Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. An ex-wrestler dusts off his grappling skills to intercept a robber fleeing a jewellery store.
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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.
We want to make sure we've got a concrete case.
Enough evidence to convict at court.
Local councils, shops and businesses are fighting crime
with their own tricks and traps.
It's just unbelievable that she thinks she can get away with this.
And the public are using secret cameras
to make sure the crooks get their comeuppance.
Fair means or foul, I was going to get rid of him.
I thought, "We've got her!"
And I was so happy. Thank God!
So, anyone who's up to no good had better think twice.
They might just get caught red-handed.
retired wrestler James has to dust off
some of his old grappling skills...
..when he finds himself face-to-face with a robber.
I stepped in and grabbed him and I put him in a hammerlock,
where you bring the arm up behind the person's back.
One robber down, but three other dangerous members
of an organised crime ring are still at large.
Also today, after losing her husband,
Seanene decides to install some home security.
And it proves its worth when a stranger invades her home.
Why steal a child's clothes?
I felt physically sick to think that someone had been in my house.
Seanene's son, Michael, goes into detective mode
and finds the intruder's behaviour even more frightening.
He went out and then he came back again and again.
And a sneaky thief in a pet shop
slithers his hand into a snake tank, slides one out and steals it.
But can this snake in the grass get out of the shop
with a python in his pocket?
We can't just rely on the police to fight crime.
We all need to do our bit, too.
A lot of crimes are foiled by sharp-eyed citizens.
Ossett, near Leeds, is home to 32-year-old James,
although, if you're a wrestling fan,
you may recognise him as Jimmy Blood...
..a grappler who was quite notorious back in the day.
A thug, basically.
I'm not a thug in real life but, you know...
In wrestling, you always have a lot more fun being the bad guy,
cos you get to do all the things that you can't do in real life
and terrorise the good guys but, in the end,
the good guys will come and save the day.
But in 2011, at the age of 26, James had to retire from wrestling,
due to ill health.
He'd been suffering from complications
related to having insulin-dependent diabetes,
which was diagnosed when he was 16.
That was the age that you start going out with your friends
and wanting to be more independent,
but it felt like there was a ball and chain around me.
I had to have all this insulin and the needles with me
all the time and I rebelled against that, really.
I didn't look after myself over the years.
James' diabetes began to take its toll when he was in his mid-20s,
seriously affecting his eyesight.
They've done everything that they can to save it
and they've done a tremendous job. It's not perfect, it's not great.
I'll never drive, I'll never be able to read a book properly again
or anything like that, but it certainly beats the alternative.
Having to give up wrestling and short of money
because he couldn't work, James began to suffer from depression.
After a few years battling his demons,
he thought he'd try meditation - and it worked.
It brought a sense of peace, a calmness that was needed in my life.
But James' new-found peace was shattered recently.
Ironically, he was on his way for a session of calming meditation
when he suddenly found himself caught up in a robbery.
It was time for Jimmy Blood to come out of retirement.
It's a spring afternoon
and James has come to Leeds with his girlfriend
for a meditation appointment.
We were doing a spot of shopping
before heading to a local meditation centre.
Their route takes them past a large jewellery store
in Leeds city centre.
These are images from the jeweller's CCTV cameras.
The shop's owner, who has asked to remain anonymous,
tells us what happens next.
It was a normal day and where the watch window is,
I looked out and I saw this guy outside.
He had long hair with a hat on, and I thought, "He looks strange,"
but I didn't think anything of it.
The man walks to the entrance.
The security guard inside assumes he's just a normal customer
and asks him to take his hat off before entering.
The guard opens the door for him.
He walks in, closely followed by another man,
who appears from nowhere.
Then the first man reaches into his pocket and pulls out a gun.
He points it at the security guard.
Now, another accomplice comes in through the door.
That split second, you know your worst fears,
and I heard two of our staff crying behind me
and it's passing through your mind,
and that's why I said to him, "Just point the gun at me."
The robbers grab expensive watches from the window displays
and stuff them into their bags.
