Episode 14 Caught Red Handed


Episode 14

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Thieves will steal our cash, our cars, our valuables.

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Just about anything they can get their hands on.

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But now the police are using cutting-edge technology to catch

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the bad guys.

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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 are fighting crime

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with their own tricks and traps.

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There's a eureka moment when you get that evidence.

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And the public are using secret cameras to make sure crooks

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-get their comeuppance.

-It makes me feel so angry.

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He's paid the price. He's being dealt with.

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Yes! We've got her!

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So, anyone who is up to no good had better think twice.

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They might just get caught red-handed.

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Today - teenager Jordan is enjoying his first-ever full-time job.

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Until the day an armed robber fires a gun at him point-blank.

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But Jordan bravely fights back.

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I was so scared, my adrenaline was going.

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The violent attacker runs off,

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but clever police work and camera footage

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combine to catch him, quite literally, by the seat of his pants.

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Where the tracksuit bottoms had slipped down,

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you could see blue and white Bermuda shorts.

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Also today - after his father died in a tragic accident,

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Stephen suddenly had to take over the family business.

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But then, a theft in broad daylight threatens his family's livelihood.

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This guy just decides to take our stuff,

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the stuff that's paying the staff's wages.

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It was a bitter pill to swallow.

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Then the thief comes back again, so this time they're going after him.

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And a rubbish dumper gets a shock

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when he's caught doing his dirty deed.

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But when officers analyse CCTV footage,

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they realise there's more to this case than meets the eye.

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Morriston is on the outskirts of Swansea.

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Jordan, who's 19, works at one of the town's convenience stores.

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55p.

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He's delighted to have finally landed a job,

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following a long search for employment after leaving school.

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I was out every day looking for jobs,

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because I left school early.

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I've got no qualifications, so I was over the moon.

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I couldn't wait to start.

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Jordan's mum Emma is proud at how he's turned things around

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for the better.

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He's a typical 19-year-old.

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He used to get into trouble.

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You know, he used to get in trouble here and there.

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And we haven't always seen eye to eye,

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but he has grown up a lot lately.

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He's got his own house, so he's getting money to decorate it,

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got the steady job that he's settling down with,

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so he's really self-sufficient.

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Thank you.

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It's not easy for young people to find employment in the area and

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Jordan is happy to have a proper job at last.

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But his new life is about to become violently disrupted when an armed

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robber invades the shop and attacks him.

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It's early afternoon on a weekday in winter.

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CCTV cameras dotted around the shop show that it's quiet.

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Jordan's working on his own, filling shelves in the stockroom.

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But suddenly, he's not alone.

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A hooded man bursts into the shop.

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He'd come in, he had a massive scarf, I think, over his face,

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a hat on.

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He says, "You open the till, open the till."

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It's so bizarre.

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At first, Jordan thinks it's a wind-up,

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but soon realises this is no joke.

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Because as the man gets closer, he pulls out a gun.

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I'd never seen a gun, so I didn't know if it was a real gun or not.

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I just panicked.

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Jordan pushes the man away.

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Obviously, he got more angry.

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And then, an extraordinary and horrifying moment.

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The man fires the gun at Jordan from close range.

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And he feels something sting his cheek, but Jordan realises it can't

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have been a full-size bullet and the robber may have a BB gun that fires

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pellets rather than bullets.

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But even so, they can pierce skin and fracture bones.

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I didn't want to give him the money because it weren't my money to give away.

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I felt I could fight back, like, I had a chance.

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But the robber threatens Jordan again and follows him into the stockroom.

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It was like I was cornered, so I stepped back and I picked up a can.

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Jordan hits the attacker hard with a drinks can.

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The pair start a desperate tussle.

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The man hits Jordan over the head with his gun.

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I was so scared, like, I didn't feel anything.

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My adrenaline was going.

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Jordan uses all his strength to force the attacker back.

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I said, "You're not having anything, best to leave."

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And he ran and it was over.

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He feels the top of his head as he goes behind the counter.

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That's when I realised I could feel something on my head and my hand was

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-covered in blood.

-Dazed by what's happened and the sight of the blood,

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his first thought is to phone his mum.

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I was just in so much shock, it was the first person I wanted to see.

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He was really panicked.

