Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. A special cafe full of rescue cats is targeted by a thief, but one of the moggies tries to slow him down.
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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.
Going to have him stopped.
Local councils, shops and businesses are fighting crime
with their own tricks and traps.
There's a eureka moment when you get that evidence.
And the public are using secret cameras to make sure
crooks get their comeuppance.
It makes me feel so angry.
He's paid the price. He's been dealt with.
Yes! We got her!
So, anyone who is up to no good had better think twice -
they might just get caught red-handed.
Today, father of one, Ayo, thought he was moving to
a safer neighbourhood when he left inner-city London,
until a visitor in the night proved him wrong.
It was a heart-stopping moment. It was like,
"Someone is standing in my house!"
Ayo is a computer expert,
and hopes that his IT expertise can help him crack the case.
Also today, Kate runs a unique cafe that's full of rescue cats.
One day, their CCTV shows they have a cat burglar at work.
And a cat detective, too.
Our cats have gone through so much already.
I felt quite devastated, actually.
But PC Tabbycat doesn't want him to get away with it.
But first, Natu and Su have run a local store
for over 30 peaceful years.
Until one day, all that changes when Natu sees Su being threatened
with a knife and has to make a life-or-death decision.
The knife was there on my face, and I was thinking, "Oh, my God,
"what's going to happen?"
Natu, despite his advanced years,
gives the robber the surprise of his life
with a ladder.
In the suburbs of Wolverhampton,
this convenience store is owned by Natu and his wife Hasumati,
known as Su.
They've been together since 1974.
My sister from Leicester phoned me.
She said, "There's a nice girl here, if you're interested."
I said, "Yes, I'll come round and have a look."
Natu's sister set up a meeting with Su.
We went out, we went for a ride.
It was so lovely.
He was young, very, very skinny. He was very skinny at that time.
It was good. She said, "My brother will tell me off."
I said, "Tell your brother, don't worry, I'll marry you."
True to his word, Natu soon married Su.
I've been with her 42 years now.
Yes. She is good.
She's the one who wears trousers in the house.
Natu and Su have raised a family and run the shop for 35 years.
It's my livelihood and I enjoy doing it.
Natu is so kind and so bubbly.
He's laughing all the time, joking all the time.
He never says no to anyone.
If a stranger comes in and says, "Oh, Natu, can I have this?"
He'll say, "OK." He's like that.
But then, one day, their peace is suddenly shattered
by a man with a knife who invades the shop demanding money.
It's a Tuesday afternoon in May.
The shop is open as normal,
but Natu and Su are also looking after their three-year-old
granddaughter, and today it's Natu's turn to keep her occupied.
I was just playing with her in the back in the living quarters.
I was by my own in the shop.
It was very quiet.
But the morning turns out to be anything but quiet
when this man enters the shop.
He just came in and he asked for ten cigarettes.
Su walks over to him.
I turned back and gave him ten cigarettes
and I said, "£3.90."
But at that moment the man reaches inside his coat
and suddenly Su is frozen with shock,
as she finds herself looking at a large, sharp knife,
pointed right at her throat.
I was just looking at the knife, and I was so frightened.
And he said, "Give me the money, give me the money."
I was too scared to open till or anything.
He was just...
The knife was on my neck, like, he was just there.
And I was so scared.
Su backs away as far as she can.
The man gets angry and starts trying to open the till himself.
He started to bang on the till, but he couldn't open it.
Still, the knife was there, on my face, and I was thinking,
"Oh, my God, what's going to happen?"
And then he turned round and I just went for the buzzer straight away.
The buzzer links through to the back room
where Natu is looking after their granddaughter.
He's unaware of the danger his wife is facing out front.
When I heard the buzzer, I thought my wife wanted to know
the price of something, or she needed assistance there, help.
He makes his way through to see Su.
Meanwhile, she is trying to edge away from the knifeman
as he continues to fumble with the till.
But he comes after her.
And as soon as he saw me going, he just came from the front
and he blocked me.
Natu comes through the back door and is surprised to find himself
face-to-face with a man brandishing a weapon.
I saw this knife and I said, "What the hell do you want?"
And he said, "Give me the money."
Oh, no, what am I going to do?
My husband said, "OK, wait a minute, I'll give you some money."
