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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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!
So, anyone who's up to no good had better think twice -
they might just get caught red-handed.
Today, when Mick hears a knock on his front door late one night...
..he has no idea of the horror he's about to face.
The knife - that's what scared me.
He said, "Where's your money? Where's your money?"
I said, "I haven't got any money."
Mick is tied to a chair by a robber, who takes away his cash card,
threatening to come back if the card doesn't work, and it doesn't.
I suddenly realised, I gave him...
He rang my number. I gave him my Post Office number.
Can Mick's neighbour Joyce come to the rescue?
Also today, Lisa and Rob are heartbroken when someone
breaks into their restaurant and gets away with £4,000.
Then, six weeks later, they're burgled again,
and there's even worse to come when the cameras
reveal who this burglar is.
It was just a total shock horror that it's somebody that's
right on your doorstep, right in your face every day.
Also later, these two wooden figures, Mr and Mrs Log,
advertise a popular wedding venue.
They're meant to attract happy couples, not thieves.
But this innocent-looking pair decide it's time Mr and Mrs Log
took a permanent honeymoon.
Fortunately, burglars generally don't like to break into a house
when someone's at home -
they'd rather take their time, uninterrupted -
but we're about to see one of the rare exceptions to the rule.
In the town of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, two close friends,
Mick and Joyce, live a few doors apart.
Mick is 75 and Joyce 78.
Mick and I's relationship is just a good, lovely friendship.
Joyce is Joyce, you know?
She's a good neighbour, but she talks a lot.
Not like me.
Mick and Joyce met five years ago
when she moved here from Cleethorpes.
She wanted a new start after her husband had passed away.
I didn't know anybody.
I had no friends, no family - nothing.
I've showed her around town and all that, and helped out and that,
which I still do.
I do all the jobs for her.
He's very, very clever with his hands.
He can do anything.
Mick was once married himself but now lives alone.
after he heard about a theft in the neighbourhood,
he installed a CCTV camera above his front door.
He looks after the street, to be honest.
He's like the guardian of the street.
But Mick is about to need a guardian himself,
when a violent armed robber invades his home.
A very rare crime, but one that proves terrifying -
not just for Mick, but for Joyce, too.
It's 10.30 on a Sunday night,
and Mick's security camera shows the street outside his house is quiet.
Mick's on his own inside when, suddenly,
a man wearing a balaclava walks up to his front door.
There was a knock on the door.
I thought, "Well, that'll be Joyce cos she's always knocking."
But it isn't the friendly face of his neighbour that greets him.
Mick's camera picks up the sound as the man forces his way in,
barging the pensioner out of the way.
LOUD THUMP, INDISTINCT YELLING
He pushed his way in, and knocked me over the settee.
Of course, I got off the settee and tried to go for him,
but he was a bit more stronger than me.
If I was already stood up,
I probably could've tackled him a bit more.
The man pulls out a knife and threatens Mick.
I thought, "Crikey, he means it."
He said, "Where's your money? I said, "I haven't got any money."
He said, "You must have money. You must have money."
So he pulled all my drawers out and looked through that.
My wallet and that, he emptied my wallet.
He finds Mick's bank card.
He says, "I'll stab you. What's your number?"
I was scared - I'll be honest.
He was definitely going to go and do it.
I thought, "Crikey..."
So I gave him the number.
Then the man says he wants to search the bedroom upstairs.
He had my arm behind my back like that,
and a knife in my back, and when we were going upstairs, I thought,
"Shall I knock him downstairs?"
I thought, "Well, I'll be in trouble if I knocked him downstairs."
They go into the bedroom.
The first thing he did was get my phone,
and ripped it out, and he pulled the telephone line out,
and I said to him then, "What are you doing?"
He goes, "Smashing it."
When he finds there's no money,
the robber grabs the telephone wires he's ripped from the wall
and takes Mick back downstairs.
He orders him to sit on a dining chair.