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Well, my heart just sunk because I just thought, "Oh, my God,

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"he's been shot," and obviously, I just thought the worst then.

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I was in such a panic.

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Emma sets off for the shop.

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Meanwhile, Jordan calls the police,

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who soon arrived in force with a firearms unit,

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dog handlers and many officers.

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I think there was about three vans,

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a car, all the way up the street.

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Detective Constable Andy Davies heads up the investigation.

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When I got to the shop and I spoke to Jordan,

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he told me what had happened,

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it was quite courageous in the way that he did fight back,

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putting aside his own safety.

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He was quite shaken up and I think as time was going on,

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it was dawning on him the reality of what could have happened.

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I kept thinking about it in my head, like, what just happened,

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my lips went blue and I was shaking.

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When Emma reaches the shop,

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she's relieved to find that her son is not badly injured.

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He was really shook up by it.

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But once I had a cuddle off him, it was great.

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I knew he was OK. He was going to be OK.

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Yeah.

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Andy and his team get back to the station to begin identifying the

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would-be robber. They don't have to wait long for an answer.

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After a few hours, they receive a tip-off.

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We had a phone call from a member of the public telling us that

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the person possibly responsible for this armed robbery

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was at an address in Morriston.

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Andy heads round to the address with a search team and firearms officers.

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We found him hiding in a wardrobe in one of the spare bedrooms.

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We could see that he had black eyes developing,

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he had a cut under his left eye.

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And you could see that he had recently been hit in the face with some force.

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Jordan's drink can must have hit home.

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Officers arrest the suspect and soon find more evidence in the house.

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Other officers had found a BB gun box, which was the same size and

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shape of the gun that was used that we saw on the CCTV footage.

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They take the suspect back to the station.

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Andy checks the CCTV to see if the robber's clothing matches items

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they've seized and it does, in a rather unusual way.

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Jordan's fightback had caused the man to become dishevelled.

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His hood had come down and so had his trousers.

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Where the tracksuit bottoms had slipped down,

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you could see blue and white Bermuda shorts.

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The suspect in custody is wearing the same underwear.

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He's been caught with his trousers down.

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He had basically no option but to plead guilty.

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In court, the man was sentenced to four years in prison.

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Even though Jordan was shaken, he went back to work the next day.

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Support from local well-wishers has helped him to get over the ordeal.

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The customers that come in, they've been lovely,

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just ask me what happened with things,

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just said well done.

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'All the family and friends,'

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everybody is so proud of him and he doesn't take compliments very well.

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But, yeah, he really did well, yeah.

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But from now on, his mum and his boss have insisted that he must put

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his own safety first.

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I know now I should have given him the money,

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but that's the first time anything like that has ever happened to me.

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I didn't know what to do. It was just one of those things.

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Now, most thieves only care about what they're stealing,

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not who they're stealing from.

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But maybe this chap should have checked out

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exactly who owns the beer barrel he's nicking.

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He's spotted the unattended beer keg by the back door of a club

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and decides to pick it up in his pick-up.

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But what he doesn't realise is he's stealing the keg from a karate club.

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Perhaps not a smart move,

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because when the masters of the martial art see on CCTV what's happened,

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they recognise the thief.

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Taking a hands-on approach,

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they pay the culprit a friendly visit

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and make him an offer he, hm, can't refuse.

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Luckily, the thief hasn't drunk the beer and decides it's best to bring

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the barrel straight back.

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Maybe he was afraid that if he didn't, they'd give him the chop.

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Every year, 45,000 businesses are burgled.

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Thieves are always on the lookout for goods they can sell on and when

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they see something they want, they can be pretty brazen.

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A thief steals an expensive mower from a family business.

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Not exactly a major crime, you may think,

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but stealing from a small family concern

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can have far-reaching effects on the family involved.

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Especially when the brazen thief thinks nothing of coming back

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and doing it all over again.

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It's a small business.

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It's a week's wages.

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It makes you feel...

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vulnerable.

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The town of Lurgan in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.

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McKerr's hardware store has been in the town centre for decades.

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Stephen McKerr now runs the family business that was started by his

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grandfather in the 1930s,

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and then taken over by his father, David, in the '60s.

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As a teenager, Stephen started to help his dad out in the shop too.