James and his girlfriend are strolling past the shop.
My girlfriend looks in the window and she says,
"Oh, my God, they're being robbed."
I thought she meant the prices were too high.
But that's when I saw this man bundling everything into his bag
and my girlfriend dragged me away from the window.
They call the police.
Inside the shop,
the robbers are stealing thousands of pounds' worth of watches.
I wasn't concentrating on anything they were taking.
I was concentrating on him and the gun, and he said something.
It was like, "Time to leave. Out."
And I knew that was it and it was just relief.
The robbers run out and split up.
One of them is picked up on a council CCTV camera.
He's walking towards James.
The robber's trying not to look suspicious
but a member of the public who saw the raid happening
is running to challenge him.
My vision is quite blurry at this point
and that's when the gentleman shouted and pointed, "You, stop."
I looked at HIM and I followed where he was pointing to
and that's when I saw someone coming towards ME.
The man who shouted tries to grab the robber.
He got somewhat of a grip on his arm,
but the man then started running.
In that moment, it was like, I either step aside or I step towards,
and I stepped in and grabbed him.
And I thought, "If he's got a knife or something,
"I'm probably going to feel it now," but nothing happened.
James uses a wrestling move to pin the robber to the ground.
I put him in a hammerlock,
where you bring the arm up behind the person's back.
The other gentleman grabbed hold of him and we just basically held him.
James looks around.
He realises the rest of the robbers are still at large.
He and the others may be in danger.
Are his friends going to run over and kick me in the face?
I didn't know. So I was staring out into a sea of blurry people,
just waiting for somebody to come towards me
but, as it turns out,
the other two ran in opposite directions.
Security guards from another shop have seen the incident
and come over to help.
The manager from the jeweller's saw how James tackled the robber.
I couldn't believe somebody would risk their lives doing that.
The police arrive and arrest the robber.
Some members of the public point to where the other two men ran,
but they've managed to escape.
Later, thanks to James, the police make a vital breakthrough.
The robber he wrestled to the ground is carrying a clue
as to where the rest of the gang are hiding out.
The impact that James had, right from the word go,
allowed us to set the ball rolling.
All thieves are sneaky, but this chap more than most,
when he tries to sneak off with a snake.
He walks into a pet shop, sidles over to a snake tank,
slides his hand inside and puts a python down his pants.
Hope he knows what he's doing.
That's known as a ball python and they have teeth!
He clearly doesn't realise he's being watched.
The eyes of the pet shop staff
are all on this particular snake charmer
because he's been seen in the shop before
when expensive reptiles have gone missing.
And, after seeing this latest attempt to pilfer a python,
the owner confronts him.
The slithery customer can be seen holding the snake,
as he tries to wriggle out of the shop.
The owner has a grip like a boa constrictor.
But the thief briefly struggles free before being recaptured.
He's arrested and ends up being sent to jail for 123 days
for petty theft of a pet which, thankfully, was unharmed.
It's the middle of the night
and a mysterious figure approaches a sleeping family's house -
not three times...
..but four times in all.
It soon becomes clear that he's not just here to steal valuables.
He's looking for a weapon, too.
The coastal town of Fleetwood in Lancashire.
Seanene lives here with her two sons, Aaron and Michael,
in the house she bought 20 years ago with her husband, Tony.
Me and Tony met when I was 16. My only love.
He was just wonderful. Perfect dad, perfect husband.
He was just a gentle giant, very, very popular in Fleetwood
before he sadly passed away.
Tony died from pancreatic cancer four years ago.
Youngest son Michael was just nine at the time.
A few of the best memories we've got of my dad was motorbikes.
We used to do a lot of motorbiking with my dad.
He used to run a motorbike shop. It was called The Five Motorcycles.
It did well.
Aaron and Michael have had their ups and downs
but they've been so strong in themselves
and they've just carried on. They've been amazing, both of them.
After Tony passed away, in order for her and the boys to feel safer,
Seanene decided to fit some home security.
I got the CCTV cameras and the burglar alarm
for us to just feel safe, because this is our home.
