
Louise takes the camera footage to the police,
and they arrest Malcolm's so-called friend.
She denied that she had stolen it,
and her explanation was that he owed her the money.
I just find...
amazing, that she thought that the police would fall for that.
She later changes her plea to guilty.
In court, for stealing the £20, she was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison,
suspended for a year,
a supervision order was put in place and she was also ordered to do 120
hours of unpaid work.
Thanks to the CCTV evidence,
Malcolm will never be exploited by her again.
Justice was done.
She did get sentenced,
and also their was a restraining order put out
against her for Malcolm,
which made us feel safer
in that we knew that she wouldn't be able to carry on
doing what she'd been doing.
Soon after her arrest, the woman left the area.
Malcolm continued living in the family home until recently,
when his declining health reached the point where he needs full-time
-Now he is in a care home,
but he is in a lovely place,
and he is really well looked after,
and he does seem to be really quite happy,
and we see him all the time, so everything is good now.
Thieves aren't just people who break into your home
or mug you on the street -
some are a lot more devious than that.
So, what can people do to avoid being deceived by somebody who seems
friendly on the surface but is really just after their cash?
It isn't just vulnerable people that can be targeted,
we are all potentially open to this kind of crime.
And it could just be that someone who pays you extra attention
or just wants to be your friend,
that could be the in that they need, really,
to start this grooming process.
They could be acquaintances,
or somebody you've met in a community centre
or somebody who lives in your block of flats.
So, this is more difficult,
because actually you have a relationship with them,
and we, by nature, trust people.
Confidence tricksters often start the relationships by borrowing money
and actually paying you back
that money to gain your trust and confidence.
People who are trying to deceive you will try and separate you from
friends and family members,
because, deep down, they know that they are going to give you
the advice to steer well clear of this individual.
I would always advise never to lend money to anyone
that you've only just met.
Back down to Kingsbury,
and the road that has a small community
of Middle Eastern shops and restaurants.
Seven armed men are robbing a jeweller's in broad daylight.
They are banking on fear to keep back a crowd
that is gathering in the street.
Inside the jeweller's, the owner Sami and his son Mehdi,
along with a colleague,
have been forced to take refuge in the back office.
Sami tries to get out, but is forced back.
When I open up the door,
one of these people is hitting the door with a big axe, like this.
Sami has no choice but to stay in the office.
The attack has now been going on for just over a minute.
But outside, shopkeepers and locals are gathering,
feeling the need to get involved.
A student, Jaffar, has just joined the crowd.
People were starting to appear from anywhere, like ordinary people,
all kinds of ethnicity, all they wanted to do was help out.
Local restaurant owner Haidar
and his staff are summoning the courage to tackle the robbers.
Most of the boys, they start shouting,
they give us some encouragement.
After 90 seconds ransacking the shop,
the robbers begin their getaway on motorbikes.
The moment they start leaving the place, to me,
this is the best moment to get into,
because they are not in an attacking position.
The locals surge forward.
When the thieves start running away, they start splitting.
Two bikers went to the other side, and two bikers came to our side.
Haidar grabs a trolley used to move pallets.
I thought, if I put anything in front of the bike,
it would stop the bike.
But the motorbikes are escaping too quickly.
A van driver does his bit to try and stop the robbers.
'Oh, my God!'
There was one van driver, as the moped was escaping,
he turned and hit the moped guy.
But he still managed to get away.
Then Haidar sees his chance when a second bike heads towards him.
The moment they jump to the other side of the kerb,
I chase them between the cars, they came to me, and just a little push,
they hit the kerb, and they fall off, they stop.
The driver's leg is caught under the bike, but his passenger leaps up.
He is trying to fight with me.
When he saw the crowd came behind me,
he decided to run towards the park.
The passenger gets away, but the driver is surrounded.
They just wanted to prevent him from leaving.
They literally put a crate on him,
just to hold him down so he couldn't get away.
Within minutes, the police arrive and deal with the robber.
Inside his jewellery shop, Sami is taking stock of what has happened,
unaware of what is going on outside.
In that second, I felt
that everything's broken.
I feel like everything is gone.
It was so, so bad.
But when Sami hears that one of the robbers has been caught,
he goes outside and sees all his neighbours in the street.
When I am coming out, and I saw the people,
they want to help us,
my feelings, they changed.
From down to up.
On the other side of the road,
jewellery is spilled all over the pavement.
Even though the locals could pocket it in all the commotion,
they pick it up to return to Sami.
We found that bike has a lot of gold.
At that moment, I saw something, I really liked it.
The community gathered together.
And they start collecting all the gold.
Witnessing that made me, like, honestly,
it made me really happy at that moment.
And the way people cared for Sam was amazing.
There is an old man, he's got a very big problem with his spine,
I know him personally,
but he took the responsibility
to hold that gold and to bring every single
piece back to that man.
His neighbours helping him in his time of need
means the world to Sami.
There was more than ten, 15 people, they bring the gold to me.
I can't remember all.
At that time, I felt...
"I am OK. This means I am not alone, because we have these friends."
And always I say, many thanks for them.
By contrast, the robber was left high and dry by his friends.
In court, he was sentenced
to five-and-a-half years in prison for the robbery
and other offences.
Sami didn't want to let the attack ruin his business.
He made his shop more secure,
worked hard to replace the stolen jewellery,
and a few months later, he felt he was ready to open his shop again.
We were so scared in the beginning.
But we saw something that is not in our mind.
People, they buy from us more than before.
They come and they say, "Well done, neighbour, well done."
The way the locals united during the robbery
will be remembered for a long time in Kingsbury.
What they did for us is going to make the area safer now.
The police came and said this to us, they were like, "What you just did,
"that's something very special that not many do."
And they said if something like that was to happen in every other area,
then crime is going to get reduced so much.
That's all for today.
Join us next time to see some more villains getting
their just deserts when they're caught red-handed.
Dom Littlewood looks at a jewellery heist that's more like a scene from a Hollywood movie as locals try to stop the armed robbers in their tracks. And a disabled pensioner is deceived in his own home by a supposed Good Samaritan.