Episode 11 Caught Red Handed


Episode 11

Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. A violent robber makes a mistake when he returns to the scene of his crime.


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Transcript


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

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just about anything they can get their hands on.

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But now the police are using cutting-edge technology

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to catch the bad guys.

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We want to make sure we've got a concrete case.

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Enough evidence to convict at court.

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Local councils, shops and businesses are fighting crime

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with their own tricks and traps.

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It's just unbelievable that she thinks she can get away with this.

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And the public are using secret cameras to make sure

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the crooks get their comeuppance.

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Fair means or foul, I was going to get rid of him.

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I thought, "We've got her."

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-WOMAN LAUGHS

-And I was so happy!

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Thank God.

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So, anyone who's up to no good had better think twice -

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they might just get caught red-handed.

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Today, when Mick hears a knock on his front door late one night...

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LOUD KNOCKING

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..he has no idea of the horror he's about to face.

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The knife - that's what scared me.

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He said, "Where's your money? Where's your money?"

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I said, "I haven't got any money."

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Mick is tied to a chair by a robber, who takes away his cash card,

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threatening to come back if the card doesn't work, and it doesn't.

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I suddenly realised, I gave him...

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He rang my number. I gave him my Post Office number.

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Can Mick's neighbour Joyce come to the rescue?

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Also today, Lisa and Rob are heartbroken when someone

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breaks into their restaurant and gets away with £4,000.

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Then, six weeks later, they're burgled again,

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and there's even worse to come when the cameras

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reveal who this burglar is.

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It was just a total shock horror that it's somebody that's

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right on your doorstep, right in your face every day.

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Also later, these two wooden figures, Mr and Mrs Log,

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advertise a popular wedding venue.

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They're meant to attract happy couples, not thieves.

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But this innocent-looking pair decide it's time Mr and Mrs Log

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took a permanent honeymoon.

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Fortunately, burglars generally don't like to break into a house

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when someone's at home -

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they'd rather take their time, uninterrupted -

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but we're about to see one of the rare exceptions to the rule.

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In the town of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, two close friends,

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Mick and Joyce, live a few doors apart.

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Mick is 75 and Joyce 78.

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Mick and I's relationship is just a good, lovely friendship.

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Joyce is Joyce, you know?

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She's a good neighbour, but she talks a lot.

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Not like me.

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Mick and Joyce met five years ago

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when she moved here from Cleethorpes.

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She wanted a new start after her husband had passed away.

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I didn't know anybody.

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I had no friends, no family - nothing.

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I've showed her around town and all that, and helped out and that,

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which I still do.

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I do all the jobs for her.

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He's very, very clever with his hands.

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He can do anything.

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Mick was once married himself but now lives alone.

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Being community-minded,

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after he heard about a theft in the neighbourhood,

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he installed a CCTV camera above his front door.

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He looks after the street, to be honest.

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He's like the guardian of the street.

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But Mick is about to need a guardian himself,

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when a violent armed robber invades his home.

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A very rare crime, but one that proves terrifying -

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not just for Mick, but for Joyce, too.

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It's 10.30 on a Sunday night,

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and Mick's security camera shows the street outside his house is quiet.

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Mick's on his own inside when, suddenly,

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a man wearing a balaclava walks up to his front door.

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There was a knock on the door.

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I thought, "Well, that'll be Joyce cos she's always knocking."

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But it isn't the friendly face of his neighbour that greets him.

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Mick's camera picks up the sound as the man forces his way in,

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barging the pensioner out of the way.

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LOUD THUMP, INDISTINCT YELLING

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He pushed his way in, and knocked me over the settee.

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Of course, I got off the settee and tried to go for him,

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but he was a bit more stronger than me.

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If I was already stood up,

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I probably could've tackled him a bit more.

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The man pulls out a knife and threatens Mick.

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I thought, "Crikey, he means it."

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He said, "Where's your money? I said, "I haven't got any money."

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He said, "You must have money. You must have money."

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So he pulled all my drawers out and looked through that.

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My wallet and that, he emptied my wallet.

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He finds Mick's bank card.

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He says, "I'll stab you. What's your number?"

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I was scared - I'll be honest.

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He was definitely going to go and do it.

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I thought, "Crikey..."

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So I gave him the number.

