Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. Three burglars jump around like little kids when they see an unguarded safe, and a robber gets a shock.
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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.
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.
Today, three burglars jump for joy like young kids.
They've spotted an unguarded safe
in a business that's shut for the weekend.
It belongs to David and Sue.
They act like they've hit the jackpot,
leaping around and fist-pumping each other.
I see my children get excited like that when they get their toys.
But one of the burglars has made a mistake,
he doesn't realise that new police technology
can find out who he is, even though he's wearing a mask and gloves.
Also today, shop owner Tinnie is working alone
when a robber bursts in demanding cash at knife point.
I asked him, "Can I help you?" Then he pulled the knife out.
It was scary, scary.
But the robber's in for a shock.
This friendly local shopkeeper just happens to be a martial arts expert.
She bravely grabs the hand holding the knife,
but now she's stuck and daren't let go.
Also later, a truck driver drives up to a beautiful park and casually
dumps several tonnes of waste right in the entrance.
Park manager Ian is appalled.
We've never had anything that scale here before,
two and a half, three cubic metres of stuff,
no-one can get in, no-one can get out,
just that someone would be that thoughtless.
The culprit's number plate isn't visible,
but one man decides to get down and dirty
to search the whole pile by hand,
and sets off on a fascinating trail of clues.
Every year, over half a million new businesses are started in Britain by
people dreaming of a bright future.
Sometimes they've invested their life savings,
but burglars couldn't care less about that.
All they're interested in is easy cash.
On an industrial estate in the town of Totton,
there's an e-cigarette business that was sparked off four years ago
by owners David and Sue, who are starting a new life together.
They met while doing the school run
with their children from previous marriages.
This would never have happened if me and David hadn't met each other.
We sort of, kind of, just gelled you know, from day one.
Their friendship soon grew into romance,
but there was one thing about Sue that David found
well, a bit of a drag.
I used to go outside and smoke cigarettes,
or my roll-up, and I used to feel so guilty
coming back in smelling of cigarettes,
David not being a smoker.
Sue decided she wanted to give up smoking,
so David suggested e-cigarettes,
which deliver nicotine via a vapour,
which is safer than smoke.
Though it's not as good as giving up completely,
Sue was convinced it was better than the alternative.
It's a good thing, hair, skin, body,
everything, you name it, it's better.
Sue's positive experience ignited an idea in David.
This is a great invention,
it's changing your life,
we need to help other people do the same.
So Sue and David decided to open an e-cigarette shop together.
I've helped my friends,
I've helped family members,
and it's just incredible when you get them off the cigarettes,
it just means the world.
But one weekend, David and Sue's business attracts some visitors
who aren't looking to give up smoking.
They're looking to steal some cash.
It's a Sunday afternoon in the spring,
their store's closed, and David's at home with Sue
preparing lunch when the phone rings.
It's a security monitoring station calling to say they
received a signal from the shop's burglar alarm.
My initial thoughts were, "Oh, my God, what's going on?
"What the hell's happened?
"Has somebody gone into building?
"Is the building on fire?"
Your heart sinks and you just think...
We had to just turn everything off,
we had to turn all the dinner off, and literally peg it out the door.
It's a half-hour drive to get there.
We were both nervous to see what we were going to find.
What destruction are you going to walk into?
When they arrive, the police are already outside,
it's clear there's been a break in.
The door had been wrenched open,
walking in, there was just a mess everywhere.
Some of their stock is scattered across the floor.
It was a horrible sinking feeling, you know?
It's like somebody's entered your house and stolen things,
cos it is our second home and it's not nice.
The shop's in such disarray they're not sure what's missing,
so David and a police officer go through
the security camera recording to see if it provides any clues.
We looked at the CCTV and we could see exactly what was going on
and it just literally spooled out for a hour and a half.
They see three men walking to the industrial estate.
They start to glove up here, and put their hoods on.
The men walk up to the shop,
and it soon becomes clear these are not the smartest criminals in town.
This guy here looks at the camera,
and then suddenly goes "Oh!"
And then he points it out.
If that would have been me at that point,
I think I would have just left the scene.
The trio don't seem to have a specific aim at this point.
