Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. A sinister visitor in a school hall is up to no good, and a Chinese restaurant has a late-night intruder.
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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've got her!
So anyone who's up to no good had better think twice.
They might just get Caught Red Handed.
This burglar is stealing a whole shop full of mobile phones
that are being repaired.
The shop owner's customers have lost not just their phones,
but precious photos and personal details.
What I'm going to say to my customers,
I have no words to describe how I was feeling on that time.
But the burglar makes an extraordinary mistake.
He returns to the scene of the crime
as if he's a normal customer, thinking he won't be recognised.
Also coming up...
There's a sinister visitor lurking in the school hall,
and when he takes a computer hard drive
it spells disaster for Laura's dance pupils taking their GCSEs.
Really, really angry.
That was hours and hours of precious work that's been taken away.
And it gets personal for Nigel,
the school site manager, too.
The head and the governors trusted me to do the security of the school.
But first, an intruder is sneaking around a restaurant in the dark,
long after the paying customers have left.
He thinks he's out of sight.
But up in the ceiling a hi-tech pair of eyes means the restaurant's
Chinese owner, John, can see everything.
-The thief was there just when I watched the CCTV,
so I was really excited.
And things get even more exciting
when John and the police reach the restaurant.
-The door was slowly opened and the thief came out.
I was trying to grab him.
I shouted, "He's here," to catch the police's attention.
The town of Middlesbrough in the north-east has become home to John
since he came to Britain from China.
As a child growing up in a small Chinese town,
John learnt that survival meant hard graft.
A lesson which served him well when he opened a restaurant here.
-I have believed in hard work from a very young age,
and I want to work hard to make my fortune.
This restaurant is very important to me because it's my living
and supports my whole family.
He steadily built up his restaurant's trade over five years.
-I haven't yet fulfilled my dream,
but the business is growing
and I hope it can be better and better.
But recently the profitability of his business was threatened
after the restaurant was burgled twice.
So John decided to invest in expensive security cameras
which send live video pictures directly to his phone.
-I would check CCTV every night and every morning
to see whether a thief had got in.
Checking CCTV became a habit.
And John's habit of regularly checking his cameras
proves to be useful when he's hit by yet another burglary.
It's 2am, and after clearing up and locking up John has gone home.
Before going to bed he always has a nightly look at the restaurant's
live video pictures.
And tonight he gets a shock -
he sees an intruder.
-A person was moving.
My first reaction was to call the police.
As well as phoning the police,
John heads to the restaurant himself.
There's a chance the thief could still be inside.
-I felt so annoyed that I wanted to fight him.
Street cameras show that the police have responded so quickly
they are already at the restaurant.
These two officers are checking the front,
while two others have left their car to check the back of the building,
out of camera shot.
John arrives near the back door, impressed by their speedy response.
-I was relieved.
In the best English he can muster,
John explains what happened.
-I stood with the police and described what I saw on the CCTV to them.
He's now lost the required signal to receive the live video pictures,
so he can't be sure the intruder's still inside.
But he is.
And the hooded man hasn't yet realised he's got company outside.
John tells the officers where he thinks the man broke in.
-I told them that last time the thief broke in through
the back door.
So the police went to the back door while I waited at a side door.
With John stationed by the side door, all exits are covered.
When an officer at the front of the building shines his torch inside,
the intruder suddenly becomes aware that he's not alone.
He begins crawling on the floor to keep out of sight
and heads for an escape route.
He chooses the side door of the building -
the same door that John is standing right next to.
-I was standing at the door and I saw the door
was slowly opened and the thief came out.
I asked him in English, "What are you doing here?"
He threw away the bag he carried with him.
The man walks towards John and then makes a run for it.
-I was trying to grab him
but only grabbed a corner of his coat and he broke free.
In that moment I had no thought except catching him.
I shouted, "He's here,"
to catch the police's attention.
The man bolts across the road with John,
officers and a police dog in close pursuit.
-I thought about chasing him,
but seeing the police were running much faster than me I just stopped.
I was just hoping the thief could be caught.
The burglar tries to shake off his pursuers
by ducking between residential blocks of flats.
But there is only one other way out from this area...
..and a police car is on its way to intercept him.
CCTV shows how the man appears in the street,
trying to avoid suspicion by looking casual.
But the officers aren't easily fooled and call him over.
Out of options, he gives himself up.
The police dog arrives, which makes sure the man won't run off again.
John is told the good news.
-I was happy to hear that the thief had been caught.
Sergeant Tom Legg picks up the case at the police station.
He interviews the arrested man.
He initially denied the offence.
I showed him the CCTV that we had from the council
from the exterior of the building.
He again denied it,
saying he'd want to go on an ID parade.
The street's CCTV is too distant to give a solid identification,
so Tom begins to analyse the pictures from John's hi-tech system.