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It's a big thing being with my dad, I really enjoyed that.

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Took me everywhere,

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brought me to every single meeting that he ever really went to.

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I loved the people,

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I enjoyed the social aspect of serving people

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and looking after them.

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I got a taste of what work was like

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and I thought it was cool.

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Having run the store for over 40 years,

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Stephen's father, David, was a pillar of the community.

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I looked up to my father a lot.

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He was a great man

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and had lots of really...

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nice attributes that I wanted to have, you know, when I was older.

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But Stephen's dad was killed in a road accident nine years ago.

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He was knocked off his bike and...

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it was a tough time, but...

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I suppose it was a time when you saw...

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customers in a different light.

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Dad's funeral, like, was massive.

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It was about 600 people standing outside the church,

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they had to set up speakers and everything outside.

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At the age of 27, Stephen took over the business,

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wanting to make a success of it for his father and to support his mother.

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He was helped by Nigel,

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the store's general manager and his dad's trusted right-hand man.

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David McKerr, he was close to me and Stephen,

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I look at him as a younger brother,

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I watch out for him and look out for him.

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We can fight sometimes, but we're like brothers and that encouraged

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me to keep going.

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You know, not to give up.

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And Nigel will prove his worth once again when a thief threatens

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the family business.

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It's a Tuesday in March, nearly 5pm.

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As usual, all the larger lawn mowers the store sells

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are out on the forecourt.

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But not for long.

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The store's entrance camera picks up this man going to

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look at the most expensive lawn mowers outside.

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He moves one of them closer to the front of the forecourt.

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But he's not trying it out.

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Checking nobody's watching him,

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he stoops to lift the mower up and over the wall.

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After one glance back, he simply walks away with it.

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We didn't notice until the next morning.

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Bringing the stuff out as normal and this lawn mower's missing,

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so we checked with all the staff members.

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Next protocol was to have a look on the cameras.

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Stephen and Nigel can't believe what they see.

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It was a bit of a shock because somebody had actually had the nerve

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and the gall to do this in broad daylight.

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It was about £460, this lawn mower cost.

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As a small business, it's a week's wages for someone.

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And it was a hard pill to swallow, it was at bitter pill to swallow.

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When you've got a family at home and my mum doesn't work in the business

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any more, but she's still dependent on it, it makes you feel vulnerable.

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The police collect the shop CCTV recording and take it to surrounding

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stores to see if anybody's seen anything.

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This has an immediate result.

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Someone had witnessed that the mower had been taken.

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What's more, this witness knows the mower thief's identity.

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Now it's just a case of the police tracking him down.

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A few weeks later, the police came and said, "Yeah,

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"we've caught up with him and he's been charged."

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Sadly, there's no sign of the lawn mower,

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but it's some consolation for Stephen that although the thief is on bail,

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he will soon be going to court.

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I thought, "Right, that's it, done and dusted."

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But two weeks later,

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Stephen and Nigel are about to get a nasty surprise.

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I was stood in the shop and the next thing a customer comes running in

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and says, "Someone just run down the street with one of your lawn mowers."

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I was, like, "You're joking. This cannot be happening."

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This time an even more expensive mower has been taken.

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This is £1,000 this time.

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Just thought, "Right, I'm going to go.

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"Try and get this guy." Adrenaline took over.

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As Stephen is with a customer,

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Nigel rushes outside and finds the thief has left a trail.

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As I went round the back of the shop,

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I've seen the grass box laying on the ground,

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so I grabbed it.

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That's good, but unfortunately,

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the grass collector is the least valuable part of the lawn mower.

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Nigel searches behind nearby houses in the hope he can find the rest,

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and success.

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He probably left it there,

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thinking that he'd come back later and lift it.

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So Nigel hasn't got his man, but at least he has got the mower.

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I was delighted.

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It was a good feeling to get it back

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and it means it was something that we could sell and we hadn't lost it.

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They wonder who the culprit is this time,

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but when Nigel and Stephen check the CCTV footage,

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it's a shocking case of deja vu.

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Unbelievable, it was the same guy.

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He's still on bail for the first offence, but this thief has come back.

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I just can't get over the brass neck on the guy.

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You know, he's just so brazen.

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Obviously no remorse in him at all.