They have a look at the van here, you know,
half of me thinks that this may have been the target, I don't know.
I don't think they really knew what they were looking for
until they saw the safe.
Then one of the men looks through a window and sees a safe under
a counter. A camera inside records the sound and vision of their
excitement when he tells the others what he's spotted.
They act like they've hit the jackpot,
leaping around and fist-bumping each other, "Yeah".
They literally thought it was Christmas,
I mean, you know, I see my children get excited like that when they get
-"Yeah, we got the jackpot!" No, you haven't.
Little do they know, the safe only hold around £60 in coins.
So now the planning begins.
Planning might be overstating it.
One of them giddily runs off in search of tools
to help them break in.
Soon the men return with metal beams and wooden planks
to smash the burglar alarms.
One of them has to climb up to complete the job.
They then run off with the boxes, the alarm would be triggered,
"Let's get out of here, let's see if anybody turns up."
But nobody does turn up.
And so later, the men return with a crowbar.
And this was when they finally did the deed.
They lever open the door.
The problem is, you know, breaking through a door is one thing,
but the damage they cause to the framework
it meant the whole lot had to come out.
The buildings internal alarms are triggered,
so the burglars race to the safe.
They literally leap over the counter, straight down to the safe.
Grabbed a few bits and pieces, shoved it in his pockets,
"We'll have that, we'll have that."
The men are in the building for less than 90 seconds,
but that's long enough to cause an enormous amount of damage.
To add insult to injury,
on the way out, one of the clowns,
he literally got a crowbar and he ripped the keypad off the wall,
and walked off with it.
Which meant we couldn't set the alarm.
With only £60 in the safe,
the burglars had managed to steal just £20 each.
Doesn't really add up when the damage
they caused was about £4,000 worth of damage.
And the way we feel, you know,
how we feel inside, being violated like that.
It's crazy, it's crazy.
Because they can't reset the alarm,
Sue insists on staying the night at the shop.
They blocked the broken door with a van
and David goes home to be with the children.
I was like, "You go, I'm staying."
He wasn't happy about that but that's what happened.
The next day, David goes back through the footage
with a forensic officer to look for evidence.
The burglars had worn gloves and left no fingerprints or DNA
inside the building, and their faces were never identifiable,
but the officer still analyses the recording closely.
One lad made a bit of a boo-boo.
There was one point on the window ledge
that he had actually grabbed hold of
whilst ripping the alarm box off the wall.
Even though he was wearing gloves, it turns out the burglar might still
have left some of his DNA on the ledge.
Police technology is now so sophisticated
they can even detect skin cells
that might have been forced through the fabric of a glove.
The forensic officer goes to take a look,
and finds the man did indeed leave
a little bit of himself behind.
That was the point of no return for him.
The forensic team identifies who the man is from his DNA,
officers track him down and arrest him.
David and Sue are given the good news.
It was brilliant, it's like, great, at least they've got one of them.
Delighted. Cracking job the police did.
It was a nice feeling knowing it wasn't a personal attack,
and knowing that they just were some random idiots
basically, that decided to break in to our premises.
In court, the man pleaded guilty to burglary,
he was sentenced to a community order,
and placed under the supervision of the probation service
for 12 months of drug rehabilitation.
He was also ordered to pay £250 in compensation.
One of the other men was also later identified by police.
It turned out he had been caught for an unrelated crime.
David and Sue have tightened their security since the burglary,
and don't leave any money unattended on site.
They also found over the following weeks
some benefit from their bad experience.
We don't advertise, everything we do here is through word of mouth,
the break in actually just made us get busier.
And not having smoked tobacco for four years,
Sue's well on her way to packing in e-cigarettes too.
I hardly touch nicotine at all any more, and I can leave my
e-cigarette alone, so I don't have to have it next to me 24/7.
This man's just stolen some valuables from a car,
including a dashboard camera,
but he hadn't noticed there are CCTV cameras
on this house, filming his every move.
Suddenly, he spots them and puts his hand over his face
to try and hide his identity.
He's panicking and makes an extraordinary decision,
he probably thinks if he puts everything back,
including the dashboard cam,
the owner won't notice anything's been stolen,
and won't look at the house CCTV, but he makes a big mistake.