He said, "Put your hands behind the chair."
He said, "If you don't, I'll stab you."
The man puts the knife down and ties Mick to the chair
with the telephone wires.
Mick senses an opportunity to take him on.
I thought, "If I get free, I'll go for him."
The man starts throwing some of Mick's possessions onto the settee.
I said to him, "What are you doing that for?"
He said, "You shut up."
He got the tea towel out of my kitchen drawer, ripped it in half,
and stuffed it in my mouth, so I couldn't shout out.
While the robber's distracted looking for valuables,
Mick frantically tries to loosen the wires binding his arms to the
spindles of the chair.
And so I cut my hands trying to free myself.
The robber steals a phone and an iPad,
then tells Mick he's going to a cashpoint machine
with Mick's bank card, to take out his money.
He said, if the bank number weren't right,
he definitely was going to finish us.
The thief leaves by the back door, locks it and takes the key with him.
I thought, "Crikey! He's going to come back."
I've got to get out of here once he's gone.
Mick notices he can still get out of the front door.
He's left the front door key in.
I thought, "Right, I've got to get out of here.
Mick pushes with all his might against the back of the chair.
I broke the chair somehow.
I don't know how I did it, but I broke the chair.
I went to the front door and went out.
The camera outside shows Mick getting out of the house,
with one of his arms still tied to the chair spindles behind his back.
Somebody were down at the bottom of the street.
I thought, "Is that him?"
Mick notices that Joyce's light is on.
He races to her house.
There were this banging on my glass door,
and I'm thinking, "Oh, dear. Should I open it?"
Joyce hears Mick's voice and opens the door.
Mick comes rushing in, and he were tied to the back of a chair.
I said, "He's come in, and he's coming back."
And he's going, "Lock the door. Lock the door. He's after me."
She thought I was joking!
But he were in such a distressed state.
Joyce cuts Mick free from the wires behind his back with a bread knife.
She phones the police.
This is from the recording of her 999 call.
Within minutes, police officers reach Joyce's house.
I was sort of like,
"Oh, good. The police are here. They'll take over."
A forensic team is sent to Mick's home to gather evidence.
Mick is asked not to go back until they've finished.
I said, "Oh, he'll have to stop with me."
I never even gave it a second thought.
She was very good about it.
Mick is safe for now,
but a dangerous criminal is still at large.
Using a combination of modern technology
and clever detective work, the police set out to get
this dangerous man off the street in hours, not days.
Someone who would do this sort of crime would be an incredibly
We are all very, very determined to get this individual into custody.
A thief breaks into a restaurant.
For starters, he rifles through cupboards,
before moving onto his main course, the till,
but he's left some clues behind, so he may yet get his just deserts.
In the centre of Barnstaple in Devon,
married couple Lisa and Rob run this Mexican restaurant.
They took it over after a previous long-standing restaurant on the site
Virtually everyone who lives in Barnstaple has had some sort of
experience in this building.
Lots of people have experienced their 21st birthday parties here.
I've got friends who met each other and had their first kiss here,
and got married.
Yeah, so good, good experiences for lots of people.
I think it was just something in the back of our minds,
that it would be nice to own it, I guess, yeah,
and see what we can do with it.
Rob and Lisa hadn't run a restaurant before
and, in the beginning, things didn't go to plan.
They discovered they were about to have a new mouth to feed
when Lisa fell pregnant.
In an ideal world, you wouldn't be having a baby at the same time
as picking up the key to a business.
The renovation was being done with, yeah, a baby in a pram
on site every day, basically.
She really was no problem,
because I'd carry her around and she was fine.
Lisa and Rob completed their total refurbishment of the restaurant
and, after a successful opening night party, they never looked back.
Lots of our friends and family came to that, which was lovely,
but it's a massive learning curve,
and every day for us is a learning curve.
But the couple's learning curve is about to get even steeper
when a neighbour turns out to be not very neighbourly.