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I think there's a bit of a nerve and there's a bit of stupidity as well.

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As before, the thief goes to lift the mower over the wall, but this time

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he's seen by the driver of this red car, who pulls up immediately.

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A customer actually spotted him.

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Thanks so much to that guy who come in and let us know that, you know,

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this guy was stealing a machine.

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It doesn't take the police long to find the man and charge him.

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In court, he pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and was sentenced to

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three months in jail.

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It was a huge relief when we heard that he'd been actually put behind

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bars and we knew that, for a little while at least,

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we're hopefully safe.

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Just to be sure, the lawn mowers outside are now chained up.

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Other than that, it's business as usual for Stephen at the family store.

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I just hope to keep it going and, you know, obviously make it better,

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improve it and always keep its character.

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It's not easy. Doing what he's done after the death of his father,

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to keep the business running,

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Stephen's dad would be very proud.

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We can't just rely on the police to fight crime.

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We all need to do our bit too.

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Sharp-eyed citizens can help stop criminals up to no good if we know

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what to look out for.

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Lookout for suspicious activity.

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So, for instance, somebody coming out of an address with boxes

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and you don't believe that person's moving out.

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It could be a neighbour,

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somebody trying to card doors as they walk down the street,

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somebody checking the doors of garages.

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Those are not normal behaviours.

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Offenders will wear winter clothing, such as a winter hat, winter coat,

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gloves, during the height of summer.

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Mainly because it's to protect their identity,

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perhaps there's CCTV in the area.

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And if you do see something, then don't sleep on it,

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ring us straightaway and not only could you help us catch them for

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that crime, but you also could've prevented

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a number of other crimes from occurring in the future.

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Give as much detail as possible, particularly descriptions.

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We need to know what people look like, so we can trace them later on.

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Think about the direction they're going in.

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Were they in a vehicle or on a bike?

0:19:240:19:26

Every piece of information you give us, helps us build that jigsaw.

0:19:260:19:29

It's roll-out the barrel day today.

0:19:390:19:41

We've already seen a fellow who was foolish enough to try to steal beer

0:19:410:19:45

from a karate club.

0:19:450:19:47

Well, here's a thief and his accomplices who also get into a barrel of

0:19:470:19:51

trouble when they go on a roll at a winemakers.

0:19:510:19:55

After snipping through the wire fence,

0:19:550:19:57

they steal 17 barrels used to store wine,

0:19:570:20:00

worth thousands of pounds.

0:20:000:20:02

But the burglars make a schoolboy error

0:20:030:20:06

by advertising them for sale online.

0:20:060:20:09

The owners see the advert and go to the location mentioned in the ad,

0:20:090:20:13

where they find the barrels.

0:20:130:20:14

There's no sign of the burglars, but at least the winemakers have their

0:20:160:20:19

property back and the CCTV evidence means that when the police catch up

0:20:190:20:24

with the thieves, they'll have them over a barrel.

0:20:240:20:27

Fly-tipping can be a scourge on our countryside, but all over Britain,

0:20:340:20:38

there are teams hard at work to stamp it out.

0:20:380:20:41

You don't not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you

0:20:410:20:44

do not mention when questioned something you that you later rely on in court.

0:20:440:20:47

Hidden cameras can provide vital evidence.

0:20:470:20:51

And sometimes, the most straightforward cases have a twist in the tale.

0:20:510:20:55

You do get quite a little bit of an adrenaline rush, because you know

0:20:560:20:59

these people are literally caught red-handed.

0:20:590:21:02

The countryside near Peterlee in the north-east of England is renowned

0:21:110:21:15

for its beautiful scenery.

0:21:150:21:16

John Butler's job means he's lucky enough to have seen a fair bit of

0:21:190:21:23

our wilder areas.

0:21:230:21:25

He works for The Woodland Trust,

0:21:250:21:27

which strives to maintain and enhance natural habitats.

0:21:270:21:31

The best bits I look forward to is walking through the ancient

0:21:310:21:33

semi-natural woodland.

0:21:330:21:35

They're really important for habitat,

0:21:350:21:37

for wildlife, for wellbeing.

0:21:370:21:39

It's really nice to walk through them and see all the flora and the

0:21:390:21:42

different trees.