The dash cam is recording, and instead of saving face
by putting it back, he's actually shown his face.
The thief also puts back a bag he's stolen from the boot.
But his attempts to cover his tracks are all in vain.
Later the car's owner sees his vehicle's been broken into,
and puts this footage online.
So the man now has the public and the police looking out for him.
Looks like he'll have to walk around with his hand over his face
for a very long time.
An armed robber enters a shop,
he wants money and doesn't care if he hurts
and terrifies the shop owner in the process.
But the owner isn't easily frightened,
because she's a taekwondo champion.
But that's a sport,
this is very much for real.
This convenience store in Plymouth is run by Tinnie,
originally from Sri Lanka,
Tinnie came to the UK when she was 19,
looking to find safety after escaping a civil war.
Started as a student and studied childcare,
then I've got married, then kids,
you know, then settled here.
Tinnie and her husband Thambidurai
have two sons and a daughter.
The family shares a passion for martial arts.
Tinnie's children are black belts in taekwondo,
and so is Tinnie - in fact, she's a champion.
I love sparring, especially you know, our class,
we didn't have that many females,
so I always had to spar with men,
they always helped me a lot, you know,
quite a lot of the men coached me, helped me.
It's really good, and including my boys, they helped me a lot as well.
Tinnie took up taekwondo when she was 35.
Her children's coach encouraged her
to join his club and she was a natural.
Soon she started competing in tournaments, and in 2013
she became a European champion.
It's quite fun, quite fun.
I never, ever thought I can achieve European champion
but, yeah, it's good.
Four years ago, Tinnie and her husband made a bold business move.
They bought and fitted out a convenience store for Tinnie to run.
It hasn't been easy making it a success,
but after a lot of hard work, she's slowly getting there.
Took more than six months to pick up this business, then I really enjoyed
working here, our local customers support me so they know my name,
I know their names, so it's quite fun now.
Hi, how are you?
But just when Tinnie thinks she can relax,
she gets a shock when someone comes through the door
who's not a customer, but a menacing armed robber.
It's a Monday evening and Tinnie is about to close the shop.
She needs to refill her shelves for the next day,
and goes to the storeroom at the back get some stock.
Then she hears the front door open.
The shop security camera shows this man walking in.
I thought that was an ordinary customer,
I just walked out and I said, "Hello",
I didn't receive any response.
The man is wearing a hoodie and Tinnie can't see his face.
I remember I asked him, "Can I help you?"
Then he pulled the knife out.
It's a terrifying moment.
The robber points the sharp tip of a long knife at Tinnie,
it's only a foot away from her body.
It was scary, scary.
Tinnie's mind starts to race.
First thing I thought, "There isn't a lot of money,
"let him have that money",
but then so even though it's a little bit of money,
it still our hard-working money,
I don't want to encourage him to do this thing.
If I let him take it, he might come back again.
But the robber is messing with the wrong woman.
I thought, "I can use the taekwondo technique to do something".
Tinnie attacks him,
bravely lunging forward to grab the robber's wrist,
of the same hand that's holding the knife.
He said, "Let me go, let me go, I need the money, I need the money."
I didn't let him go, I just hold it very tightly.
Tinnie starts pulling the man towards the door
with all her might, and suddenly notices that she's bleeding.
I had a cut on my finger, it started to bleed, I panicked,
I'm scared and everything, but at the same time I don't want to
release my hand, then definitely he would do something.
Tinnie continues to wrestle with the robber who towers over her.
She wants to push him out of the shop,
and they crash into the counter in the struggle.
Tinnie realises there is no-one else to help her,
she must summon the strength to open the shop door
while still holding his wrist.
Luckily it was open.
She shoves him out of the shop.
Then I started to panic, he didn't take anything,
he's going to come back.
You know I wanted to shout "Help", I could not do it,
my body was shaking a lot. You know, it's all the different feelings,
cry, bleeding, and everything.
To Tinnie's immense relief, the man drives off in a car.
Then I opened the door and shouted "Help!"
Then my neighbours came within a minute or so.
She came and she called the police and then police came.