Coming to terms with their loss has been hard enough
for Seanene and the boys. But then, one night,
their sense of security faces a further frightening setback.
It's early on a Saturday morning and Seanene has just woken.
I came down and realised that all the lights were on downstairs
and I thought, "That's very strange."
Then I just thought, "Maybe I've left them on."
My eldest was away, so the first thing I did was get my mobile phone
to check if he'd texted me or anything.
But her phone is nowhere to be seen.
I panicked because Aaron was away
and I'm thinking he can't get hold of me
and, as I came out the living room door, I just glanced
at the front door and I noticed the keys weren't in it.
So I ran upstairs to Michael, woke Michael up and said,
"Have you been downstairs? Have you opened the front door?" He said no.
Michael gets up to help his mum search for her phone.
She's been through a lot
and she struggles and panics in situations like that,
so I thought I just needed to help her.
There's no sign of the phone anywhere,
so they start to wonder if, unbelievable though it seems,
it might have been stolen during the night.
I went to check the CCTV.
Young Michael is determined to solve the mystery for his mum.
He offers to watch every minute of the CCTV recording
from the night before.
And then, after spending a long time viewing the empty driveway,
Michael's worst fears suddenly come to life before his eyes.
I just didn't know what to do at the time.
I was there, watching it for a minute,
and then I shouted to my mum. It was just shocking.
He said, "Mum, you need to look. There's somebody coming in."
I never expected that in a million years.
It's around 3:15am when a man in a baseball cap,
with a cigarette hanging from his mouth,
walks up the drive towards their home.
He is out of view for just six seconds, presumably doing a recce,
then he walks away and lights a cigarette.
But he isn't gone for long.
At around 3:20, he's back
and this time he spends 40 seconds out of view -
just enough time to put a hook through the letterbox
and remove the front door key from the lock inside.
Then he leaves - this time with the key -
and it looks like he thinks he's been spotted
because he suddenly runs away.
Seanene breaks off from viewing the recording and calls the police,
while Michael continues searching the CCTV for more clues.
I felt physically sick
to think that somebody had been in my house as we were asleep.
I just kept on looking through it
and then I was even more shocked to see that he went out
and then he came back again and again.
Michael is like the detective and he wrote everything down -
the times he came in.
He kept me going that day, Michael did.
Michael discovers that the man returns an hour later,
most likely to check none of the lights have come on in the house.
Realising no-one is awake, he creeps up the drive
and, this time, uses the key to sneak inside their home.
Four minutes later, he re-emerges,
carrying stolen valuables in both hands.
But he still isn't finished.
Soon he's back for the fourth time.
He finally leaves for good a few minutes later,
walking rather strangely, for some reason.
Michael carefully notes the precise times
the burglar was caught on camera
and hands the list to the police when they arrive.
It was only as the police were here that we went round
and realised what was actually taken, which was my handbag,
my phone, Michael's rucksack,
the iPad, and the washing off my kitchen table.
Why steal a child's clothes?
Police search the area and find Michael's football boots
dumped in a garden. Everything else has gone.
When the officers leave, Seanene and Michael have to come to terms
with their home having been invaded while they slept.
I had every emotion going through my body.
I was angry, I was upset.
He took my keys and then I was frightened that he would come back.
Without my dad being there, it was much harder and horrible.
But Seanene and Michael are made of stern stuff
and they agree to do everything they can to identify the burglar.
I decided to put the footage on social media
to see if anybody recognised him.
Fleetwood's such a small-knit town,
I thought somebody must recognise him, if he is from Fleetwood.
They don't have to wait long for a reply.
Within five minutes of it being on Facebook,
I got a message to say, "I know him." He even gave me his address.
Seanene passes the information on to the police,
but the burglar must have realised he's been identified
and goes on the run.
Fearful he may come back, Seanene changes the locks.
Her eldest son, Aaron, then re-examines the footage
and he notices the man's strange walk when he leaves the last time.
This is the one that Aaron picked up that he stumbles.
He goes out with a limp.