So he presumed that I was going to get the money.
But when he goes into the back room,
Natu makes a brave but foolhardy decision.
He decides to take on the knifeman.
In a panic I just saw that stepladder. I said,
"That's nice. That'll keep the distance between me and him."
I grabbed the ladder.
The knifeman is in for a shock.
I went and said, "Here you are!" and just ran at him.
He was afraid of it as much as I was afraid of him.
The man flees empty-handed,
with Natu chasing him out into the street.
I was shouting at him, I said, "Stop! Come here, you!"
And he didn't look back, he just kept on running.
I went outside as well to see what is going on.
And I saw him, he said, "He's gone, he's gone."
And I said to her, I said, "Are you all right?"
She said, "Yeah, I'm OK."
Then he said, "Give me the car keys, give me the car keys."
I said, "If you're all right, then I will go and look for him."
I was telling him, "No, don't go, just leave him alone, let him go."
He said, "No, no, I'm going to get him."
Natu drives off in the hope there's still
a chance of spotting the knifeman.
He's only walking, he has got no bike or no other transport.
And minutes later, Natu sees the man walking down the road.
He starts to follow him in his car.
I thought he might recognise me.
If he recognised me, then the game is over.
But he wasn't looking back.
I phoned the police and I told the police what happened,
and I said, "I'm following him now."
They said, "Keep your distance, don't approach him."
The police tell him they're on their way,
and Natu continues to track the would-be robber.
After several minutes, the man arrives at a bus stop.
The police said, "Just sit in the car and somebody will be there."
Natu waits to hear a police siren, but with a potentially dangerous
armed robber on the loose the police go for a covert tactic,
and officers approach in an unmarked car.
All of a sudden a maroon Astra pulls up,
and it was just ordinary couple come out.
I thought they must be catching the bus,
but instead they were arresting him.
They were going through his pockets, all his belongings.
I said to myself, "Oh, that's a good result,
"that they've got him in custody.
"He might have harmed somebody else."
The man's been apprehended, but Natu and Su are still worried that
if the suspect pleads not guilty, they will have to testify in court.
Then after a month the police said that he has pleaded guilty,
so I don't have to go to court now.
The man was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.
For his part in resisting and apprehending the robber,
Natu received a letter from High Sheriff of the West Midlands,
and will be given an award for bravery at a special ceremony.
But Natu believes Su was the brave one.
My wife had the courage
to stand there, and she is looking at him in his eyes
and he has got a knife in his hand.
And she did a very, very courageous thing to press the buzzer.
Su hasn't let the experience put her off working in the shop.
Many customers were saying, "Oh, Su, what have you done?
"What have you done?"
I said, "I haven't done anything, I was so scared."
"I bet you won't stand in the shop now."
I said, "No, I have to, because I like to stand in the shop and work in my shop."
But 35 years after opening their store,
the couple are now getting ready for a big change.
I'm going to retire next year.
Some holidays, look after grandsons and daughters
when they come to my house.
I was just a small house, not a very big house.
I want just a two-bedroom house. Nice, cosy.
I'm looking forward to retirement with her.
That's what I'm looking forward to.
And now, a homeowner in South London gets a rather nasty surprise.
As part of a wildlife project, their garden has had a camera
installed to film the comings and goings of a family of foxes.
The camera's clever technology means it is triggered by any movement,
and so it captures some wonderful moments -
a mum feeding her cub,
and a local moggy that gets the fright of its life from a fox cub...
before making a hasty exit.
And this other cub that's outfoxed by a pigeon.
He's left spitting feathers,
but so are the homeowners when the cameras night-vision reveals
they've had a visit from a different type of cunning fox.
This dodgy-looking man has crept into their garden
and is clearly up to no good.
He tries to break into their shed before helpfully revealing
his face to the camera.
After he's finished trying to burgle this household,
he moves on to steal from a neighbour's home.
But he accidentally leaves his scarf behind.
It doesn't take the Met long to identify him from this video,
arrest him, and then match his DNA to that on the scarf left
at the scene of the crime.
Because it's the third time he's been convicted,
the burglar is sentenced to four and a half years in prison.
So now the fox cam, after its brief brush with crime,
can go back to filming Mr and Mrs Brush and their cute family.
