Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. Two jewellers in London are victims of an armed robber, but he soon ends up a fugitive in a high-speed car chase.
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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.
The 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 where 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.
Jewellery shop manager Ahmed
is faced with an armed robber and fears for his life.
Everything went through my mind.
I was like, "Either die or live. I choose to live."
But it's the robber who should be worrying
because soon it's him who's running for his life.
He's out, across the road now.
He is going to be going to ground.
By the banks of Loch Ness,
a crime mystery of monstrous proportions.
Totally incomprehensible that any of our staff
could be stealing money.
And three of Britain's most foolish fly-tippers dump
themselves right in it.
If you ever get that feeling you're being watched,
you may well be right.
There are now millions of security cameras in the UK,
many of which are set up by businesses to help combat crime.
Finchley in North London
may have once been Mrs Thatcher's constituency...
but now it has another claim to fame
as one of Britain's burglary hot spots.
Detectives like Manu Hanspal
of the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad are on constant alert.
We target commercial robberies.
They can range from offences against post offices, banks,
money exchanges to jewellery shops.
With over half of Britain's small businesses reporting crimes
in just two years, it's hardly surprising that
so many have now installed security cameras to protect their premises.
They can provide vital evidence to police teams like Manu's
when, as happened recently, a whole area gets targeted.
Finchley High Street.
A man enters a jeweller's and pulls out a weapon.
He produces a wrench and sort of goes for the shopkeeper.
The armed robber grabs the owner by the throat and forces him
He's alone in that shop so, for him,
I think that's quite a terrifying situation to be in.
Credit to him, he's dealt with it really, really well.
The shop has a panic button, but worried that pressing it
could panic the robber into violence, the owner coolly calms the
intruder down by apparently agreeing to hand over some jewellery.
He opens a cabinet but the impatient thief goes instead
for a tray of expensive diamonds.
The quick-thinking jeweller tells him those gems are fake and the
burglar believes his story.
Now the shopkeeper feels ready to make his move.
The shopkeeper has his wits about him.
Quite bravely he distracts him and then presses the panic button.
The alarm echoes around the shop.
The robber shouts angrily at the owner,
grabs some gold necklaces and runs out.
-He steals seven grand of jewellery.
By the time the police arrive, the man in black's disappeared,
But North London hasn't seen the last of him.
Five miles away and one week later, the armed robber strikes again.
This time, his target is in nearby Haringey.
That's where Ahmed helps run a jeweller's shop owned by his uncle.
Since the age of 16 I've been working with my family.
Now I'm 27, it's like, always a family business.
As well as using their security cameras,
shop owners in Haringey keep an eye out for their neighbours.
I've heard a couple of incidents happen in the street,
and the community helping each other out.
And Ahmed is going to need all the help he can get.
It's lunchtime, and he's manning the shop on his own.
A customer comes in.
He approached me like a normal gentleman,
he was cool, dressed up really smartly.
He wanted to sell a thin chain, a gold chain,
so I just gave him a price and then he said,
"Let me just walk around to see other jewellers, as well,
"see what they've got, as well, and I'll come back later."
The man leaves the shop, but five minutes later, he returns.
I gave a nice smile to him, welcomed him back in,
but he had something in his hand, so I thought,
you didn't have that before.
The man tells Ahmed he has a concealed weapon.
I was like, just scared, on that moment, it might be a gun,
it might be a knife.
The armed robber tries to get to the till, which is full of cash,
but Ahmed bravely resists.
He grabbed me, I grabbed him...
and he then started strangling me on my neck.
At that moment I was like, everything went through my mind,
my family, my uncle, the jewellery, so I was like, "Either die or live."
I was like, "Choose to live, just give something to him, just let him go."
The robber orders Ahmed to open the safe in the back office.
I told him I don't have any keys for the back.
We walked to the till, I gave him some money, he said,
"That's not enough."