He discovers there's plenty of footage.
He spends almost two hours in there.
It's really brazen, really, that he's not rushed.
In his mind he believes it's closed,
the likelihood is that no-one's coming back there till the following morning.
He's not aware that, really,
everything that he's doing is being watched.
Tom can see that the intruder's clothes match those of the man
he has in custody.
The likelihood of finding someone wearing that exact combination
of clothing at that exact time is really unlikely.
And at one point in the recording,
the man makes a mistake that is to seal his fate.
You get to see the offender's face.
It's pretty clear from watching that, when you see the offender,
that they're one and the same, that that's the same person.
With the weight of evidence against him,
the next morning in front of magistrates
the arrested man pleads guilty.
In court he was given a community order and a three-month curfew.
Thanks to John's smart security equipment
the man was caught and dealt with quickly.
Tom's pleased with the outcome for the restaurant owner.
He's a young man trying to build a business for his family.
For someone to just think that they can go in and burgle,
that's absolutely morally wrong.
John still checks his cameras' live video at the end of each day,
and thankfully since the burglary
they've shown nothing to worry about.
-After his conviction no more robbery happened
to my restaurant, so I feel much relief.
Hopefully this will never happen again.
It's Christmas time.
But criminals don't take a holiday.
Even on Christmas Day, this thief isn't showing goodwill to all men.
After smashing his way into this cafe,
he steals two collection boxes.
One for people with drink and drug problems,
the other for a charity for blind people.
Hang on, has he left his crowbar behind as evidence?
Oh, no, he's realised.
What a pity.
the cafe owners are furious at having to come out early
on Christmas morning to clear up the mess.
And they are even angrier about the less than charitable thefts.
So they put the footage on the internet
and later receive a very welcome Christmas gift
when someone recognises the thief.
When the police arrest him,
he pleads guilty to burglary and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.
So, in just 20 seconds
this crook manages to give himself an unhappy New Year and a half.
It's easy to assume that if you leave your property, say your car,
your laptop or your mobile phone, in a repair shop,
it's going to be safe and sound.
But that's not always the case.
When a thief steals all the customers mobile phones
from a repair shop,
the owner is left in despair...
..until he opens the shop the very next day,
and he can't believe what happens.
The guy came in, the same guy.
Monmouth town centre has many shops of all types,
but local entrepreneur Waqar noticed a gap in the market -
mobile phone repairs.
So he opened a shop.
It's an idea he'd first had years earlier
while studying business management at university.
The teacher said you can make a business plan,
and phones is the need of every person nowadays.
So that idea came into my mind.
I start learning how to repair the phones,
I start gathering the ideas for everything.
When he left uni, Waqar decided to turn theory into practice.
He leased a shop, redecorated it, and opened for business.
But it wasn't an instant success.
It took nearly eight to nine months
and it was very hard time for us.
Gradually, over a period of two years,
Waqar began to build up a lot of customers,
all of them trusting him with their expensive phones and personal data.
Each phone costs £600 to £700 nowadays.
It's all like brand-new phones, you know?
On busy weekends Waqar could receive dozens of phones to fix,
with customers looking forward to picking their repaired devices up
the following week.
But then, one particular weekend,
a local thief decided that he wanted
to pick up all the phones for himself.
It's 7am on a Monday morning
and Waqar is walking to work with a friend.
He notices the police are parked near his shop.
I saw the police car,
and I just start feeling a little bit,
maybe it's something to do with me.
But I say, "Oh, maybe not," you know?"
Waqar has a CCTV camera inside the shop,
and it shows him arriving that morning and finding a broken window
by the entrance, with shards of glass on the floor.
It was completely shattered, so I just realised, "Oh, my God."
The police officer, he came from the car and he say,
"I'm really sorry but you've had a break-in.
"Have you got anything important in the shop?"
I say, "Everything is important in the shop."
Waqar, his friend, and the police officer enter the shop.
I just start looking for my customers' devices
and they all were missing,
and that was the terrible time that I just realised,
"Oh, my God, I've lost all of them."
What am I going to say to my customers?
I can offer them a phone,
but what am I going to say if they ask me,
"No, we don't need the phone, we have some personal stuff,
"we have some important things we keep in our phones."
The only hope he has is that the phones might be recovered
if the burglar's caught quickly.
I just realised, "OK, I've got CCTV."
Waqar checks the weekend's camera recording
to see if he can spot any clues.
Unfortunately, the camera's night-time vision
isn't working properly, so it's hard to see what's going on.
But Waqar still meticulously examines the recording.
After a while, he see's a shadowy figure walk up to the front door
in the early hours and peer in.
The man then turns round and kicks hard at the window.
Then he tries breaking the window again.
The noise of the glass smashing echoes around the street
and the man runs off.