You can see him bending down, trying to pull something up his leg
and this is when Aaron said, "Have you checked the drawers, Mum?"
They make a chilling discovery.
A large kitchen knife is missing.
It was frightening.
I was quite relieved that I'd not woke up.
I'm glad that my mum didn't go down cos what we've heard of him,
he's a really dangerous man,
and my mum panics and we don't know what he could have done to her.
The burglar is on the loose with their kitchen knife
and, in the coming days, the family lives in fear.
I did struggle to sleep after it and so did my mum.
It was heartbreaking to think
that Michael was frightened in his own home.
Then, after two weeks, they receive wonderful news from the police.
The burglar has been arrested.
It was a massive relief to know that he was off the street.
It was brilliant cos now my mum is not scared,
we're not scared and there's not as much to worry about.
It was closure.
The man pleaded guilty
and, with four other burglaries also taken into consideration,
he was sentenced to five years in prison.
Since the burglary, Seanene has tightened
her security at home even further.
She never leaves the keys in the door
and always set the alarm at night.
And the cameras are constantly recording.
Having the CCTV put in was worth every penny.
It was the best thing I ever did.
I think it would have been harder for the police
to arrest him if we didn't have CCTV.
The family have now put the burglary behind them
and are looking forward to a brighter future.
This is going to be our year.
Aaron is going in the Royal Navy,
Michael is going forward in his school work.
He's going to be picking his GCSE options.
And me, I'm starting a new job.
I'm going to just go further and further into it
and it is going to be our year.
Got to have some good luck eventually, haven't we?
There are over half a million domestic burglaries
in this country every year
and often, those crimes happen because people make simple mistakes
with the security of their home.
So, what are those mistakes and how can they be avoided?
People often feel quite confident
to leave their doors and windows unlocked,
even whilst they're in the property.
But if you live in a large property
or perhaps you can't hear
if someone was to come in the back door when you're in the front,
then you should be thinking about locking it.
There is a class of criminal we call "creeper burglars"
and all they do is walk from house to house to house,
trying door handles,
until they find one that's open and, invariably, they will.
One of the cases or series of cases that we've seen recently
is where people have been returning from shopping,
they've obviously been desperate to go to the toilet,
opened into the house, left their bags just inside the door,
and gone straight to the toilet, leaving the door wide open,
leaving the door ajar and, within seconds,
someone has been in, may have taken stuff from inside the house.
Often people leave a key under a doormat or under a plant pot
by their front door, so that the kids can get in,
or if they've lost their key, they've got access.
It's the first place a burglar will check.
You can quite easily buy small key safes
which can be attached to the outside of your building
or even in an outbuilding.
You can share a code with the people
that you want to be able to have access to that key
and then, really, you're ensuring that your house is secure.
We're back in Leeds,
where there's been an armed robbery at a city centre jewellery store.
Ex-wrestler James has helped tackle
one of the escaping robbers to the floor
and to hold on to him until the police arrived.
At the time, I didn't know how much jewellery they'd had
or how many people were involved or the scale of the operation.
To me, it was me and one man, you know, that I'd dealt with.
I didn't know how far and wide the reach of it all went.
Although one of the robbers has been stopped,
his two accomplices have escaped,
and now it's up to Detective Inspector Phil Jackson and his team
to track them down.
An enquiry of this nature needs to be done quick-paced
because we have two people outstanding
that have run from the scene.
We were aware that the gun was used
to threaten people inside the jewellery store,
so quite a harrowing experience for all of those concerned.
Thanks to James and the other witnesses
apprehending one of the robbers,
Phil's investigation is off to a strong start.
But every hour counts.
We had one male in custody.
We also had about half a million pounds' worth of watches.
The watches were in the robber's shoulder bag.
Police at the scene also find a gun clip in the jeweller's,
containing metal ball-bearing ammunition.
But there's another even more important clue.
As he was being subdued,
a train ticket fell out of the robber's pocket.
It's a vital lead.
The ticket isn't to a local destination.
It's to Manchester, an hour away.
That could be where the robber's accomplices are headed right now.