The intruder finds a bundle of banknotes Ahmed's uncle
asked him to keep safely out of sight,
and then takes a tray of jewellery,
but Ahmed instinctively snatches it off him.
Something came out of me, I don't know what it was,
just pulled the whole tray out of his hand, he was like, "What are you doing?"
I was like, "Pulling my tray back off you. Just walk out the shop."
The robber seizes another tray.
Ahmed hits the panic button.
He actually said to me, "You shouldn't have pressed that alarm."
I was like, "What was I supposed to do? Wait for you to take the whole shop away?"
The thief runs off and Ahmed courageously runs after him.
I started shouting at the neighbours,
and they actually saw what was going on and he ran over here
to see if I'm OK and I told him I'm OK and to chase the other guy.
Other shopkeepers take up the chase while Ahmed calls the police.
I was in complete shock, just thinking...
the gold is gone, the jewellery is gone, I was like,
I need to get that back to my uncle, I need to give back the money that
my uncle gave me to hide away and I didn't hide that away properly.
Maybe I should've pressed the alarm much more earlier,
but at that instant, I wasn't thinking about that,
I was thinking about living rather than dying.
£10,000 worth of cash and jewellery have been stolen.
Over at Scotland Yard, Manu is alerted.
He goes to the scene of the crime, where Ahmed is waiting.
He was quite shaken up, but he was able to speak to
me and credit to him, he's just suffered quite
a scary incident and quite often it's the case that, as officers,
we almost forget that,
but he was very able to give me a lot of good detail.
We heard the facts of it and we thought,
that sounds very similar to one that happened the week before.
All the facts were exactly the same,
small independent shop on a high street where there's no other
customers and just one member of staff, so to us, is very much was
immediately, this has got to be the same guy doing the same thing.
The CCTV footage confirms that the flying squad is faced
with a dangerous armed robber.
It's really important to catch this person, because...
their confidence is growing,
and their willingness to use violence
to get money and scare people.
the case takes a dramatic turn -
an urgent manhunt on the ground and from the air.
-Light-skinned IC3 male, dark trousers, dark top.
Units towards, please.
The man who threatened terrified jewellers
is now running scared himself.
It was a member of the public, saw someone run out of a shop,
run into a car.
And he's tried to hide something in the bushes.
What he doesn't realise is there's an eye in the sky
following his every move.
Also coming up...
a couple move to Scotland to start afresh
but end up deceived by someone they count as a friend.
It was such a betrayal of trust.
It was unbelievable.
The fly-tipping of refuse is antisocial,
dirty and sometimes dangerous.
Fortunately, fly-tippers often get caught red-handed.
As criminals go, they are often pretty rubbish themselves.
Welcome to the Britain's Most Foolish Fly-Tipper Awards.
Our first contestants are from Walsall.
This pair is tying off a huge bag of rubble to help them
drag it from the truck.
But what they're tying it up to is actually a large sign that says,
"No fly-tipping." You couldn't make it up, could you?
Then it is back flap down and off they go.
Hang on a second, fellas,
the camera won't be able to see your number plate as you drive off.
Oh, that's much better.
These tippers are convicted and end up £713 out of pocket.
And the next contestant is from Burton-on-Trent.
This fella starts off more fly-zipper than fly-tipper.
He clearly feels in need of the loo before he gets rid of anything else.
But he's behind a bathroom showroom and their car park is well
covered by security cameras. Whoops-a-daisy.
Before driving off, the cheeky chap casually dumps
a bag of rubbish right in the middle of the car park.
Instead of reporting him to the police,
the showroom manager decides to put the video online for all to see.
Now, that's embarrassing. Red-faced as well as red-handed.
And our final contestant today comes from Salford.
I reckon that van belongs to a local business.
Actually, I know it belongs to that business because it
has got their website address and phone number plastered all over it.
So this driver is traceable.
And that isn't very clever when a council's spy camera is
pointing straight at him and he's breaking the law.
