Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. At a jeweller's, a man wearing a comical wig turns deadly serious.
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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
-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, "Oh, we've got her!"
And I was so happy. Thank God!
So, anyone who is up to no good had better think twice.
They might just get Caught Red Handed.
Today, at a jeweller's,
a man walks in, wearing a comical wig and sunglasses,
but he turns deadly serious -
pointing a gun at terrified staff and demanding they open the safe.
But it's on a time lock, and shop owner Karen
has to tell the gunman they can't open it.
He said, "I don't believe you." I just had a feeling of dread.
Cos you really don't know if he's going to shoot you.
Also today - a hard-hearted burglar steals from single mum Lara.
It was a terrible feeling. This is our sanctuary.
He even ransacks her children's bedrooms.
All my room had been trashed and all my pound coins had been taken.
I felt really sad.
But Max is a computer whiz-kid, and he starts an online manhunt.
Also later - Anne gets a nasty surprise...
..when her equestrian equipment shop is burgled.
And another surprise when the thief returns and leaves a mysterious
-Some liquid, that we realised was cooking oil,
-from the smell of it.
-But his bizarre antics are being watched.
The security company across the road is bristling with cameras.
Of all the shops in a typical high street,
jeweller's are especially tempting for robbers.
They can see high-value items on display that look very easily
accessible. But often jewellers aren't as straightforward to rob
as they appear.
In the centre of Southport, a seaside town near Liverpool,
Karen runs a jeweller's.
She had been an employee at the store, but two years ago was offered
the chance to take it over when the previous owner retired.
I wasn't sure, but it had been a good business for 30 years, and I
thought, "At my age, where am I going to get another job from?"
So I thought, "I'll take the chance."
In the beginning, Karen found being the boss a challenge.
Suddenly you were on the other side and it's, you've got all that
responsibility and then you've got staff to look after.
It is daunting.
Karen added her own extra sparkle to the business by totally refurbishing
-You know, it's nice that people come in and they're buying
gifts for someone and it's all surprise gifts,
and people come in and buy engagement rings, and they're going
out with a smile on their face.
But one day in the shop, Karen and a colleague have a
terrifying experience that has them fearing for their lives.
It's a Saturday morning in May.
The shop's security cameras are running as Karen and a colleague
Nearly all their expensive stock is kept in safes overnight,
which they can't open yet, as they are fitted with time delay locks.
There's nothing we can do until that timer comes on.
While they wait, Karen chats with her colleague.
After a few minutes,
a man approaches the store and starts looking in the window.
He's wearing sunglasses and has an unusual hairstyle.
He rings the door's buzzer.
Karen's pet dog, Stanley, goes to take a look.
As in many jewellery shops, for security,
customers have to be let in by staff pressing a button.
Saturdays can be a busy day,
when we can have people coming in quite early in the morning.
Karen's colleague gets ready to greet the man,
but she's about to go through an experience she still doesn't wish to
talk about to this day.
Karen's standing just off camera, in the corner of the room.
Even at that stage, I didn't suspect anything.
Suddenly, everything changes.
The next thing is, he just pulled the gun out.
At gunpoint, the man then forces the terrified shop assistant and Karen
towards the back of the shop.
I just had a feeling of dread.
My legs started shaking and I just felt my heart really beating fast.
The armed man ordered Karen to open the office safe.
I knew that we couldn't do anything, and my colleague was saying,
"We can't open the safe, it's on a time delay."
She was, sort of, more or less screaming this at him.
He said, "I don't believe you. You open the safe."
And I just didn't know what to do.
And my dog was sort of round his feet, and I'm thinking,
"I hope he doesn't shoot my dog."
Karen is standing near a panic button that could send an alarm to
I was ten inches away, but I just didn't do it,
because I think I was just in shock,
and I was just so fixated on looking at the gun,
cos you really don't know if he's going to shoot you.
But then the gunman realises they're telling the truth.
He decides to leave,
bizarrely making no attempt to steal any of the jewellery on display in
the shop. He frogmarches Karen over to the door, which has automatically
locked, and demands she unlocks it.
I just opened the door and he went out.
The robber hides his gun to avoid attention and briskly walks away.
Nothing has been stolen from Karen's jewellers, and she and her
colleague have been left physically unharmed, but shock soon sets in.