Seeing the burglar attack his shop is stressful for Waqar.
It's hard, yeah, that someone is breaking into your property
and you're watching that, you know? It was terrible.
Several minutes later, the man runs back and climbs through the hole.
He's wearing a hood and it's impossible to see his face.
He's starting looking for anything that's expensive.
The man goes to the back of the shop
and puts the customers' phones into his bags.
After 20 minutes,
the burglar emerges and leaves with two bags
bulging with expensive devices.
But he's not finished yet.
He returns to collect more loot,
including Waqar's whole cash register from the back of the shop.
It looks like he's going to get away with the crime,
but as Waqar watches on, there's an unexpected bonus.
At one stage, the thief peers into a glass display,
and it's an illuminating moment in more ways than one.
The thief's face is clearly visible in the reflected torchlight.
The reflection came back to his face and you can see the face very clear.
That's the moment that I got him and I say, "Maybe I know him."
That's the moment when I realised he might be my customer.
The man's face rings a bell,
and Waqar asks his friend to come over and look at the recording
to see if he recognises the thief.
And then something truly remarkable happens.
While they're watching the camera footage,
the shop door opens and someone walks in,
looking exactly like the man on the video they're watching.
The guy came in, the same guy.
Waqar's convinced it's the burglar returning to the scene of his crime.
He speaks to his friend in Pashto, his first language,
because he doesn't want the man to know his suspicions.
I just took advantage of my language, and he said,
"Yes, I think so. He's the same guy."
Waqar's shocked by what the man says next.
He asked for his phone that he left on Saturday for repairing.
He said, "OK, where is my phone?"
While Waqar calmly explains about the break-in,
his friend secretly takes a photo of the man.
He gets rude and says, "It's not my problem."
I say, "Look, I promise that I will give your property back to you,
"but you have to allow me some time."
After asking for compensation,
the man changes tack and says he has friends who are burglars who may have the phones.
He tells Waqar he could ask for them back in return for £100.
Waqar plays along.
"OK, get me my stuff back
"and I can pay you £100 for that.
"But first, you need to bring the stuff back
"and then I will give you the cash."
The man leaves.
Waqar calls the police and shows them the CCTV
and his friend's photo.
I showed the picture to prove that that guy just came into the shop
and he just left the shop now.
When they checked the picture, they said, "Yes, we know that person."
I just said, "Can you get me my customers' stuff?"
That's the first thing.
The police track the man down and arrest him.
They recover some equipment,
but Waqar's customers' phones have all gone.
It's bad news for Waqar,
but at least the burglar is put behind bars.
In court, the man pleaded guilty
and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
Waqar vowed to his customers that he'd replace the phones
that were stolen,
and within days, they all had replacements.
I've got a good relationship with my supplier, that's the best part.
They lent me the stock.
Waqar is in the process of reimbursing his suppliers.
Slowly but surely,
he's repairing his finances.
And he needs to, because he's saving up for his wedding day.
I'm trying my best,
and definitely next year I'll get married. Yeah.
The amount of personal information on our smartphones these days is scary.
And because they're small and regularly on display,
phones are easily stolen.
So, what can we do to reduce our chances of that happening
and what precautions should we take just in case it does?
Your phone has cost you hundreds of pounds.
Think about that in terms of notes.
Would you leave £500 sticking out of your back pocket
while you walked down the street?
Leaving your mobile phone, for example,
next to you, or on a table on a train,
really is just an open invitation for an offender
to potentially distract you and steal the phone.
If your phone is stolen,
then it's really important that you've got it Pin-protected.
What we don't want is the criminal to steal your phone
and then have open access to everything
that you have on your phone.
In the good old days when photographs were in albums,
people used to say in a fire
that's the one thing they would always want to rescue.
So in the current climate,
that is your phone, so back it up.
Each mobile phone has a unique reference number,
which is called an IMEI number.
It's really important that you make a record of your individual number.
Some phones and some devices have a find my phone capability.
This can be vital for the police in identifying
where the stolen phone has been taken to.
It can be useful simply for the victim.
It might be that you've lost the phone rather than it being stolen,
so try and make sure that this is activated.
Stranger danger -
a criminal strolls around a school,
helping himself to anything he can lay his hands on.
When I first heard about the break-in,
I felt a bit uneasy because I thought
that's someone in our private space,
and space they shouldn't be in.
Leigh Park is a large suburb of the town of Havant.
The area is served by Park Community School,
and Christopher Anders has been headteacher here
for the last eight years.
Leigh Park was built by the city of Portsmouth to house people who lived
in Portsmouth and whose houses had been bombed
or needed to be demolished after the war.
It became the second-largest area of social housing in Europe
and, obviously, with an area like that comes some challenges.
It's a great opportunity for you...
The school had fallen into disrepair,
but from 2014 it was completely rebuilt and modernised,
with a vision for the future.