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Then the man says he wants to search the bedroom upstairs.

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He had my arm behind my back like that,

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and a knife in my back, and when we were going upstairs, I thought,

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"Shall I knock him downstairs?"

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I thought, "Well, I'll be in trouble if I knocked him downstairs."

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They go into the bedroom.

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The first thing he did was get my phone,

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and ripped it out, and he pulled the telephone line out,

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and I said to him then, "What are you doing?"

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He goes, "Smashing it."

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When he finds there's no money,

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the robber grabs the telephone wires he's ripped from the wall

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and takes Mick back downstairs.

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He orders him to sit on a dining chair.

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He said, "Put your hands behind the chair."

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He said, "If you don't, I'll stab you."

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The man puts the knife down and ties Mick to the chair

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with the telephone wires.

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Mick senses an opportunity to take him on.

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I thought, "If I get free, I'll go for him."

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The man starts throwing some of Mick's possessions onto the settee.

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I said to him, "What are you doing that for?"

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He said, "You shut up."

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He got the tea towel out of my kitchen drawer, ripped it in half,

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and stuffed it in my mouth, so I couldn't shout out.

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While the robber's distracted looking for valuables,

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Mick frantically tries to loosen the wires binding his arms to the

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spindles of the chair.

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And so I cut my hands trying to free myself.

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The robber steals a phone and an iPad,

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then tells Mick he's going to a cashpoint machine

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with Mick's bank card, to take out his money.

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He said, if the bank number weren't right,

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he definitely was going to finish us.

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The thief leaves by the back door, locks it and takes the key with him.

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I thought, "Crikey! He's going to come back."

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I've got to get out of here once he's gone.

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Mick notices he can still get out of the front door.

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He's left the front door key in.

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I thought, "Right, I've got to get out of here.

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Mick pushes with all his might against the back of the chair.

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I broke the chair somehow.

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I don't know how I did it, but I broke the chair.

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I went to the front door and went out.

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The camera outside shows Mick getting out of the house,

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with one of his arms still tied to the chair spindles behind his back.

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Somebody were down at the bottom of the street.

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I thought, "Is that him?"

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Mick notices that Joyce's light is on.

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He races to her house.

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There were this banging on my glass door,

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and I'm thinking, "Oh, dear. Should I open it?"

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Joyce hears Mick's voice and opens the door.

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Mick comes rushing in, and he were tied to the back of a chair.

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I said, "He's come in, and he's coming back."

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And he's going, "Lock the door. Lock the door. He's after me."

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She thought I was joking!

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But he were in such a distressed state.

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Joyce cuts Mick free from the wires behind his back with a bread knife.

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She phones the police.

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This is from the recording of her 999 call.

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Within minutes, police officers reach Joyce's house.

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I was sort of like,

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"Oh, good. The police are here. They'll take over."

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A forensic team is sent to Mick's home to gather evidence.

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Mick is asked not to go back until they've finished.

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I said, "Oh, he'll have to stop with me."

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I never even gave it a second thought.

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She was very good about it.

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Mick is safe for now,

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but a dangerous criminal is still at large.

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SIREN WAILS

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Using a combination of modern technology

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and clever detective work, the police set out to get

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this dangerous man off the street in hours, not days.

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Someone who would do this sort of crime would be an incredibly

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desperate individual.

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We are all very, very determined to get this individual into custody.

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A thief breaks into a restaurant.

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For starters, he rifles through cupboards,

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before moving onto his main course, the till,

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but he's left some clues behind, so he may yet get his just deserts.

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In the centre of Barnstaple in Devon,

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married couple Lisa and Rob run this Mexican restaurant.

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They took it over after a previous long-standing restaurant on the site

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closed down.

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Virtually everyone who lives in Barnstaple has had some sort of

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experience in this building.

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Lots of people have experienced their 21st birthday parties here.

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I've got friends who met each other and had their first kiss here,

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and got married.

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Yeah, so good, good experiences for lots of people.

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I think it was just something in the back of our minds,

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that it would be nice to own it, I guess, yeah,

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and see what we can do with it.

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Rob and Lisa hadn't run a restaurant before

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and, in the beginning, things didn't go to plan.

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They discovered they were about to have a new mouth to feed

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when Lisa fell pregnant.