It's the middle of the summer, 8.30am.
Rob has come in to give the premises a clean-up when he's shocked to
discover signs of a break-in.
Nothing in the restaurant was touched.
It wasn't until I went upstairs to the office that I saw
the office door had been kicked in.
And then Rob remembers to his horror that, unusually,
last night they had left £4,000 in cash in the office.
We were paying wages the next day.
Obviously it all goes through payroll,
but, stupidly, we thought we were being intelligent
by saving bank charges.
The thief found the money.
The whole £4,000 has gone.
It's a crippling blow to the business.
It was a downer to say the least.
And to make things worse, the couple couldn't claim it back on insurance.
We'd taken out a rushed insurance policy online
when I'd gone into labour, hadn't read the small print...
We weren't insured.
Unfortunately it was just something that we didn't even consider
was going to happen.
The burglar has broken in through the window of the staff toilet
and utility room on the third floor.
A single window accessed over a flat roof.
How on earth would somebody have...?
Did they get a ladder and climb up three storeys?
The intruder hasn't been caught on their CCTV system,
as it only covers the restaurant downstairs,
and there's more bad news for the couple.
When the police arrive, they find no forensic evidence either.
There's no way of tracking this burglar down.
People like ourselves work long hours and hard days
to try and pay rent, and then you...
You get somebody who takes and gets away with it.
Lisa and Rob have no choice but to carry on as best they can.
Worried the burglar might come back,
they stop keeping cash in the office,
and secure the doors and windows.
But just six weeks later,
their business comes under attack again.
It's 2am, well after closing time,
but there's someone in the restaurant.
In the pitch dark, he makes no effort to hide his face,
apparently unaware there are infrared cameras
capturing his every move.
By the time he walks into the bar area, he's pulled his hood up.
He must have spotted the camera above the till.
The intruder tries to prise open the cash register using a screwdriver.
He works away at it for a full five minutes.
He's not getting anywhere,
so the thief hauls the till drawer to the floor
and tries to force it open with his feet.
He struggles on for a few minutes,
but all his persistence gets him is a cut on his wrist.
He dabs at it with a tissue, and then wipes it on his leg.
In the end, the thief gives up trying to open it
and decides to go for a takeaway solution,
a carry-out from the restaurant,
taking the whole till drawer with him.
Later that morning, when Rob comes in to open up,
he gets a sinking sense of deja vu.
I saw the till drawer was missing.
A big mess behind the bar, blood all over the floor and the fridge...
Just shocking we'd been burgled again
in such a relatively short space of time.
It was just like, you know, "What on earth's going on?"
Rob fetches a friend from the business next door,
and together they check the rest of the building.
You could clearly see that they'd come through the window again,
because they'd almost pulled it off its hinges.
In this burglary, there was no cash in the office to steal,
so the intruder has gone downstairs to the restaurant.
There was a £200 float in the till drawer he's stolen.
Again, the police arrive quickly with their forensic team,
and the culprit this time will be less likely to get away with it,
as he's left blood on the floor.
They had lots to work with this time.
As well as the blood,
possibly identifying the burglar through his DNA,
there's this high-quality CCTV evidence.
By now, Lisa has rushed in from home
and, when she views the camera's footage, she gets a shock.
The burglar is one of their restaurant's near neighbours.
As soon as I saw him come through, I was like...disbelief.
Is that the guy in the flat?
This man, who lives in a flat nearby,
has been walking past their door every day.
He's seen the hard work Rob and Lisa have put into
reviving the restaurant,
but he's obviously just seen it as an opportunity to steal from them.
It's like our home.
You know, we spend most of our life here.
It's our space that we welcome our friends and our family
and our customers into, and then you have somebody like this.
And the shock-horror that it's somebody that lives so close
and he is literally living on our doorstep...
Lisa's dad shoots video evidence that solves the mystery of how the
burglar got to the upstairs windows.
