Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. A brave woman who survived one of Italy's biggest earthquakes finds herself in even more danger in Manchester.
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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.
Got to have him stopped.
Local councils, shops and businesses
are fighting crime with their own tricks and traps.
There's a eureka moment when you get that evidence.
And the public are using secret cameras to make sure 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.
Today, brave Elena survived one of Italy's biggest earthquakes,
but finds herself in even more danger on the streets of Manchester.
I started a new life in another country that doesn't shake.
I didn't think that actually something could happen to me here.
No earthquakes in Manchester, but Elena suddenly fears for her life
again at the hands of a vicious street robber.
The violence involved in it, it could have killed me.
Also today, Robin runs a thriving tourist centre.
His pedal powered go-karts are one of the most popular attractions.
Until late one night, £1,500 worth of the go-karts go missing.
These kids are out on the rampage. Where do they live?
Why weren't they missed?
But Robin's go-karts certainly are missed.
He needs to track down the thieves.
But first, 84-year-old Diana has raised thousands of pounds
But while she's been doing good deeds,
someone has uncharitably been stealing from her
and husband Norman over and over again.
I just felt sick.
She held a job of trust.
It's just unbelievable.
But Diana's son Stephen wants to outsmart the thief
who's deceived his parents.
You see clips of my poor father shuffling into the kitchen to
make this woman a cup of tea, while she's raiding my mum's handbag.
That's really hard.
The village of Oxspring near Barnsley is home
to 84-year-old great-grandmother Diana and her husband Norman.
They've been happily married for 63 years.
I was born in Barnsley, bought up in Barnsley.
My father was a policeman.
He took a pub just down the road here
and that's where I met my husband.
Diana took to life in the country,
working hard with Norman to make a success of his
local butchery business, whilst also bringing up their two sons,
Michael and Stephen, on the family farm.
Mum is a very bubbly character.
She lives life and has lived life to the full.
She's a person who makes things happen.
When she and Norman retired,
Diana didn't want to just put her feet up and relax.
I was very active.
Did a lot of charity work, especially for Bluebell Wood,
the children's hospice.
She's done some zany things.
I mean, she did a fancy dress at the Women's Institute.
They went as calendar girls with the Yorkshire Post newspaper
around them. She's that sort of person. She likes to have a laugh.
Diana helped raise £87,000 for the children's hospice.
With her heart set on reaching 100,000,
poor health began to hold her back.
Mum's been in and out of hospital a lot of times.
She's both false knees, hips,
shoulders and she's got a back implant as well.
It's made me lame, which has reduced me to that silly pusher.
Because I'm in the Isle of Man, we feel awkward, you know,
we can't help.
Recently, Diana's health deteriorated to the point
she needed to hire a carer, but the woman she trusted to look after her
proved to be anything but caring.
It's late summer, and at a charity lunch,
Diana is discussing her personal care needs with two women
who have also come along to the function.
Diana's worried about the cost of care,
but one of the women has a proposition.
She says, "You know, Diana, don't bother with council carers
"and other carers. We'll help you if you pay us."
Oh, I thought, "That's lovely." You know?
Diana hires both women on the spot to help her and Norman
with general household tasks.
We were very pleased when she told us that she'd got someone local.
We thought, "That's great, and if Mum's happy, we're happy."
For over 12 months, the arrangement works well for Diana and Norman.
The women become not just carers, but companions, too.
Mum took them on holiday and paid for them
and they were like family, really.
But those happy times are not to last.
In October, over a year after the arrangement started,
Diana begins to find her pension money,
which she keeps in her handbag in the kitchen,
is less than it should be.
I said to a friend of mine, "I don't know what's happening to my money.
"I don't seem to have any."
We didn't like asking what she was spending her money on
because it's none of our business, really.
And she's with it enough to tell us that, as well.
"It's none of your business what I'm doing with my money!"
I thought I was going daft.
You know, I thought there's something happening here,
I'm losing my marbles.
A month later, Diana's still noticing that money
is going missing.
So, for peace of mind, Stephen installs a hidden camera,
disguised as a burglar alarm sensor
to keep an eye on his mum's handbag.
This process of putting the camera in was just one way of eliminating
certain things. It could have been any visitor, couldn't it,
coming in and possibly taking money.
As Stephen lives on the Isle of Man,
he sets up a large hard drive to record several weeks' worth
of video that he can check next time he visits.
It's like my eye, if you like, on this house.
When Stephen returns to see his mum and dad,
his wife's suspicions are raised before they even look
at the CCTV recordings.
Carol happened to walk into the kitchen and she saw the carer doing
something with Mum's bag.
Straight away then, it was red alert.