We wanted the school to be the main building in Leigh Park
because education is important,
but also because of the community facilities that we can offer.
As part of the renovations,
a new theatre and activity studio were built.
Both are vital for Laura, who teaches dance at the school.
It's a really, really fun job.
I love working with the kids.
To see students going from can't do anything at all in the classroom
to performing on stage.
It's just great seeing students learn
and really progressing and moving forward.
But Laura faces a serious setback,
with years of her work lost and her pupils badly affected,
when an intruder enters the school.
It's a Wednesday during the Easter holidays.
Although it's not a normal school day,
a few teachers have come in to do some work.
Just past midday,
one of the school security cameras by the main entrance picks up
what looks like a member of staff adjusting his bicycle.
But this man doesn't work here.
He's actually stealing the lights from someone's bike.
After removing both front and back lights,
he rummages around in the cycle bag
to see if there's anything else worth taking.
Then, worryingly, he heads into the school.
30 seconds later, cameras show him sneaking around the activity studio.
He approaches the computer in the room
to see if he can remove it easily.
He can't, it's secured,
so he starts searching the surrounding rooms.
Three minutes later, the intruder is still skulking around.
For a reason that will become apparent, he's put on another top.
He's found a computer drive, which he puts in his bag.
The man then leaves the way he came in.
Nigel is the school's facilities manager,
responsible for health and safety, and security.
He's on-site when it's discovered
that a thief has been in their midst.
One of my colleagues realised his bike lights had been stolen,
came straight back into say, "Someone's tampered with my bike."
So we reviewed the footage of where his bike was kept.
They see the thief near the bikes,
and Nigel watches as the man strolls around the activity studio.
He'd now put a coat on,
so we're assuming that the coat was in the rucksack,
so he's put his jacket back on to give the space in the rucksack
for what he wanted to put into his rucksack.
You can see there, he clearly has some computer equipment with him.
The drive the thief has stolen belongs to Laura.
Which happened to be my dance hard drive,
which had a lot of information,
a lot of practical work that's kind of irreplaceable.
It had lots and lots of students' work on from over the years,
lots of work on there that showed students this is a top piece.
That was hours and hours of precious work that's been taken away.
Really, really angry and frustrated and upset that that had gone.
Two of Laura's pupils, Tanisha and Faith,
also feel distraught when they hear what's happened.
Obviously everyone in the class was devastated because that had
all the GCSE footage on there
that we needed to watch to be able to see
what they would like us to perform.
When I first heard about the break-in,
I felt a bit uneasy because I thought,
that's someone in our private space and space they shouldn't be in.
Nigel is particularly angered by the thefts.
It felt personal to me because it's my job.
The head and the governors trusted me to do the security of the school.
So, for me, at that point, it does become very much,
"OK, we are going to get you,
"we're going to find as much footage as we can."
Though Nigel's concerned the man's not been caught,
he takes comfort that at least
the state-of-the-art cameras they recently installed
are proving their worth.
The CCTV system we have allows us to take a very nice, clear visual of him.
Once we hand this over to the police,
it's quite clear that someone will recognise him
somewhere at some point.
The thief's image is shared around all of the police stations in Hampshire.
Soon after, officers spot a man acting suspiciously
at a train station.
They asked him to open up his rucksack and, as far as I'm aware,
in his rucksack was equipment, some chisels, some hammers etc.
They then arrested him,
took him to the nearest police station they could take him,
which is Portsmouth.
When he got into Portsmouth,
it was then recognised that he was the one who had been wanted
for two counts at this school.
So, for us it was very pleasing.
The man had already received a suspended sentence
for theft and burglary in the past,
so the authorities took a rather dim view of his stealing
from a school while he was out on licence.
In court, after pleading guilty to burglary,
the man was sentenced to 25 months in prison.
The thief's capture and detention is a relief for all at the school.
The grounds have been made safer by employing two security guards
to patrol the site out of hours,
and automatic timer locks and alarms
have been added to many of the doors.
I feel better now and safer now.
I think, as a school, we've really come together
to make sure that we have those security operations in place.
Despite the loss of her dancing video demonstrations,
Laura is determined that the show must go on
for pupils like Tanisha and Faith.
The school helped get other videos
so we could see all the dances on there,
and it did really help us.
So we had them.
Everyone here is so lovely and kind and caring
and the teachers are just amazing.
They always encourage you to do your best
and I'm really glad that I go to this school.
Continue the line, bring the arms back.
That's all we have time for today.
An increasing number of criminals
are being captured on camera every year.
Join us next time to see more villains
who've been Caught Red Handed.
A sinister visitor in a school hall is up to no good, a Chinese restaurant plays host to a late-night intruder, and a mobile phone thief makes a schoolboy error that leads to his downfall.