Look down any street and you'll see an increasing number
of homes with security cameras.
And often, those houses will have cameras inside as well as out.
This camera captures a burglar as he sneaks into
a house while a family sleeps upstairs.
What if he took my daughter?
Things like that do happen.
And this homeowner decides to use the power of technology
to track the thief down.
The market town of Romford is on the outskirts of east London.
Ayo moved here with his partner and young daughter
two years ago.
He was raised in a tough area of inner-city London,
but it didn't stop him doing well at school.
After successfully forging a career in IT,
he was hoping life would be safer in Romford.
I was brought up in Hackney, east London,
AKA the concrete jungle.
So I was... I mean, I'm quite streetwise.
Now I live in Romford. It's slightly more quiet, I'd say.
It's pretty nice area to live in.
But one thing I did discover afterwards...
I started actually researching burglaries in this area.
Ayo found his new postcode came high up on the list of
burglary hot spots in the UK.
Which was something I didn't know before I moved here.
Out here there's a lot more space, so people have got drives.
So, you see an expensive car in the drive,
you know the keys are in that house.
And it wasn't just his car that Ayo was worried about -
he has a lot of expensive equipment at home.
I'm a computer programmer,
what I've always wanted to do as a child, kind of thing.
So I'm living the dream, I guess.
But all the problems I have in life, I always turn to technology.
I always turn to technology.
So Ayo decided to use technology to help protect his technology.
As well as getting an alarm installed,
he invested in some security cameras.
My friend started a company, I just kind of wanted to support him,
and I had bought that new car at the time, and I thought,
"I might go get the CCTV," not thinking anything would happen.
But something does happen,
and Ayo's security equipment turns out to be a wise investment.
It's a Friday night in February.
Ayo is at home with his partner
while their young daughter sleeps upstairs.
I went to bed like I usually do.
I rarely used to put the alarm on at night.
The couple's pet pug, Hugo, is in the kitchen downstairs.
He was really young, he was in a cage,
so he doesn't mess up the whole kitchen over the night.
The family sleeps soundly that night.
They don't hear a peep from young Hugo.
But in the morning, they find the front door slightly ajar.
My girlfriend said, "You've left the door open."
I just thought, "Maybe I did leave it open,"
because it didn't look like it had been broken,
so I just closed the door.
Ayo is intending to go to the gym, but he can't find his kitbag.
And that's not all.
I then went looking for my phone and I couldn't find my phone anywhere.
And even then, the penny still hadn't fully dropped
cos I just didn't believe it.
But then I thought, "OK, let me just check the CCTV."
He looks at the overnight recording and he's stunned by what he sees.
I was shocked, I think that was the main thing.
I was shocked just to see someone standing there.
It's just gone 3am.
A man in a hoodie walks up the driveway past Ayo's new car.
He has something in his hand...
..and forces the front door open.
Seconds later, he's inside.
It literally was... a heart-stopping moment.
It was like...
"Someone is standing in my house!"
The intruder starts rummaging through the coats in the hall.
He was looking for the car keys
because he wanted to steal the car that was outside.
Unaware there's a camera, the man has let his hood slip back,
showing his face.
He finds a bag and carries it outside.
I'm guessing he wanted to check,
maybe the keys potentially could be in there.
But the keys aren't in the bag,
so the intruder comes back for a further search.
He came in again and he looked quite angry, actually.
He looked quite kind of like, "Ugh, where are these keys?"
But then things take a more sinister turn as the man creeps upstairs,
where Ayo and his family are fast asleep.
Which definitely did put a different spin on it,
because it made me much more angry about the whole situation.
What if he just took my daughter?
Which is possible, you know, things...
..things like that do happen.
After a few minutes, the intruder creeps back downstairs.
He still hasn't found the car key and searches the coats again.
He decides to take Ayo's jacket away with him.
I had my phone in there, I had headphones -
probably quite heavy.
Again, I thought he thought maybe the keys could be in there.
The man finally leaves the house.
He doesn't find the keys and doesn't steal the car,
but he's taken Ayo's jacket,
phone and a bag containing a valuable laptop and other equipment.
Ayo calls the police, who take away a copy of the CCTV recording
to start their investigation.
Meanwhile, he decides to do some detective work of his own.