He is dumping an entire van load of rubbish, including cardboard,
plastic and rusty nails.
Not surprisingly, this dumb dumper gets taken to court.
With his fines and costs totalling over £1,400,
he's the winner of the Caught Red Handed Foolish Fly-Tipper Award.
Every year, over half a million new business ventures are started
up in Britain.
Their owners dream of a bright future but to achieve their
dreams, they need help from people they can trust.
On the beautiful banks of Loch Ness,
a business struggles to keep its head above water.
I couldn't understand why our tills were so low.
Money seems to be vanishing into thin air.
It was not sustainable, we couldn't carry on.
But it's actually disappearing...
into a friend's pocket.
Loch Ness, world-famous for its legendary monster.
Jan and Simon were drawn here by the spectacular scenery.
The loch holds more fresh water than all the lakes in England and
-Wales put together.
-It's a beautiful part of the world, very lovely.
You just wake up in the morning and look out the window and it is
I had always wanted to come and live in the Highlands because
I had Scottish parents.
Simon and I love being here, it's the most stunning place to live.
They moved from Dorset six years ago and bought
a cafe and shop in the village of Foyers
on the south side of the loch.
We did a tour of the north of Scotland, looking at businesses.
This was the final one we came to look at and we couldn't
believe our luck.
It was just a time in our lives when we wanted
a different challenge and this presented itself so we grabbed it.
We were very excited when we got here.
Jan runs the Waterfall Cafe,
while Simon looks after the shop and post office.
They live in a flat above the business.
Simon has found that he actually really likes the craic,
as they call it here,
of having banter of local people and friends that come in.
And that's every day so there is always someone that comes in and
brings a smile to your face.
Jan and Simon's staff have been with them since the beginning.
It's more friends than just work colleagues.
Every place I have worked, it's always been working as a team.
You work with people rather than for them, or they work for you.
We work together and that's how I've always been.
To get the business off the ground,
Jan and Simon worked every day of the week for five years.
But eventually everything started to tick along well.
We got to a place where we had good staff,
we were looking forward to being able to maybe having a regular
day off once a week and having a holiday without worrying too much.
But just when they think they've cracked it,
they find their lakeside business by Loch Ness
is nursing a monster of its own.
It's early summer, when tourist takings should be at their peak.
But for some reason, profits are plummeting.
We watched year-on-year growth and then suddenly that ceased to
be happening. We were falling back quite dramatically.
Jan and Simon racked their brains to figure out what's going wrong.
I put it down to there's a new business 500 yards
down the road and obviously that was having an impact on our trade.
But the cafe and post office seemed busier than ever.
I just kept thinking, we are missing something here.
I didn't suspect anyone of doing anything.
Their Highland dream is fading fast.
It got to the stage where we were
right up against our overdraft limits
and the business was not looking good at all.
It caused a certain amount of friction between Simon and I.
It was not sustainable, we couldn't carry on.
The couple are on the verge of giving up,
when suddenly there's a breakthrough.
A member of staff gives them some disturbing news
about another employee.
She had seen her do a certain thing on the till,
removing amounts of money but it wasn't showing on the till total.
Jan and Simon are shocked.
Over the years,
the suspect has become not just an employee but also a close friend.
Couldn't take it in.
Couldn't believe that this person,
this nice person that we liked, was doing this.
They check the till receipts and find lots of sums entered
then cancelled afterwards. So-called "void transactions".
This person was doing this regularly every time she worked.
Jan suspects the employee is taking cash from customers then
voiding the sales just before opening the till.
Everything looks normal to the customers but the money that's
gone into the till later ends up in the thief's pocket.
The concept is very simple. But I hadn't realised it was possible.
Jan realises they could use the shop's old CCTV system
left by the previous owner to get proof.
Up until now, they'd never felt the need to use it.
So the system has to be reactivated.
We spent an evening with the curtains closed,
installing the CCTV.