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In an ideal world, you wouldn't be having a baby at the same time

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as picking up the key to a business.

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The renovation was being done with, yeah, a baby in a pram

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on site every day, basically.

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She really was no problem,

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because I'd carry her around and she was fine.

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Lisa and Rob completed their total refurbishment of the restaurant

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and, after a successful opening night party, they never looked back.

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Lots of our friends and family came to that, which was lovely,

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but it's a massive learning curve,

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and every day for us is a learning curve.

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But the couple's learning curve is about to get even steeper

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when a neighbour turns out to be not very neighbourly.

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It's the middle of the summer, 8.30am.

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Rob has come in to give the premises a clean-up when he's shocked to

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discover signs of a break-in.

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Nothing in the restaurant was touched.

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It wasn't until I went upstairs to the office that I saw

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the office door had been kicked in.

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And then Rob remembers to his horror that, unusually,

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last night they had left £4,000 in cash in the office.

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We were paying wages the next day.

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Obviously it all goes through payroll,

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but, stupidly, we thought we were being intelligent

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by saving bank charges.

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The thief found the money.

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The whole £4,000 has gone.

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It's a crippling blow to the business.

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It was a downer to say the least.

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And to make things worse, the couple couldn't claim it back on insurance.

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We'd taken out a rushed insurance policy online

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when I'd gone into labour, hadn't read the small print...

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We weren't insured.

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Unfortunately it was just something that we didn't even consider

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was going to happen.

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The burglar has broken in through the window of the staff toilet

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and utility room on the third floor.

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A single window accessed over a flat roof.

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How on earth would somebody have...?

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Did they get a ladder and climb up three storeys?

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The intruder hasn't been caught on their CCTV system,

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as it only covers the restaurant downstairs,

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and there's more bad news for the couple.

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When the police arrive, they find no forensic evidence either.

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There's no way of tracking this burglar down.

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People like ourselves work long hours and hard days

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to try and pay rent, and then you...

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SHE CHUCKLES

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You get somebody who takes and gets away with it.

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Lisa and Rob have no choice but to carry on as best they can.

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Worried the burglar might come back,

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they stop keeping cash in the office,

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and secure the doors and windows.

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But just six weeks later,

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their business comes under attack again.

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It's 2am, well after closing time,

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but there's someone in the restaurant.

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In the pitch dark, he makes no effort to hide his face,

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apparently unaware there are infrared cameras

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capturing his every move.

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By the time he walks into the bar area, he's pulled his hood up.

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He must have spotted the camera above the till.

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The intruder tries to prise open the cash register using a screwdriver.

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He works away at it for a full five minutes.

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He's not getting anywhere,

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so the thief hauls the till drawer to the floor

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and tries to force it open with his feet.

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He struggles on for a few minutes,

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but all his persistence gets him is a cut on his wrist.

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He dabs at it with a tissue, and then wipes it on his leg.

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In the end, the thief gives up trying to open it

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and decides to go for a takeaway solution,

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a carry-out from the restaurant,

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taking the whole till drawer with him.

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Later that morning, when Rob comes in to open up,

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he gets a sinking sense of deja vu.

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I saw the till drawer was missing.

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A big mess behind the bar, blood all over the floor and the fridge...

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Just shocking we'd been burgled again

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in such a relatively short space of time.

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It was just like, you know, "What on earth's going on?"

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Rob fetches a friend from the business next door,

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and together they check the rest of the building.

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You could clearly see that they'd come through the window again,

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because they'd almost pulled it off its hinges.

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In this burglary, there was no cash in the office to steal,

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so the intruder has gone downstairs to the restaurant.

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There was a £200 float in the till drawer he's stolen.

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Again, the police arrive quickly with their forensic team,

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and the culprit this time will be less likely to get away with it,

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as he's left blood on the floor.

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They had lots to work with this time.

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As well as the blood,

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possibly identifying the burglar through his DNA,

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there's this high-quality CCTV evidence.

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By now, Lisa has rushed in from home

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and, when she views the camera's footage, she gets a shock.

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The burglar is one of their restaurant's near neighbours.

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As soon as I saw him come through, I was like...disbelief.

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Is that the guy in the flat?

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This man, who lives in a flat nearby,

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has been walking past their door every day.