0:21:420:21:44

But sadly, anyone setting out to enjoy the fascinating flora and fauna here

0:21:440:21:49

is likely to be shocked to find something far less pleasant.

0:21:490:21:53

Parts of the local National Trust site Warren House Gill have been

0:21:550:21:59

spoiled by fly-tippers dumping rubbish.

0:21:590:22:02

The fly-tippers, they just don't care and they don't realise what

0:22:020:22:04

they're doing to the environment. They don't understand the costs involved.

0:22:040:22:08

It's quite devastating to see.

0:22:080:22:10

There's a constant battle raging throughout the country to prevent

0:22:100:22:13

the illegal dumping of rubbish.

0:22:130:22:16

But as we will see, here in County Durham,

0:22:160:22:18

they're having some success setting fly traps to catch the fly-tippers.

0:22:180:22:24

Ian Hoult of Durham Council heads an anti-fly tipping unit.

0:22:240:22:27

It causes a problem

0:22:270:22:29

for the wildlife that live here,

0:22:290:22:31

it causes a problem for the people that use this area as well.

0:22:310:22:34

Not to mention the fact that it costs money to remove it and,

0:22:340:22:37

of course, it's just an absolute eyesore.

0:22:370:22:39

Kendra is part of Ian's team.

0:22:400:22:42

This place is quite historic with regards to fly-tipping, because it's

0:22:430:22:47

secluded. You haven't got passing traffic.

0:22:470:22:50

Ironically, there's a recycling centre just 200 yards from the entrance

0:22:500:22:54

to the gill.

0:22:540:22:56

Possibly due to the fact either maybe the skip site's closed,

0:22:560:22:58

or there's possibly a queue,

0:22:580:23:00

they end up just driving down here and dumping the waste.

0:23:000:23:03

But some tippers would do better to turn around and drive back home with

0:23:040:23:08

their rubbish, because they're about to get their comeuppance.

0:23:080:23:11

It's a mid-summer's day and Ian's team has placed a covert camera into

0:23:160:23:21

the undergrowth.

0:23:210:23:22

We always put a sign up in advance.

0:23:220:23:25

It's important to let people know that they could get videoed

0:23:250:23:28

and that's often a deterrent in the first place.

0:23:280:23:30

The camera starts recording when it senses motion.

0:23:310:23:34

We look at the angles that we've got,

0:23:340:23:36

we look at making sure that we can pick up registration plates,

0:23:360:23:40

pick up the people who are doing it.

0:23:400:23:42

Sometime later...

0:23:420:23:44

..Kendra and a colleague are out on one of their regular patrols

0:23:450:23:48

of the area, near the site of the covert cameras.

0:23:480:23:52

We came travelling down the bank,

0:23:520:23:54

we saw a vehicle pulling under the bridge and over to the site.

0:23:540:23:59

My colleague actually said to me, "Let's follow that vehicle,"

0:23:590:24:03

and his hunches are usually right.

0:24:030:24:05

As well as the fixed hidden cameras,

0:24:070:24:09

the team also have body cameras to capture evidence that can be used in

0:24:090:24:13

court. Kendra's colleague has switched his camera on.

0:24:130:24:17

There are two people in the suspicious car they've seen,

0:24:170:24:20

a man and a woman.

0:24:200:24:21

We came under the bridge and at just the exact time, a male was taking

0:24:210:24:25

items out of his boot and throwing them over the hill.

0:24:250:24:29

As Kendra's colleague approaches,

0:24:290:24:31

the man sheepishly puts a large bag back into the boot of his car.

0:24:310:24:35

When we are witnessing it happening there and then,

0:24:350:24:37

you do get quite a little bit of an adrenaline rush, because you know

0:24:370:24:41

these people are literally caught red-handed.

0:24:410:24:43

So you know why we are here.

0:24:430:24:44

You do not have to say anything,

0:24:470:24:48

but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when

0:24:480:24:50

questioned something which you later rely on in court.

0:24:500:24:53

Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?

0:24:530:24:55

-Yeah.

-You're also being recorded on CCTV, OK?

0:24:550:25:00

I just have to get a few details off you.

0:25:000:25:03

The man's partner is sitting in the front seat.