But of course, have we got anything on this camera
that's been quietly sat there?
As soon as they get home, Stephen and his wife check the video.
Quite quickly we came across one clip showing the carer
with her hand in Mum's handbag.
Stephen watches on, horrified, as the extent of the thieving unfolds.
I found another clip...
And the monotonous regularity of this was incredible.
He stays up all night viewing weeks and weeks of footage,
determined to find every theft caught on camera.
I finished on Saturday lunchtime, I had 60 odd clips.
It's not opportunistic at all.
It's very carefully thought out.
She looked in the cheque book, so she knew how much money
was coming in on a certain day and then she's there,
counting, on her fingers.
You know, and then, making an adjustment.
Then you see clips of my poor father shuffling into the kitchen
to make this woman a cup of tea, while she's
raiding my mum's handbag. I mean...
That's really hard.
That's really hard.
With a heavy heart, he has to break the news to his mother
that the carer she regarded as a close friend is nothing of the sort.
I said, "Mum, sorry, I've got some bad news for you.
"Your carer's been stealing from you."
But she didn't really believe me.
She didn't want to believe me, really.
"She can't be." I said, "Mum, just wait, I'll show you this."
When she sees the video, Diana can't believe her eyes.
I just felt sick.
I just felt...
that somebody had hit me.
She held a job of trust.
How she could do it, it's just unbelievable.
What upsets Diana most is the cold, calculating way the carer
pulled the wool over her eyes.
She puts me in the shower, straight in, sat down,
handbag, straight up,
She is so slick.
One day, she came back three times.
She even went in on Christmas Day!
Stephen takes the video evidence to the police
and the woman is arrested.
After analysing the footage themselves,
the police estimate that, all in all, she stole £3,600 from Diana.
I think she should be made to watch it, to see what she did.
That's something I feel really strong about.
I don't think she thought it were any thing wrong.
She mustn't have done or she wouldn't have gone on
doing it, would she?
In court, the woman pleaded guilty to theft
and was jailed for ten months.
Diana no longer keeps cash in the house
and has put her trust in new care providers.
I'm really happy with the new carers.
They're very, very nice.
They see to me and help me and they're very good,
very kind and very good.
That's what you need.
Mum's a determined person.
You know, she's had a lot of problems with her health
and battled through that, and so she's stayed strong through this.
I've put it behind me now,
and I look forward to each day as it comes.
A lot of couples like to go shopping together,
but this pair set about it in a devious way.
They spot a mirror they fancy outside a shop.
A few minutes later,
the man returns without his walking stick,
and looking as fit as a butcher's dog, he pinches it.
Another security camera shows how he then stashes it in the car park
behind the very shop he's stolen it from,
while his girlfriend waits for him, stick in hand.
Next, he calls a cab to take them and their stolen mirror home.
But in the end, all this reflects rather badly on the thief,
as his crime and his face have been caught on camera.
The police simply call the taxi company to get his address
and next thing, he's in court being sentenced to four years in prison
for multiple counts of theft and other offences.
Now, that should give him ample time to take a long, hard look
Being robbed is a horrendous experience,
made even worse if physical assault is involved.
But sometimes, there are good Samaritans on hand
to help bring the thief to justice.
Manchester's city cameras show the moment an Italian woman,
who's made the city her new home, is violently attacked, mugged
and hurled to the ground.
The attacker's made sure that his defenceless victim can't fight back.
But he hasn't reckoned on these two burly witnesses
and what happens next.
It was amazing.
They ran after him in a very dark road.
The guy could have been armed.
Like most major cities, Manchester has problems with violent crime,
but that didn't deter 31-year-old Elena from leaving rural Italy
to live here seven years ago as a student.
Manchester is my second home.
This city has given me everything I could possibly ask for.
But one of Britain's largest cities is a far cry from the quiet life
she left behind.
I come from a little city in Italy called L'Aquila.
Everyone knows each other, it's virtually crime free.
It may be safe from crime, but Elena's hometown is prone
to natural disasters, and in 2009, when she returned to L'Aquila
to visit her family, a massive earthquake struck.
I was in the house where I grew up.
The symbol, for me, of safety.
And the actual house crumbled on me.
I didn't have the time to realise what was happening.
It was just survival mode.
You need to leave the house, you need to leave your belongings,
you just need to survive.
It wasn't just Elena's hometown that was left in ruins.
Her family lost their house and savings too.
When she came back to Manchester,
she needed to finance her studies herself.
I had to find a job to support myself and study and, you know,
build around me from nothing.
And I did. A new life in another country that doesn't shake.
And a lot of good things have happened to Elena since then -
starting a part-time job with an airline, getting married,
and, three years ago, having a baby boy.