So they know how the thief did it, and they know who he is,
and the police recognise the man, too.
They go and arrest him.
There's no evidence to link him to the first restaurant burglary,
but their neighbour admits to committing the second.
In court, the 34-year-old man was convicted of burglary.
He was ordered to wear an electronic tag for three months,
pay £205 in compensation and complete 15 days of rehabilitation.
After the court hearing,
Rob and Lisa were pleased to find out that their neighbour
had been given an eviction notice on his flat,
so they can get on with running their restaurant
without looking over their shoulder all the time.
Coming up, we've got our first year anniversary party
for the restaurant, so that's in planning at the moment.
We're building our brand-new cocktail bar,
which would have been done before the burglaries,
but, obviously, finances wouldn't allow that.
That's all coming up and we're all really excited about it.
Lisa and Rob were unlucky that, when they got burgled,
they had an unusually large amount of money on the premises.
Now, many of us will have cash or high-value items in our home
at some point, so what can we do to protect them?
Even if people have good security systems,
such as alarms or CCTV systems,
it's never a good idea to leave valuable items lying around.
You're just tempting people.
Think about how you can secure them.
If it's a lot of money, can you move it to a bank?
If it's items of jewellery or passports, invest in a safe.
And it can be combination or key.
I would advise combination because keys can be stolen or misplaced.
The harder it is to find the safe, the better,
so, again, don't put it in the obvious places,
such as a master bedroom.
Think about other locations in the house,
which could be at the back of a cupboard,
which is less likely for the burglar to find it.
If people find that safe, that will then become the target,
so it really needs to be secure, perhaps bolted to the floor...
Safes come in lots of different shapes and sizes.
They can be masked as a cola bottle.
They may be a plug on the wall that can pull out.
They may be an old-fashioned safe.
It doesn't really matter -
the important thing is you pick the right one for you,
you take advice, and you get it securely in your property
as soon as possible.
This loving couple are walking into a bar
that's a popular wedding venue.
Such obvious affection for each other would warm
even the most wooden heart.
I'm sure Mr and Mrs Log would agree.
They're a wooden bride and groom on permanent display outside the venue.
Well, maybe not that permanent.
This pair of lovers have clearly kindled a burning yearning
for the two figures fashioned from firewood,
and, as he's leaving, the man takes Mr Log in one arm
and Mrs Log in the other,
walks them down the aisle, and wanders off with them altogether.
The wedding venue owners are understandably upset to find that
their two matrimonial mascots have suddenly eloped,
so they share this video on social media in a bid to find
who's stolen Mr and Mrs Log before they're used for barbecue fuel.
The owners also tell the police,
but it doesn't need special branch to solve the case
because, a few days later,
the woman sheepishly brings back the woody wife and groom.
Maybe when she saw the video was online,
she was worried people would twig it was her.
And there's more good news -
Mr and Mrs Log have just had some little saplings of their own.
Twins, in fact! Aw...
In Gainsborough, an armed man has stormed into
75-year-old Mick's house and robbed him at knife-point.
Robbery is extremely rare when someone is at home,
but that's no consolation to Mick.
I was scared - I'll be honest.
That's the first time I was scared.
The robber has stolen Mick's bank card,
and gone to a cashpoint machine to withdraw money.
I suddenly realised I gave him the wrong number.
I gave him my Post Office number.
But he did say he was coming back if it was the wrong number.
Mick has taken refuge in the house of
his close friend and neighbour Joyce.
I was terrified.
He could have died.
Joyce has called 999, and the case is given to
Detective Inspector Mark Kirwan.
He fears there's a serial armed robber on the loose.
Three hours before Mick was robbed,
an 88-year-old woman who lived nearby
was also attacked at knife-point.
As happened to Mick, the terrified pensioner's phone line
had been used to tie her up.
It looks like it's the same man.
It was a very, very serious incident indeed.