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He's seen the hard work Rob and Lisa have put into

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reviving the restaurant,

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but he's obviously just seen it as an opportunity to steal from them.

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It's like our home.

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You know, we spend most of our life here.

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It's our space that we welcome our friends and our family

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and our customers into, and then you have somebody like this.

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And the shock-horror that it's somebody that lives so close

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and he is literally living on our doorstep...

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Lisa's dad shoots video evidence that solves the mystery of how the

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burglar got to the upstairs windows.

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So they know how the thief did it, and they know who he is,

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and the police recognise the man, too.

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They go and arrest him.

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There's no evidence to link him to the first restaurant burglary,

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but their neighbour admits to committing the second.

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In court, the 34-year-old man was convicted of burglary.

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He was ordered to wear an electronic tag for three months,

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pay £205 in compensation and complete 15 days of rehabilitation.

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After the court hearing,

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Rob and Lisa were pleased to find out that their neighbour

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had been given an eviction notice on his flat,

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so they can get on with running their restaurant

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without looking over their shoulder all the time.

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Coming up, we've got our first year anniversary party

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for the restaurant, so that's in planning at the moment.

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We're building our brand-new cocktail bar,

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which would have been done before the burglaries,

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but, obviously, finances wouldn't allow that.

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That's all coming up and we're all really excited about it.

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Lisa and Rob were unlucky that, when they got burgled,

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they had an unusually large amount of money on the premises.

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Now, many of us will have cash or high-value items in our home

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at some point, so what can we do to protect them?

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Even if people have good security systems,

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such as alarms or CCTV systems,

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it's never a good idea to leave valuable items lying around.

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You're just tempting people.

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Think about how you can secure them.

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If it's a lot of money, can you move it to a bank?

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If it's items of jewellery or passports, invest in a safe.

0:19:310:19:34

And it can be combination or key.

0:19:340:19:37

I would advise combination because keys can be stolen or misplaced.

0:19:370:19:41

The harder it is to find the safe, the better,

0:19:410:19:43

so, again, don't put it in the obvious places,

0:19:430:19:45

such as a master bedroom.

0:19:450:19:46

Think about other locations in the house,

0:19:460:19:48

which could be at the back of a cupboard,

0:19:480:19:50

which is less likely for the burglar to find it.

0:19:500:19:52

If people find that safe, that will then become the target,

0:19:520:19:56

so it really needs to be secure, perhaps bolted to the floor...

0:19:560:20:00

Safes come in lots of different shapes and sizes.

0:20:000:20:02

They can be masked as a cola bottle.

0:20:020:20:04

They may be a plug on the wall that can pull out.

0:20:040:20:06

They may be an old-fashioned safe.

0:20:060:20:08

It doesn't really matter -

0:20:080:20:09

the important thing is you pick the right one for you,

0:20:090:20:11

you take advice, and you get it securely in your property

0:20:110:20:14

as soon as possible.

0:20:140:20:15

This loving couple are walking into a bar

0:20:230:20:26

that's a popular wedding venue.

0:20:260:20:27

Such obvious affection for each other would warm

0:20:270:20:30

even the most wooden heart.

0:20:300:20:33

I'm sure Mr and Mrs Log would agree.

0:20:330:20:36

They're a wooden bride and groom on permanent display outside the venue.

0:20:360:20:40

Well, maybe not that permanent.

0:20:410:20:44

This pair of lovers have clearly kindled a burning yearning

0:20:440:20:48

for the two figures fashioned from firewood,

0:20:480:20:51

and, as he's leaving, the man takes Mr Log in one arm

0:20:510:20:54

and Mrs Log in the other,

0:20:540:20:56

walks them down the aisle, and wanders off with them altogether.

0:20:560:21:00

The wedding venue owners are understandably upset to find that

0:21:020:21:05

their two matrimonial mascots have suddenly eloped,

0:21:050:21:10

so they share this video on social media in a bid to find

0:21:100:21:13

who's stolen Mr and Mrs Log before they're used for barbecue fuel.

0:21:130:21:18

The owners also tell the police,

0:21:180:21:21

but it doesn't need special branch to solve the case

0:21:210:21:24

because, a few days later,

0:21:240:21:26

the woman sheepishly brings back the woody wife and groom.