I'm the kind of person that, if I feel I've been wronged,
I'll take it all the way to the Supreme Court if I have to,
and I think, in this particular situation,
I had a little bit of an advantage in terms of, he took my phone,
so that gave me a bit of a clue, I had some CCTV,
so I knew that there was something that I could do.
Ayo's phone has a feature that sends out messages,
showing its whereabouts if it's been lost or stolen.
I went to my mum's house
and I just used my brother's computer to check my e-mail,
and I saw this "your phone has been found here" kind of thing.
So as soon as I saw that I was like,
"Yes, right, I've got something to go on!"
The phone has sent a message,
alerting Ayo that it's somewhere in an estate near his home.
He gives the information to the police,
but can't resist going to have a look around himself.
I just thought, well, the least I could do is try to see
if I could provide some more information for the police
trying to catch him, and potentially I might bump into him myself.
Thanks to his CCTV cameras,
Ayo has a good idea what the man looks like.
I could work out his height, roughly, from where the door was,
so I kind of like worked out his height -
roughly he's a little bit taller than me.
But as you can see he has a very distinctive hairline,
he's going bald.
Every time I was walking around, I was looking at people's hair
to see if they've got a balding patch at the front,
and then I looked at their trainers.
Ayo can't find the burglar, but when he shows
a local woman his CCTV footage, she recognises the man.
She said to me, he's got a garage, and she's always seeing
these new cars going in and out of this garage.
So she took me to where this garage was.
She was a bit reluctant,
but in the end I kind of just talked her into it.
There's no-one at the garage,
but Ayo takes photographs of the area and notes the locations
of nearby CCTV cameras, in case they can provide any video evidence.
And then I went back home,
and I basically wrote a report to the police
saying I've discovered this now,
I've been down there, I've had a look. I gave all this to the police.
It's not long before there's some good news.
I got an e-mail from the police saying that someone got arrested.
Which was great, I was really, really happy about that.
So he initially denied it,
but a bit further along he admitted it before, obviously,
he was going to get convicted.
And convicted he was.
The man was sent to prison for two years and four months
for the burglary of Ayo's home.
I was absolutely fantastically happy about it.
I could sleep at night knowing that person is not actually
going to do it tonight because he is in prison, so that was good.
Ayo's stolen equipment was not recovered.
But at least, being an experienced computer techie,
he had made sure he had backups of everything that was on it.
He's also improved his security at home.
I make sure every single night my alarm is on,
my door is double locked.
Ayo also hopes Hugo proves to be a slightly more effective
guard dog in future.
Now he probably would bark, but the fact that he didn't react,
you know, you can't really blame him, he was only a youngster.
He's only learning his trade.
Let's go, then, boss.
Thankfully, it's rare for a burglar to break into a house
when people are at home.
But there are still some straightforward things we can do
to reduce the chance of it happening to us.
One of the easiest things you can do is to make sure you've got
the right doors and window locks, that they're well manufactured,
that they actually do the job that they intend to.
Don't leave your valuables near to the front door,
perhaps a handbag, car keys, you name it -
all of this is an attraction for a wannabe burglar.
They can even use things like coat hangers or fishing rods
to put through your letterbox and just hook your keys.
We've had experience of criminals using six-foot rods to be able
to reach in and steal property.
This can be as far as a kitchen, perhaps on the stairway.
If you're away, have a neighbour, a friend,
a family member come in, turn some lights on,
invest in a light timer to do it automatically for you,
have a friend park their car in the drive.
Just make it look as though there's someone in all the time
and they'll move on.
Now, a thief enters a rescue centre for cats
and steals their collected funds.
He thinks he's got away with it,
but Daisy, the clever cat, is set to surprise this crook.
She knows everything on that reception desk,
and she can see it there in the back.
It's like she runs off to go and get someone.
In the centre of Nottingham,
there's an unusual business on high street.
In Kate's special cafe,
the customers are surrounded by cats.
I think cats just steal my heart a little bit.
They can have that air of independence,
but they need and love you, really.
We basically just fit in around the cats.
That's generally how it works.
The place was built with the trees, with the cats in mind,
and we even have our own cat VIP area, which is the cat snug,
which customers don't have access to.
That means they can get away and chill out if they wish.
Stolen my chair!