Luckily, a few hours later
the police catch the robber after he tries to hold up another store.
The knifeman's crime spree is over.
In court, the armed man was sentenced
to five and a half years in prison
for robbery, attempted robbery, and possession of bladed articles.
In the weeks that followed,
the shock of her ordeal affected Tinnie badly,
but her loved ones helped her get over it.
My family is supportive, and they thought this is a brave thing to do.
They thought it's brilliant.
Tinnie's proud of the way she dealt with the robber,
but she now realises tackling him might not have been the best move.
It's just for the money, I shouldn't take this risk,
that's the thing I feel totally different from that moment,
I wish I shouldn't do that.
For young children, better to be here in this world.
any armed robbers would best steer clear of Tinnie,
as would as TV cameramen.
-That's all right.
-Nearly hit the camera.
It can be a natural instinct for a victim of crime
to fight for what is rightfully theirs,
but that might be a very bad idea.
So are there any guidelines about how and when
to stand up to criminals?
To fight back is a big decision
because potentially the individual may be stronger than you,
be more prepared to fight. The important bit, though,
if you feel you're in serious danger, you've got no other option,
and therefore you need to do it to help save your own life,
or other peoples' lives, you can use force.
Make as much noise as you can, noise puts offenders off,
noise attracts attention, noise can bring people to your rescue.
The more space you've got between yourself
and the offender, the better.
Because then they can't lash out at you,
they can't wave a weapon towards you.
Look for objects, look for shields,
look for somewhere that you can hide and protect yourself.
These people sometimes can be very violent, they can be armed,
so it's more important that you get out of there unharmed,
than actually trying to tackle the situation.
Your personal safety is paramount,
so there's no shame in looking for an escape route
if you're involved in a violent incident.
Caught Red Handed has seen dramatic evidence of the increasing problem
of rubbish being illegally dumped all over Britain.
It's a national disgrace,
costing councils £50 million a year to clear up.
Money badly needed elsewhere.
But one of the most brazen cases we've seen is this truck driver,
who dumped several tonnes of rubbish
in the entrance of a town's treasured public park.
It makes one council officer so angry,
he turns detective, and follows an intriguing paper trail of clues,
with surprising results.
In Slough city centre,
the Grade II listed Herschel Park dates back to Victorian times.
It had fallen into a state of neglect, until six years ago
it was restored to its former glory with the help
of council and lottery funding.
Ian is the park's manager.
I think Herschel is one of the hidden gems of Slough,
it's only about 400 metres away from the high street,
but you can sit here and think you was in the country.
Ian can't maintain the park by himself,
and is helped by a large team of volunteers.
-I've planted over 200 trees in the park personally.
We are creating a much better environment,
not just for the animals and birds and wildlife,
but for the residents as well.
But something happens that gets in the way of people enjoying the park,
when an unwelcomed visitor drops a heap of trouble on its doorstep.
It's a spring evening coming up to 8:00pm.
Herschel Park doesn't have cameras monitoring its entrance,
but a charity next door does have CCTV covering its gates.
And this evening, the charity's camera picks up a white truck,
approaching the entrance to Herschel Park,
which is on the right behind the trees.
But the park's entrance has a height barrier,
which prevents it driving in.
The driver backs up, we can see his truck's fully loaded.
But instead of driving off,
he reverses right up to the entrance of Herschel Park.
Then, moments later,
the driver pulled away,
with the truck's rear platform fully raised and empty.
Its entire contents have been dumped.
These photos, taken by the park staff,
show what a mess the driver left behind.
A massive pile of builders' rubble and waste
completely blocking the park entrance.
We've never had anything that scale here before.
Two and a half, three cubic metres of stuff just blocked the whole
doorway, no-one can get in, no-one can get out.
It will be several days before the rubble can be cleared,
and the number of people using the park immediately drops.
Just wreck everything, just because they're too lazy to go to a tip.
And Slough council aren't happy either.
It'll cost them and the taxpayer a lot of money to get the debris
picked up and disposed of.
Council enforcement officer David Stride
is brought in to investigate.
He used to live overlooking Herschel Park,
so for David this case is personal.