But then, on the streets of her new hometown,
she suddenly had to face the second terrifying ordeal of her life.
It's a dark night in January
and Elena is at a colleague's leaving do
in the centre of Manchester.
It was probably just after midnight that I decided to leave
because it was getting late.
Elena begins the short walk towards the bus stop.
On the way, she pulls out her purse to find the fare
and her phone to text her husband that she's on her way home.
At that point, some random guy approached me, offering me a nut.
She's very wary of this strange man.
I thought, "Leave me alone!"
And carried on, just minding my own business.
Elena crosses the road and is now just yards from her bus stop,
when the man suddenly pounces.
The city's CCTV cameras show what happens next.
Elena is mugged and violently hurled down onto the pavement.
I was attacked by a man who would steal all my things
and threw me on the floor.
The man makes off with Elena's purse and mobile phone,
leaving her dazed on the pavement.
It was just completely state of shock.
While one passer-by rushes to help Elena,
two doormen from a nearby pub set off after the robber.
In half a second, the bouncers made the call to run after the guy.
It was amazing.
The mugger proves no match for the two burly bouncers.
They soon catch up with him,
dragging him back to face his victim at the scene of the crime.
When the bouncers came back with the offender,
they handed me my stuff back.
It highlighted that there are people out there that are...
The bouncers hold the man until the police arrived to arrest him.
After taking her statement, the officers escort Elena home.
My husband came to open the door
and I just broke down in tears.
Even though she's now safely back home, in the days that followed,
Elena struggles to cope with the emotional trauma of her ordeal.
I didn't realise straightaway how much of an impact
that this whole thing had on me.
When I walk in the street and suddenly I can feel
my heartbeat racing and racing and racing,
and then I start nervously to look around myself,
like something is going to happen now.
Ten weeks after the assault,
Elena decides to try to conquer her fear by attending the hearing at
Manchester Crown Court.
I wanted to look the guy that attacked me in the eyes.
I had to do that for myself.
It's painful, but I think that it's really, really important
that the victim takes active part in the whole process.
Elena had bravely faced her fears and she saw justice served.
The man pleaded guilty to robbery and was sent to prison
for 18 months.
He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge.
Elena has now put her ordeal behind her
and she can even bring herself to watch the CCTV recording
of the attack.
Look at that. This is the actual offender
and that's when we have this kind of fight between us.
It isn't real.
Elena may have been a victim of crime on its streets,
but she has no regrets making Manchester her second home.
This is not what Manchester is.
The people here are so lovely and so friendly
and I always felt at home in Manchester.
It's my city. I love it to bits.
Nearly two million people are victims of street crime every year.
So, what can we do to increase our chances of not falling prey
to the bag snatchers, the muggers and the pickpockets?
If it's dark, or perhaps you're in a vulnerable area and you don't quite
feel so safe on your own, and you haven't got anybody else
to walk with, perhaps tailgate with another group of people
so that there are some people around you,
because a wannabe thief would be put off by this.
The other thing to do is to make sure that you're sticking to
well-lit areas and walk closer to the road at night.
Because, obviously, you want a wide berth of alleyways or dark corners.
Put your shoulders back, look confident,
look as if you know where you're going to,
and I think you're less likely to be targeted by an offender.
We all like to listen to music and wear headphones,
but just have a think about how that leaves you.
People can sneak up behind you,
you don't know what's going on, headphones can be distracting.
Having your phone out on show can immediately make you a target,
so think about the circumstances you need to use your phone.
Is it a must?
Can it wait till later on?
And if so, then tuck the phone away somewhere safely
and obviously reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.
If you think there's something odd about these two women, you're right.
That's because it's actually two men in drag.
This isn't a joke, though.
It's more like a scene from a horror film
because these are armed robbers.
But the cross-dressing criminals are so unconvincing,
other customers turn and stare, and soon realise
they need to scarper fast when the men whip out weapons
and demand money from the postmaster.
After stuffing their handbags with cash, the robbers make a run for it,
but outside, they get a dressing-down
from members of the public who bravely tackle them.
The robbers abandon the cash and are later caught by the police.
It turns out that the men posing as mother and daughter are actually
father and son.
Dad's in the wheelchair, with an imitation shotgun
hidden under his blanket.
For this robbery and other offences,
the man is sentenced to 18 years in prison.
His son gets eight years in a young offenders' institution.
They must be sitting in their cells
regretting the day they dressed in drag.
It really was a harebrained scheme because it was DNA taken from
their wigs that helped convict them.
It's late at night in a popular Scottish tourist centre,
when youths break in and make off with five go-karts.
But the centre's director sets out on the track
of getting his go-karts back.