Jan and Simon get ready to watch the woman's next shift.
We just open as usual and pretend like nothing is happening.
We still weren't 100% at that point.
You really didn't want to believe...
-..that that's what was happening.
We needed to see it with our own eyes.
The prime suspect arrives at work.
It doesn't take long before the mystery of the missing money
is solved. A customer hands over the cash.
The woman voids the transaction then opens the till.
Watch her left hand.
There. Did you spot it? Here's a replay.
She gets change out of the till and, at the same time,
grabs a banknote in her left hand and pockets it.
You can clearly see the note in her hand, going into her back pocket.
-Which... Which you just felt so sick, didn't you?
-That you'd actually seen that happen.
-It is quite shocking.
To me, totally incomprehensible that any of our staff could be
stealing money. It's staggering.
There are lots of clips on here
where everyone is laughing and joking.
I thought we were a very happy band but...no.
Jan's keen to call the police straightaway,
but Simon wants more evidence.
They decide to keep the camera running for a week.
The stress was unbelievable.
And for this person to keep smiling and laughing...
It was such a betrayal of trust. It was unbelievable.
And they see how that trust has been betrayed.
Anyone could see her at any time.
But she's so slick and quick at doing it,
that, actually, you don't believe that you've just seen that.
Now they have enough evidence,
they hand over the recordings to the police
and give the thief her marching orders.
Their light-fingered former friend pleaded guilty to theft
and in court was sentenced to 100 hours' community service.
Jan and Simon feel that although their business
was on the low road for a while,
they can now take the high road again.
It was very apparent immediately after this person left
that the tills went back to taking what they should be taking.
Yeah, there was a lot of relief.
They're now looking forward to getting their lives back on track.
That's it. It's in the past.
We're going to move on now
and we are just going to try and continue to build our business
and to enjoy our life here.
Dishonesty can be very hard to prove.
Thieves are often very good at covering their tracks.
So what can people do
if they suspect someone is stealing from them?
The most important thing is that we are able to secure the evidence
to be able to demonstrate the crime took place.
So we can't rely on hearsay evidence.
It's the cold, hard facts
that we will then be able to present a case
to the Crown Prosecution Service.
It's really important that we can
identify the stolen cash, so to speak, so there are things like
DNA-encoded liquid that we can use, but even if you haven't got that,
just marking the notes with your initials or something that means
you can later establish that they are the notes taken from your till.
If you find yourself in a situation
where you've caught the suspect red-handed
and they're stealing literally from under your nose
then you could confront them,
but I would always advise not to do that alone.
Situations like this can quickly escalate,
and it's just not worth putting yourself or your property at risk.
It's really important not to give the game away,
not to challenge the individual at an early stage.
It's important to gather the evidence
so that when you do approach that person, or the police do it,
then really they're caught by surprise.
This hole-in-the-wall gang
think they can fool an automatic cash machine.
But as they're about to find out, they can't fool the cops.
It's something we're all used to doing.
We put our PIN number in a cash machine and money comes out.
But these villains in Plymouth think they've got an idea
how to beat the machine.
They put a home-made device into the slot where notes are dispensed
and they move away.
It's not exactly hi-tech, and they've made a schoolboy error -
their every move is being caught on camera.
A customer comes along and tries to withdraw their cash,
but the hidden device blocks their notes.
The customer waits...
And then walks off, thinking the machine is faulty.
And we can guess what happens next, right?
The thieves return, pull out their device,
and extract the money.
The thieves may have got away with it this time,
but the police are wise to their little game
and stake out cashpoints in the area
to try and catch the criminals in the act.
but to no avail.
Before calling it a day,
they go for a quick bite to eat across the road.
When out of the window,
they spot some suspicious men loitering next to an ATM.
The police pounce further down the road,
arrest them, find their DIY device,
and haul them off to the station.
And a seven-month stretch awaits.
Back to North London,
where the Met are investigating
the two armed raids on jewellery shops in a week.