My legs buckled from underneath me.
I had to sit down on a chair.
They phone the police, who arrive within minutes.
A dangerous armed man is at large,
but there's no immediate evidence to help the officers identify the
-He'd used his arm to get through the door,
so there was no fingerprints anywhere.
The forensics couldn't find anything.
So they check Karen's CCTV,
but realise the man is wearing a wig to disguise his identity.
I didn't see that he had a wig on.
I think it's cos I was just so busy looking at the gun.
But Karen's security cameras still provide a breakthrough.
One of them shows that the robber didn't escape on foot -
he had a getaway car.
As he's gone out the door, he's walked out, he's just gone to his
car with a bag, and people are just carrying on as normal.
The pictures are clear enough to
read the registration number of the car.
When police run a check, they find out it's stolen.
They track the car's movement and put out an appeal for information.
Soon they get a name,
but the suspect goes into hiding.
Several weeks pass as the police search for him.
Karen and her colleague struggle to
come to terms with what's happened.
I felt responsible for my colleague who was going through it.
She was not sleeping and she was having nightmares over it.
She handed her notice in because she just felt that she couldn't work
here any more.
But two months after the attempted robbery, there's good news -
the police find the main suspect and bring him in for questioning.
Karen and her colleague are asked to attend a video identity parade.
It was really difficult to pick him out.
At the time, I looked at the gun, I didn't look at anything else.
Fortunately, my colleague managed to pick him out.
After being identified, the suspect admits to the crime.
He was actually using an imitation weapon, but his terrified victims
weren't to know that when he pointed it at them.
It's changed everything. You know,
I lost a member of staff that I had been friendly with for five or six years.
You're just trying to earn a living. You do work hard for it, and he can
just come in with a gun and think he's just going to take whatever he
can. That's, you know, disgusting.
Because of the psychological impact on victims like Karen and her
colleague, strong punishments are given to criminals using fake guns.
In court, the man was convicted of attempted robbery,
having an imitation weapon and taking a car without consent.
He was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
It's taken a while, but Karen has finally got over the ordeal.
I didn't want him to affect me, I just wanted to carry on.
I still enjoy that buzz of going in and people coming through the door.
I still enjoy owning the business.
And I'm hoping that, you know,
we're going to be here for many years to come.
A masked man, holding a screwdriver, walks into a newsagents run by an
elderly couple, and demands money from the 74-year-old woman behind
the counter. But if he thinks she's going to be a soft touch, he's
mistaken. She refuses to give him a penny.
So he grabs the whole till.
The woman doesn't take kindly to this, so she bravely
gives him a lot of stick, and the robber heads for the door.
But then he comes up against her husband.
He's also in his 70s, and he's in no mood to negotiate either.
In a move a wrestler would be proud of,
the shopkeeper grapples the robber to the ground.
After being body-slammed by a senior citizen,
the red-faced robber gives up and runs off, empty-handed.
The man was later caught and sentenced to five years in prison
for this and another offence.
So he'll have lots of time to regret trying to take on this
have-a-go gran and grandad.
In West Sussex, an intruder's on a smash... GLASS SHATTERS
..and-grab raid on a family home.
He even steals money from the kids' piggy banks!
He then moves on to a nearby cottage.
But the people of Bognor band together,
and this burglar's on borrowed time.
Clymping is a village near Bognor Regis on the south coast of England.
Single mum Lara lives here with her children.
I've now been in my current house for almost 14 years.
It's got a lot of memories.
Lara has three children -
Harry, who's 17, Max, 13, and six-year-old Orla.
The family are coming through a difficult time.
My parents have recently split up.
It was about 18 months ago,
my husband and I separated.
Yeah, so that's a very sad thing
that we, as family, we're having to face.
As well as watching out for each other,
Lara's brought up her children to look after their pounds and pennies.
I've always tried to encourage them to save
rather than just to spend.
The children have money boxes in their rooms, and hard-working Max
keeps his regularly filled.
I earned my money from my grandma.
He'll mow her grass, clean cars, mow the grass here.
For peace of mind, Lara's recently installed a security camera inside
-Now that I'm on my own, there are times that, you know,
sometimes you don't always feel that safe any more.
It turns out Lara is right to feel vulnerable,
when a burglar breaks into her family home.