0:21:260:21:30

Maybe when she saw the video was online,

0:21:300:21:32

she was worried people would twig it was her.

0:21:320:21:35

And there's more good news -

0:21:370:21:39

Mr and Mrs Log have just had some little saplings of their own.

0:21:390:21:42

Twins, in fact! Aw...

0:21:420:21:44

In Gainsborough, an armed man has stormed into

0:21:550:21:57

75-year-old Mick's house and robbed him at knife-point.

0:21:570:22:02

Robbery is extremely rare when someone is at home,

0:22:020:22:05

but that's no consolation to Mick.

0:22:050:22:07

I was scared - I'll be honest.

0:22:070:22:09

That's the first time I was scared.

0:22:090:22:12

The robber has stolen Mick's bank card,

0:22:120:22:14

and gone to a cashpoint machine to withdraw money.

0:22:140:22:18

I suddenly realised I gave him the wrong number.

0:22:180:22:20

I gave him my Post Office number.

0:22:200:22:23

But he did say he was coming back if it was the wrong number.

0:22:240:22:29

Mick has taken refuge in the house of

0:22:290:22:30

his close friend and neighbour Joyce.

0:22:300:22:33

I was terrified.

0:22:330:22:35

He could have died.

0:22:350:22:36

Joyce has called 999, and the case is given to

0:22:380:22:41

Detective Inspector Mark Kirwan.

0:22:410:22:45

He fears there's a serial armed robber on the loose.

0:22:450:22:48

Three hours before Mick was robbed,

0:22:480:22:50

an 88-year-old woman who lived nearby

0:22:500:22:52

was also attacked at knife-point.

0:22:520:22:55

As happened to Mick, the terrified pensioner's phone line

0:22:550:22:58

had been used to tie her up.

0:22:580:23:00

It looks like it's the same man.

0:23:000:23:02

It was a very, very serious incident indeed.

0:23:020:23:05

You know, we don't see that type of crime in Gainsborough,

0:23:050:23:09

so, when the call came in from Joyce,

0:23:090:23:12

it immediately rang alarm bells that we might actually have

0:23:120:23:15

a series of very violent crimes targeting elderly people.

0:23:150:23:20

Words cannot describe how despicable these crimes are.

0:23:200:23:24

SIREN WAILS

0:23:240:23:25

Mark increases the number of officers on patrol,

0:23:250:23:28

and primes them to respond immediately

0:23:280:23:30

if any similar crime is reported.

0:23:300:23:33

He also sends an officer wearing a bodycam into Mick's house

0:23:330:23:36

to check the robber hasn't returned to carry out his threat.

0:23:360:23:40

I'm just going to search the house, but I suspect they've long gone.

0:23:400:23:43

Other officers are sent to Joyce's home to interview Mick.

0:23:430:23:47

We know that he's taken Mick's bank card.

0:23:470:23:50

This person is going to go and try and use that bank card.

0:23:500:23:53

While a forensics team scours Mick's house, looking for evidence,

0:23:530:23:57

other officers confirm the robber has tried to use Mick's card,

0:23:570:24:01

but wasn't able to withdraw any money.

0:24:010:24:04

They view council street camera recordings from the roads

0:24:050:24:08

between the cashpoint machine and Mick's house.

0:24:080:24:11

We know that our suspect has said that

0:24:110:24:13

if Mick gave him the wrong number or he couldn't get any cash,

0:24:130:24:16

that he would come back.

0:24:160:24:18

This CCTV picks up where our suspect is walking down the street,

0:24:180:24:22

following the failed attempt at the ATM,

0:24:220:24:25

and on his way back to Mick's home address.

0:24:250:24:27

It's chilling, seeing the man approaching Mick's road.

0:24:290:24:32

It looks like he is going to carry out his threat,

0:24:320:24:35

but then he sees police cars outside Mick's house,

0:24:350:24:38

and must realise his victim has escaped.

0:24:380:24:41

He's then turned around and come back out of the street.

0:24:410:24:45

What we're seeing here is he appears to reverse up to the bin.

0:24:450:24:49

He's clearly putting something in the bin,

0:24:490:24:52

and not doing it in a very natural way.

0:24:520:24:54

He's facing away from the bin,

0:24:540:24:55

and depositing something behind his back.