We moved quickly. Our focuses were on Manchester.
Phil contacts British Transport Police
and asks them to stop and search
trains heading from Leeds to Manchester.
Eyewitnesses provide pointers to help identify the thieves.
We know that they're Eastern European.
The chap that was arrested was from Estonia.
But the police don't find the suspects in transit.
They must have already reached Manchester.
So, Phil comes up with a different plan.
A bit of a hunch - let's phone up some hotels
in and around the Manchester stations.
The gamble pays off.
From a list of 50, 60 hotels we phoned up,
it was, I think, about the fifth hotel.
Phil's team finds a hotel room that's been booked for three men,
and one of the names on the booking
is the man they're holding in custody,
so the others might be about to turn up.
Phil contacts Greater Manchester Police.
I speak to my opposite number, a detective inspector, and he said,
"I'm just dealing with a recovery of a firearm near the station."
It's the gun used in the robbery.
There were some watch straps with this gun,
all wrapped up in a bag,
so Manchester gave us quite a number of resources, then,
to deal with the hotel.
Officers raid the hotel room.
They surprise and arrest two suspects.
There aren't any stolen watches in the room,
but they do discover fingerprints
that match those of the two men and the man they have in custody.
They also find fingerprints from an unknown fourth man
and another crucial piece of evidence.
We found a receipt
and the receipt was for a gun which was purchased in Liverpool
a couple of days previously.
The receipt is from a sports shop that sells ball-bearing guns.
The police check through the shop's CCTV from the date on the receipt.
It showed one of the suspects
and another unknown male purchasing the gun.
Phil believes this fourth man could be the gang's leader
and he needs to be found before he can strike again.
The evidence of the others was quite overwhelming that this person,
you know, the fourth man, was the organiser.
He really needed tying down.
Phil's team studies the gang's modus operandi.
It might help link the suspects to unsolved armed robberies,
prove they are part of an organised crime ring,
and enable them to track down the elusive fourth man.
Interestingly, at the jeweller's,
the robbers used a towel to prop the door open
so they couldn't be locked in.
There's the towel there, that you can see.
And he then pops it over the top of the door,
so that will, obviously, aid their getaway.
When we started to look at other armed robberies
involving Eastern Europeans in the main,
this was a common MO,
where they came in and propped the door open in this particular manner.
Phil's team then analyses evidence
from similar robberies over the past decade.
They identified the mysterious fourth man
filmed in the sports shop.
Whilst we were reviewing enquiries from 2006,
where a jewellery shop was targeted,
we had a photo of one of the persons we believed to be responsible
and, lo and behold, it was the same person.
We were able to get the name of this person.
This opened the door to a raft of other enquiries,
trailing back 10 years.
And this is the person that's been organising all of them.
Phil gives the suspect's name and image
to police forces around the country and asks them to watch out for him.
A few months later, he's spotted.
He was arrested coming back into the country at Heathrow.
He had some maps, he had cameras,
and he was clearly coming in to target the next offence.
The police build a compelling case against the gang
for planning a campaign of crime,
which included the Leeds jeweller's and other robberies.
In court, the four men were convicted of conspiracy to rob
and sentenced to a combined total of 70 years in prison.
The convictions were just fantastic - really good sentences.
I couldn't have asked for anything better.
But Phil recognises that without the courage of James
and the other members of the public
the day they stopped one of the robbers escaping,
the gang might never have been caught.
I can only commend James' actions on the day
and the others that assisted him
because, without him doing what he did,
without a shadow of a doubt,
it would have made our job a lot harder.
James and the others received official commendations
and thanks from the jewellery shop
for the role they played in catching the robber.
From those few moments that I was involved,
it was like a domino effect.
It just led to the downfall of an organised crime ring,
so I'm very proud of that.
That's it for today.
And that's it for a few more criminals
who've been caught red-handed.
An ex-wrestler dusts off his grappling skills to intercept a robber fleeing a jewellery store, a family home is burgled in the dead of night, and a thief tries to trouser a snake from a pet shop.