The range of people that come here is actually quite amazing.
We have, you know,
from young children to absolute crazy cat ladies, just like me.
We've come all the way from Leicester.
My name's Cat, I have a cat top,
I'm petting a cat in a cat cafe.
We are dedicated to our cats.
It's very difficult for them not to put a smile on your face,
especially if you've had a bad day and some smelly old tabby
comes and parks his bottom on you.
It usually brightens up my day, anyway.
But the cafe has a serious purpose.
Many of these are rescue cats, and the aim of Kate's business
is to take them in, rehabilitate them, and then re-home them.
There you go. You look beautiful.
So, to pay towards the cats' welfare,
customers regularly fill the donation box on the cafe's counter.
It contributes to their day-to-day upkeep,
it goes towards all the veterinary care that they might require.
We get cats that come to us in some shocking states,
really, really bad states.
One of those cats was Daisy.
She embodies Kitty Cafe. She was an abandoned kitten.
She was in a bad way when we got her.
We wasn't sure that her and her sister were going to survive.
Me and my husband looked after them personally in our home.
Her and her sister pulled through, and ever since then,
she has just been in charge and ruled the roost.
Daisy is one of the most well-known cats in the cafe
as she spends most of her time sitting on the reception desk,
which proves useful the day a crook targets the cafe,
and Daisy plays cat and mouse with him.
It's a Tuesday afternoon, just gone three.
The receptionist is busy packing display items
when this man approaches the desk.
We do get a lot of customers that come in,
intrigued about who we are and what we do.
This gentleman came in, and he was asking questions
about the cafe in the same sort of way.
But the man is just pussyfooting around,
hiding his true purpose.
He wants to get his paws on a box at reception
containing donations from the public.
As soon as the receptionist goes to get something
from under the counter, he pounces.
Unseen by everybody, he puts it in his bag,
but he hasn't counted on cats' eyes.
Daisy senses something is going on
and approaches the bag to look inside.
The man attempts to shoo her away, but she won't budge.
Then Daisy tries jumping into it.
But can't get through the gap.
As far as Daisy's concerned, this cat's out of the bag.
But the thief nonchalantly carries on his conversation
before getting away with the donation box.
Kate doesn't discover the box is missing until the end of the day.
We checked the CCTV and we saw this incident unfold
in front of our eyes.
There was around £60 in the box the thief stole.
I felt quite devastated, actually,
because it's so obvious what we do and what the money is for.
Our cats, they have gone through so much already,
and that somebody wanted to take away from that was very upsetting.
But Kate is pleased that Daisy helped to slow the thief down
and create some memorable CCTV footage.
She knows everything on that reception desk,
and she can see it there in the bag.
And it's like she runs off to go and get someone to come and help.
I was very proud of Daisy.
She did get some extra treats that night.
The police come to take away the recording
to start their investigation.
And Kate does what she can to get her claws into this cat burglar,
by posting the video on the internet.
We have such a strong following on social media,
and Daisy has almost, like, her own fan club.
Once I got it on there, it sort of just flew.
People in the Nottingham area are outraged
and shared Daisy's video thousands of times.
And a week later, the combination of all this publicity
together with the police work
means the thief hasn't a cat in hell's chance.
He was being arrested in town for another offence,
and a couple of our regulars who had the video
went onto Facebook, marched over to the police,
show them the video of little Daisy trying to get the donation box,
and he was arrested there and then
for the theft of the donation box, too.
A PURRfect result.
In court, the thief pleaded guilty to the theft from the cafe
and was sentenced to nine weeks' imprisonment,
suspended for 12 months.
He was also ordered to pay Kate £60 compensation.
All the attention Kate's cafe received after the incident
caused extra donations to flood in.
The only difference now is that the box is stuck to the counter.
It means that if they were to try and slide it,
not only would it not go anywhere but we'd hear it ripping, so...
Any problems on reception today?
And of course, any crooks will have to get past the cats' eyes
of a very cool cat called Daisy.
That's it for today, and that's it for a few more criminals
who've been caught red-handed.
A family believe they are moving to a safer neighbourhood when they leave inner-city London, but then one night an unwelcome visitor proves them wrong. And a special cafe full of rescue cats is targeted by a thief, but one of the moggies tries to slow him down.