It's a summer's day. Max is at school,
but Orla has already broken up and Lara is taking her to her grandma's.
Back at home, the security camera is recording, and suddenly it picks up
the sound of shattering glass. GLASS SHATTERS
This man has used a brick lying on Lara's drive to smash the patio door
and break in.
After a few minutes, the man returns and strolls out the way he came in.
Later that afternoon, Lara returns home with Max.
Orla is still at her grandma's.
As we went into the kitchen, we both saw all the glass on the floor.
As I stood there, I started to realise that we had been burgled,
and that feeling of panic filled me.
While Lara checks downstairs,
Max runs up to his bedroom and is shocked by what he finds.
My drawers were open, cupboards were open.
I have a silver mug, and I had quite a lot of money in there,
so that had all been taken.
I went into my mum's room and her drawers had been opened.
And then I checked my sister's room. She has about four or five money
boxes, and they'd all been smashed.
Max shouts to his mum to come upstairs, where Lara finds her
jewellery box raided and valuables her dad gave her missing.
He died a couple of years ago. That was my last link to him, really.
Lara accesses the CCTV cameras' recordings on her mobile.
She and Max are horrified to see a burglar in their home.
It was a terrible feeling, and it actually reduced us both to tears,
really, because it was all a bit overwhelming.
Max calls 999, and while they wait for the police,
Orla comes back and is distraught to find her precious money boxes in
pieces on the floor.
My grandma gave it to me.
I felt really sad.
This is our sanctuary.
We should feel at our most safe and comfortable at home.
It makes you feel really angry, that someone can have that effect.
£150 has been stolen from the children, and £2,500 worth of
jewellery from Lara. But the good news for the family is their
security camera has captured an image of the burglar.
The police take a copy,
and Max, who's a whiz when it comes to computers,
puts the footage online.
Within 20 minutes, I had people texting me.
It got picked up, and then it was spread, and then more and more
-people, you know, shared it.
-I think I had about 57,000 shares.
I even had pictures of people coming through that looked similar to him,
even with names that we gave the police.
And the police soon confirm their chief suspect is one of those names,
but his whereabouts are unknown.
Not for long, though.
He's about to target another home in the area.
This cottage belongs to Karl,
who recently spent his life savings renovating the building.
Karl works as an IT director, so it's not surprising he's
installed hi-tech cameras to protect his new home.
If I am still at work or out at the shops or even out of the country,
I receive a small alert to say there's been motion detected.
And today, while he's at work...
Karl's cameras pick up a face we now recognise -
the man who broke into Lara's house is now in Karl's back garden!
He tries a door handle...
but it's locked securely.
The intruder spends the next few minutes pacing up and down,
looking through the windows,
but they're double-glazed and hard to break.
There's nothing lying around to smash them with.
He decides to leave.
An exterior camera is triggered as he walks away...
and an alert is sent to Karl's phone at work.
He sees what's just happened.
I was absolutely astonished and angry and thought, "How dare you?!"
I am so pleased, on this occasion, that I had those cameras in place.
He could have actually just been casing the joint with the intent to
come back the next day, the next week, who knows?
Karl's camera has captured an even clearer image of the man than Lara's.
You can see him, almost looking into the camera as he goes out. He's very distinctive.
You can see this grey jacket, red and white emblem,
the white beanie hat, and the sunglasses there, and that's the point that I thought,
"Absolutely, this is enough to be able to track this person down."
Karl takes a close look at the man's image and starts to get a sense of
-There's just something niggling at my mind to say,
"I think I've seen this guy somewhere before."
Then Karl remembers seeing the footage of a recent local burglary
that had been shared online -
the video Max posted.
It was quite evident to me that this was the same person that was wanted
by the police.
Karl also puts his own screenshots of the intruder on Bognor's social
He soon receives multiple messages naming the suspect and is
even sent a link to the man's Facebook profile.
I was just absolutely astonished to find that he's wearing the same
sunglasses, the same beanie hat
that he was wearing when he attempted to
gain entry to our place.
Having been caught on camera twice in a matter of weeks,
this burglar is really starting to bother Bognor.
The whole community came together to be able to help
effectively hunt this person down.
People start contacting Karl with direct sightings of the suspect.
Somebody had private messaged me to say they'd just seen the guy wearing
exactly the same clothes, going to a large supermarket.