Having CCTV gives us a good chance of solving the mystery.
Almond Valley Heritage Centre is based in Livingston,
one of Scotland's newest towns.
It was set up by the community to preserve links to the past.
They saved the local mill from demolition and built a centre to
commemorate the early oil industry
that originally made the area famous.
Robin has been the director here since 1990.
I'm passionate about heritage and industrial heritage particularly,
so I was privileged to be the first member of staff taken on here.
And I'm still here.
Over the years, Robin has watched the centre grow into one
of the area's most popular tourist attractions.
We're here to promote understanding of the local heritage,
but not in a way that's obvious and like being at school.
People are here to have fun and enjoy themselves as family groups.
And one of the things families most enjoy is the pedal-powered go-karts.
It's one area where people are quite willing to queue up for a wee while
to actually get their turn.
And certainly with the older children,
it's one of the most favoured areas of the whole site.
But as Robin will soon find out,
his go-karts aren't just popular with law-abiding locals.
It's 2am on a summer Sunday morning.
The centre's long since closed for the night.
But suddenly, it has some unexpected visitors.
Two figures can be seen on CCTV.
The first of them pedalling one of the centre's go-karts.
Then another appears, then even more.
And these intruders are well off the go-karts' beaten track.
This concourse leads to the centre's exit.
The gang is raiding the charity's prime attraction.
One, two, three,
four, five go-karts in total.
A few hours later, Robin comes in to open up the centre
and notices signs of disturbance around the go-kart compound.
Finding a litter bin in an odd position,
where perhaps it had been used as a step stool or a ladder,
immediately struck me as being odd.
Then Robin looks into the enclosure and sees the go-karts have gone.
There's big spaces there.
There's obviously a lot of them missing.
In total, the five go-karts are worth £1,500.
Stealing them would have been far from easy.
The thieves were clearly determined and well-organised.
The compound is right in the middle of our site,
so people would have to climb over fences and go quite a long way
before they actually approach the compound.
And the compound itself is surrounded by a high fence.
As the gate was locked, the thieves must have manhandled
the heavy go-karts over the top.
These are big, heavy, steel frame things.
It must have taken quite a lot of coordination
and quite a lot of effort.
Robin is even more shocked when he checks the CCTV footage and realises
the young age of his unwelcome late-night visitors.
They're obviously not fully grown adults.
There's some very sort of slender figures there.
And we thought that one looked like a girl.
But certainly these aren't burly burglars.
This was two o'clock in the morning, or there afterwards.
These kids are out on the rampage.
Where do they live?
What were their parents doing?
Why weren't they missed?
The youths might not be missed,
but the centre is definitely missing its £300 go-karts.
We would need to replace those go-karts.
But in the meantime, not having those go-karts there,
which would be a bad thing for our visitors.
The day after the theft, Robin puts the CCTV video online,
asking for help tracking down the thieves and the go-karts.
Having that CCTV gives us a good chance of good folks
getting back to us and solving the mystery.
The response from the Livingston community is astonishing.
People were sharing these things with their friends and asking their
friends whether they knew anything about it, and...
it was just really outstanding.
Within 24 hours, the video is viewed over 100,000 times.
Locals launch an intensive search all over Livingston
and it rapidly pays dividends.
It seems these go-karts sort of took a devious route through bits of
Livingston and many were found in different places,
so they all had their little stories to tell.
Somebody saw go-karts being pushed past the hospital
very early in the morning.
One of the members of staff here saw a go-kart suspiciously
sitting out of a bush on the way to work.
That was the first one that we actually went out to recover.
I think many of the others were recovered the next morning
when there were folks out walking dogs in parks.
It looks like Robin's successful internet campaign has encouraged the
youths to get rid of their stolen goods in an attempt
to avoid detection.
But they don't.
Soon, the police track down the offenders.
They looked at the social media and all the comments
and I think they had got a good idea who had been behind it,
and it was very satisfying to know that people had actually been held
to account for what had happened.
For the theft of the go-karts,
eight young people were charged and referred for supervision.
Robin now secures the go-karts by chaining them together overnight.
And the local support he received has reassured him
that the Heritage Centre is also secure in the town's affections.
Really heart-warmed by the response that we got back from everybody.
A real triumph of people power, I think.
People are good people and people want to help
in this sort of situation.
We're very grateful for that.
That's all for today.
Thousands of criminals are captured on camera every year.
Make sure you join us next time to see more villains
who have been caught red-handed.
A brave woman who survived one of Italy's biggest earthquakes finds herself in even more danger on the streets of Manchester. And pedal-powered go-karts are stolen from a popular tourist centre; can people power help get them back?