It's such a lovely place,
and I used to take my daughter around there when I lived there,
and walked around there, and there's this pile of waste,
this rubbish that someone had just deliberately left,
which is totally unacceptable.
But his chances of tracking down
this tip and run driver do not look promising.
Frustratingly, the CCTV provides few clues.
You can see the registration number there,
but you can see it's blurred, the quality isn't that good.
You can see the logo here on the side of the vehicle,
and there's a little light on the top.
But how many vehicles like that in the country?
Where do we go from here?
Without a registration number, it's not clear at all.
But David isn't giving up.
He decides there's no option but to get his hands dirty.
You need to have a look and see what evidence is there,
before it's destroyed by the weather or the elements.
David goes to the park and painstakingly
sifts through all the waste.
Unfortunately, with building materials,
there's nothing there to suggest where it's come from.
But then, as he reaches the bottom of the heap,
David finds three black plastic bags full of domestic waste,
and he makes a potentially important discovery.
One of the bags contained, I couldn't believe it, a letter.
The letter is from a phone company,
and is addressed to a man in Norfolk.
And David find some other evidence, too.
There's two till receipts at the bottom
from the local supermarket, which
indicated that the person there may have also visited that supermarket.
This could've been the person where the roof tiles had come from.
It's sort of excitement, you think, "Yes, I've got a lead."
David rings the phone number of the man on the letter.
He confirmed his name and it was the same name on the letter.
Just said, "No, I've never been to Slough."
The man denies tipping the waste,
but David thinks he's talking rubbish.
If he's innocent and didn't dump it,
then he should be able to provide the name
of whoever took the waste off him.
So I said to him, you know,
"I need to speak to you further about this",
and, "Would you be prepared to come in for an interview?"
And he just basically said, "No, I live too far away."
David's convinced this man is the culprit,
and sets out to find more proof.
He searches the man's name online and finds a photo of him.
And as search of his social media sites brings another breakthrough.
The man has a picture of a truck he wants to sell.
It's clear the man's spelling needs working on,
and his sense of timing does too.
He's trying to off-load a familiar-looking truck
a few days after the fly-tipping incident.
He's selling this vehicle which is identical
to the one I've seen on the CCTV.
It's a white Ford Tipper and the light on top,
and the logo on the side. I couldn't believe it, it was gold dust.
The van might match but David still needs to prove
the man was in Slough at the time of the offence.
So armed with a supermarket till receipt
he found in the dumped waste,
he goes to that store to view their CCTV.
Went straight to the times and the dates on the two receipts,
and looked at the footage.
Having seen the suspect's face on his social media pages,
David knows who he's looking for and he doesn't have to wait long.
That person there is the suspect.
It's his build, it's his stance, hair colour, that's my man.
This recording proves, without doubt, the man's a liar.
He said to me he's not in Slough, he's never been so Slough.
He's here, he's in Slough.
And he's there on the day the waste was dumped.
The evidence against his prime suspect is piling up,
but David's determined to find even more proof
the man's van was in Slough at the time of the offence.
He contacts the police, and they confirm
that there's a van registered to the man.
They cross check the van's number plate
with Slough's traffic camera footage.
On the day in question,
the van is captured in the area four times.
I've then thought, "This is it, the jigsaw is complete,"
so it's a case of preparing a file and then going for the prosecution.
The man is summoned to Slough Magistrates' Court,
but he's obviously not keen on returning to the area,
and doesn't turn up.
There is such overwhelming evidence,
they found him guilty in his absence.
In court, the man was convicted of dumping waste,
he was ordered to pay a fine,
and costs totalling £3,000,
and was also fined £50 for failing to appear.
The message is clear, don't foul up Slough, and don't dice with David.
He was complimented in court for the strength of his investigation.
It made me happy and I thought, "Yes, I've got a result."
Not just for me, it's my job, it's basically for the community.
It's great for Slough.
Since the court case,
there has been no more illegal dumping in Herschel Park.
I was over the moon with that,
that was great, so score one for the good guys.
That's it for the today,
and that's it for a few more criminals
who've been caught red-handed.
Three burglars jump around like little kids when they see an unguarded safe, and a robber gets a shock when a friendly shopkeeper turns out to be a martial arts expert.