0:25:030:25:06

As far as we were aware,

0:25:060:25:07

the female wasn't fly-tipping at all in this incident.

0:25:070:25:10

The male's reaction was, he just went along with it.

0:25:100:25:13

He knew he'd been caught, he knew he couldn't get out of it.

0:25:130:25:16

You do realise it's an offence, fly-tipping? Yeah?

0:25:160:25:20

He told us that he'd just moved into his house with his girlfriend

0:25:200:25:24

and was clearing out all old stuff that they no longer needed.

0:25:240:25:27

Carpet, cardboard, an old vacuum cleaner and household debris

0:25:270:25:35

have all been dumped onto the verge.

0:25:350:25:37

The woman says she isn't involved.

0:25:390:25:42

Her partner claims he only did it because the nearby recycling centre

0:25:420:25:46

-was shut.

-There's no excuse.

0:25:460:25:48

He could've easily just saw that the skip was closed,

0:25:480:25:51

left it in the car and came back the next day and brought it back to the

0:25:510:25:54

-skip site.

-Did you put anything over there?

0:25:540:25:56

-Sorry?

-Did you put anything over there?

0:25:560:25:58

No. What will happen?

0:25:580:26:00

-You'll have to go to court.

-Go to court?

-Court?

-Yeah.

-Really?

0:26:000:26:03

Yeah. If it was littering,

0:26:030:26:05

then it would be a fixed penalty from ourselves.

0:26:050:26:07

-Right.

-But because it's fly-tipping, it carries a harsher sentence.

0:26:070:26:11

You can understand why.

0:26:110:26:13

Couldn't tell you, it's up to the courts to decide.

0:26:150:26:18

Once they've got his details,

0:26:190:26:21

Kendra and her colleague let the man go and they return to their office.

0:26:210:26:25

Kendra came back and said, "You'll never guess what's happened today.

0:26:260:26:30

"I caught somebody fly-tipping."

0:26:300:26:33

There's a certain buzz that goes around,

0:26:330:26:34

finding out that that's what's happened.

0:26:340:26:37

It's highly unusual to catch a fly-tipper in the act and in this case,

0:26:370:26:41

there's some more surprising evidence still to come.

0:26:410:26:44

Remember that hidden camera?

0:26:460:26:48

Our fly-tipping team went back and pulled the cameras back in and we

0:26:480:26:51

actually had caught the whole incident from him pulling into the area.

0:26:510:26:55

It makes for interesting viewing.

0:26:550:26:59

At the time, it was the man that was fly-tipping.

0:26:590:27:01

Of course, what a surprise when the footage was reviewed,

0:27:010:27:04

actually they were both involved.

0:27:040:27:06

The female, she'd also been helping take the rubbish

0:27:070:27:10

out of the boot of the car.

0:27:100:27:11

When she heard Kendra's vehicle arriving,

0:27:110:27:14

the woman had quickly got into the front seat of the car.

0:27:140:27:17

The man then returned his bag of rubbish to the boot.

0:27:170:27:20

They were both fully aware they'd been rumbled

0:27:200:27:23

and were trying to hide it.

0:27:230:27:25

So myself and my colleague went to the property of where the young

0:27:250:27:28

couple lived and her reaction was, basically, hands up,

0:27:280:27:32

"I've been caught also."

0:27:320:27:33

In court, the fly-tippers were ordered to pay £408 each

0:27:370:27:41

in fines and costs.

0:27:410:27:43

The couple now also have criminal records.

0:27:460:27:49

It's a tough lesson, but the countryside needs protecting and publicity

0:27:490:27:54

from the case sends out a message that fly-tipping won't be tolerated.

0:27:540:27:58

It's the environment, it's part of our life.

0:27:580:28:02

We don't want to cause any damage to it and we don't want to lose it.

0:28:020:28:05

It's a beautiful, beautiful place.

0:28:050:28:07

We really do need to take care of it.

0:28:070:28:09

That's all for today.

0:28:150:28:16

Join us next time to see some other villains

0:28:160:28:18

who've been caught red-handed.

0:28:180:28:20

A teenager is enjoying his first ever full-time job when an armed robber fires a gun at him point-blank, but the brave shop assistant fights back. And a rubbish dumper gets the shock of his life when he's caught doing his dirty deed.


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