You know, we don't see that type of crime in Gainsborough,
so, when the call came in from Joyce,
it immediately rang alarm bells that we might actually have
a series of very violent crimes targeting elderly people.
Words cannot describe how despicable these crimes are.
Mark increases the number of officers on patrol,
and primes them to respond immediately
if any similar crime is reported.
He also sends an officer wearing a bodycam into Mick's house
to check the robber hasn't returned to carry out his threat.
I'm just going to search the house, but I suspect they've long gone.
Other officers are sent to Joyce's home to interview Mick.
We know that he's taken Mick's bank card.
This person is going to go and try and use that bank card.
While a forensics team scours Mick's house, looking for evidence,
other officers confirm the robber has tried to use Mick's card,
but wasn't able to withdraw any money.
They view council street camera recordings from the roads
between the cashpoint machine and Mick's house.
We know that our suspect has said that
if Mick gave him the wrong number or he couldn't get any cash,
that he would come back.
This CCTV picks up where our suspect is walking down the street,
following the failed attempt at the ATM,
and on his way back to Mick's home address.
It's chilling, seeing the man approaching Mick's road.
It looks like he is going to carry out his threat,
but then he sees police cars outside Mick's house,
and must realise his victim has escaped.
He's then turned around and come back out of the street.
What we're seeing here is he appears to reverse up to the bin.
He's clearly putting something in the bin,
and not doing it in a very natural way.
He's facing away from the bin,
and depositing something behind his back.
Mark immediately sends an officer to search through the rubbish bin,
and he finds a key which fits Mick's back door,
so the man caught on CCTV must be the robber,
but the image isn't clear enough to identify him.
What is clear is this man is desperate.
He hasn't got any of Mick's money, so he still needs cash.
It was my fear that we were going to have another incident,
so we looked at profiling people who were in the area.
It can narrow it down to the sort of person who is capable of committing
such abhorrent crimes.
SIREN WAILS Officers work through the night,
and quickly draw up a list of potential suspects.
From that small pool of people, we did further analysis.
We looked at their lifestyle, their previous convictions,
and came up with one key suspect,
and that person was Clinton Sentance.
Sentance has committed crimes against the elderly before,
but not with such violence.
Local intelligence gathering the next day strengthens Mark's view
that they're after the right man.
We knew he was in the area at the relevant times,
and we suspected he may be using drugs
and was going through a particularly desperate time.
Officers set off to flood the area and search for Sentance,
but, on the way, they received the 999 call they'd been dreading -
another elderly female victim has been threatened with a knife,
gagged and robbed.
This was our worst fear.
It was exactly the same type of crime
committed in exactly the same way.
It's beyond terrifying.
We are all very, very determined to get this individual into custody.
Sentance has stolen £140 from his victim,
so the officers head for the places he might go to buy drugs,
and keep an eye on suspected dealers all around the area.
Within hours, they get their man.
They've come across him and he's been detained and arrested.
Clinton Sentance's 24-hour reign of terror is over.
Mark's team build such a compelling case against him
that he decides to plead guilty.
None of his victims will need to appear as witnesses.
When his case reached court,
he was sentenced to life imprisonment,
with a minimum of ten years before he can be considered for parole.
Mark and his officers are pleased he's been put away
for such a long time.
I think we all have thoughts and feelings about
various different crimes,
but what ranks right up there at the top is the targeting of
vulnerable people, and I just hope that this life sentence
gives the community some form of reassurance that they are now safe.
In the weeks following the burglary,
Joyce found it especially hard to come to terms with the crime.
Mick had to persuade her to stay in Gainsborough.
I was sort of blaming the area in a sense, you know,
and as Mick said, "It's not. It's a one-off."
She was a bit panicking.
Well, she panics at the least thing, you know?
But Mick and Joyce helped each other get over the ordeal,
and now normal service has been resumed.
I were, like, there for Mick cos he needed me, and he were there for me.
That's it for today, and that's it for a few more criminals
who have been caught red-handed.
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.