0:24:550:24:58

Mark immediately sends an officer to search through the rubbish bin,

0:24:580:25:01

and he finds a key which fits Mick's back door,

0:25:010:25:05

so the man caught on CCTV must be the robber,

0:25:050:25:08

but the image isn't clear enough to identify him.

0:25:080:25:11

What is clear is this man is desperate.

0:25:110:25:14

He hasn't got any of Mick's money, so he still needs cash.

0:25:140:25:18

It was my fear that we were going to have another incident,

0:25:180:25:21

so we looked at profiling people who were in the area.

0:25:210:25:25

It can narrow it down to the sort of person who is capable of committing

0:25:250:25:29

such abhorrent crimes.

0:25:290:25:31

SIREN WAILS Officers work through the night,

0:25:310:25:34

and quickly draw up a list of potential suspects.

0:25:340:25:37

From that small pool of people, we did further analysis.

0:25:370:25:40

We looked at their lifestyle, their previous convictions,

0:25:400:25:45

and came up with one key suspect,

0:25:450:25:48

and that person was Clinton Sentance.

0:25:480:25:51

Sentance has committed crimes against the elderly before,

0:25:510:25:54

but not with such violence.

0:25:540:25:56

Local intelligence gathering the next day strengthens Mark's view

0:25:560:26:00

that they're after the right man.

0:26:000:26:02

We knew he was in the area at the relevant times,

0:26:020:26:05

and we suspected he may be using drugs

0:26:050:26:08

and was going through a particularly desperate time.

0:26:080:26:12

Officers set off to flood the area and search for Sentance,

0:26:120:26:15

but, on the way, they received the 999 call they'd been dreading -

0:26:150:26:19

another elderly female victim has been threatened with a knife,

0:26:190:26:23

gagged and robbed.

0:26:230:26:25

This was our worst fear.

0:26:260:26:29

It was exactly the same type of crime

0:26:290:26:31

committed in exactly the same way.

0:26:310:26:34

It's beyond terrifying.

0:26:340:26:36

We are all very, very determined to get this individual into custody.

0:26:360:26:39

Sentance has stolen £140 from his victim,

0:26:400:26:44

so the officers head for the places he might go to buy drugs,

0:26:440:26:47

and keep an eye on suspected dealers all around the area.

0:26:470:26:50

Within hours, they get their man.

0:26:520:26:55

They've come across him and he's been detained and arrested.

0:26:550:26:59

Clinton Sentance's 24-hour reign of terror is over.

0:26:590:27:03

Mark's team build such a compelling case against him

0:27:030:27:06

that he decides to plead guilty.

0:27:060:27:08

None of his victims will need to appear as witnesses.

0:27:080:27:11

When his case reached court,

0:27:140:27:16

he was sentenced to life imprisonment,

0:27:160:27:18

with a minimum of ten years before he can be considered for parole.

0:27:180:27:22

Mark and his officers are pleased he's been put away

0:27:260:27:28

for such a long time.

0:27:280:27:30

I think we all have thoughts and feelings about

0:27:310:27:34

various different crimes,

0:27:340:27:35

but what ranks right up there at the top is the targeting of

0:27:350:27:39

vulnerable people, and I just hope that this life sentence

0:27:390:27:44

gives the community some form of reassurance that they are now safe.

0:27:440:27:48

In the weeks following the burglary,

0:27:500:27:52

Joyce found it especially hard to come to terms with the crime.

0:27:520:27:55

Mick had to persuade her to stay in Gainsborough.

0:27:550:27:58

I was sort of blaming the area in a sense, you know,

0:27:580:28:03

and as Mick said, "It's not. It's a one-off."

0:28:030:28:06

She was a bit panicking.

0:28:060:28:07

Well, she panics at the least thing, you know?

0:28:070:28:11

But Mick and Joyce helped each other get over the ordeal,

0:28:110:28:14

and now normal service has been resumed.

0:28:140:28:17

I were, like, there for Mick cos he needed me, and he were there for me.

0:28:170:28:21

That's it for today, and that's it for a few more criminals

0:28:260:28:30

who have been caught red-handed.

0:28:300:28:31

A violent robber makes a mistake when he returns to the scene of his crime, and two wedding venue sculptures seem destined for a permanent honeymoon.


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