One of the victims, Ahmed, resisted the robber -
even argued with him -
but is still trying to come to terms with what happened.
I had so many scenarios built up in my head,
I could have done this, I could have done that,
and my director, who's my uncle, he actually said,
"Forget the money, forget the jewellery - if you're fine,
"that's what matters to us anyway."
DC Manu Hanspal of the Met's Flying Squad is leading the investigation.
It's Manu who linked the two armed robberies.
To us, this has got to be the same guy doing the same thing.
He's posed as a customer,
and he's then returned, threatened the shopkeeper.
The CCTV footage will prove critical
in identifying this dangerous robber.
I can't undersell the value of really good quality CCTV.
It's clearly the same person.
And Manu is about to make a breakthrough,
thanks to an eagle-eyed neighbour of Ahmed's.
It was a member of the public, without hesitating,
saw something they thought was suspicious,
saw someone run out of a shop,
run into a car, and then drive away at speed,
and they gave us the description, what they were wearing,
the car they got into and the registration.
It's an important lead.
The licence plate is registered to 28-year-old Joel Law.
We circulated that amongst all the police units
on the police national computer.
Later that week, traffic cops spot Law's car,
and it looks like he's the driver.
The officers choose the best tactic,
which is just to ask it to stop, flash your lights,
but he's also driven off.
It's the start of a dramatic chase.
A dangerous driver needs stopping, fast,
so a police helicopter is called in to help keep him in sight.
The fugitive has no idea a camera is tracking his every move,
and the footage of his reckless driving can be used as evidence.
He's completely reckless - taking the narrowest of gaps between cars,
he's not accounting for someone walking out.
-He's mounted the pavement.
-The fugitive is cornered.
His only option is to try and escape on foot.
-He's out, across the road now into industrial premises.
He's going to be going to ground.
Thermal imaging is used to keep track of the runner.
Received. It's going to be a decamp into Manor Road,
junction Mays Lane.
Manor Road, Mays Lane.
Light-skinned IC3 male, dark trousers, dark top.
Units towards, please.
Officers on foot are directed to the fugitive.
Echo Zero received.
He's in a back garden, Leeside.
He's gone to ground between two houses.
Left on to the residential street.
If you can see the white gate to the right,
he's just behind that.
He appears to be talking on his mobile phone,
possibly asking someone to come and help.
But it's too late for that.
I think he's surrendering to local officers.
Stand by, I'll get you an address.
We've got the male, we've got the male.
It is Joel Law, Manu's main suspect.
It was just good policing, good teamwork.
Their skills have meant that chase has resulted in no-one being injured
and no damage being caused and him being arrested.
Manu studies the helicopter footage
and sees Law throw an object into a bush.
In the second robbery he was wearing a pair of sunglasses.
Funnily enough, he seemed to throw away a pair of sunglasses.
Maybe they're his favourite shades, and he's carefully throwing them
somewhere he hopes to find them later.
Well, he doesn't - but the police do.
The sunglasses are crucial evidence.
Of all the things you chuck away
when you're being chased by the police,
why would you throw a pair of sunglasses?
They're the sunglasses you used in that robbery.
When we present all that information, what could he say?
Law realised there was no escape,
and pleaded guilty when he appeared in court.
He was sentenced to five years and four months in prison.
I was actually...amazed at the speed that he actually was arrested -
he was caught two days later. That just made me happy,
knowing that he's not going to give anyone else
the same aggravation he caused us.
With the help of police, the public and technology,
DC Hanspal got his man.
This case just proves that the public, shopkeepers -
if we look after each other and talk to the police,
we can prevent these things and obviously catch the person.
That's all for today. Join us next time
to see some more villains getting their just deserts,
when they're caught red-handed.
Two jewellers in London are victims of an armed robber, but he soon ends up a fugitive in a high-speed car chase. And three fly-tippers are caught in the act because they make rubbish mistakes.