There were other people commenting on the post,
to say that they'd seen him again in the Bognor Regis area.
Messages about the fugitive keep
flooding in from other Bognor residents.
I then received a note from somebody to say that she had just seen the
man riding his bike down a particular road in Bognor Regis.
Every report Karl gets, he passes on to the police, and soon
they catch up with the suspect.
Within about three hours, I received a call from them to say that,
"We've just arrested your man," and I was absolutely delighted.
And the Bognor online community is delighted, too.
In court, the man pleaded guilty to burglary and attempted burglary.
Because he was a repeat offender, he was jailed for three years.
Following the break-in,
Lara has increased security at the family home even further.
Max was thrilled that the online search for the man he started had
-ended in success.
-I did feel a bit proud I'd helped the police.
He's also learned a valuable lesson.
When I do get a large amount, straight in my bank account,
so then nobody can take it again,
We just seen a house being broken into, using a brick that was lying
around. Just like this.
But another house, with nothing at all around for a burglar to use,
being left alone.
So what can we do to make it harder for burglars?
For example, they may pull a wheelie bin under a higher window to gain
access to a property.
So my advice is to be just mindful of where you keep your wheelie bins,
or secure them, if you can.
Put obstacles in the way of burglars trying to get to your house.
It might be a gravel driveway, where you can hear them approaching.
It might be sharp bushes under windows, which are unpleasant to
-If you put shutters, Venetian blinds,
or vertical blinds behind your patio doors,
it makes it more difficult for the burglar wanting to get into the
premises, and it takes more time to get out.
You need to make your house an
impenetrable fortress from the kerb-side.
You need to put visual deterrents
which put people off breaking into your homes.
That could be even dummies, such as cameras, such as alarm boxes.
They don't even necessarily need to work, as long as they look real.
If your house looks occupied,
then that increases the risk to that criminal of being caught.
So, leaving automatic lights on, leaving a radio on.
Anything you can do to make your house look occupied will increase
the level of risk within that criminal's mind.
A burglar smashes his way into a shop which sells horse riding
equipment. He's disguised himself with a Mexican bandit moustache,
straight out of the movies.
The outlaw makes off with the till's takings...
..but little does he know there's a posse on his trail.
The town of Guiseley in West Yorkshire is surrounded by
countryside that's excellent for horse riding.
Anne loves horses so much, she owns two of them,
and she runs an equestrian shop in the town with the help of her
I did have riding lessons as a kid, but I didn't have a pony.
It was far too expensive.
So it wasn't until I was an adult, I thought,
"I'd like to get back into riding."
Anne used to be an accountant.
It was a little while after the crash that there was a round of
redundancies where I worked, and unfortunately I got the...
It was a tough time,
but it gave Anne the opportunity to start a new business.
I know a lot of horsey people,
and there wasn't a shop like this within a half-hour drive.
So I thought it might be a good way of spending my redundancy money.
Anne knew running the shop wouldn't be an easy ride,
but she's about to face a problem she hadn't seen coming -
a burglary in broad daylight.
It's early one summer's morning,
and Anne and Kieran are woken by a call on her mobile.
MOBILE PHONE RINGS
It was the alarm company to say that the alarm had gone off in the shop.
There's been a break-in. Kieran makes his way to the shop.
Anne will follow as soon as she's fed their dogs.
Kieran's worried that burglars could still be there.
I think it's probably best not to confront these people,
given my karate skills...
Kieran arrives to see a hole has been smashed through one of the
windows, and there's a large stone next to it on the pavement.
I suspected perhaps some vandalism,
then I went into the shop and realised it was more than that.
After checking no intruders are still in the building,
Kieran sees that the cash drawer, which had contained around £200,
has been emptied. He calls the police.
Meanwhile, Anne heads to the shop.
I did worry about what Kieran was going to find,
and I was waiting for him to phone, and thinking,
"Oh, have you been battered over the head by somebody?!"
She arrives, and is relieved Kieran is OK,
but her beloved shop has been ransacked.
I was upset. It's not a pleasant feeling at all.
You do feel somewhat violated.
The till has been emptied,
but it isn't clear what else has happened.
It just felt very surreal,
because there was this smashed hole in the window that actually looked
too small for anyone to get through, and some liquid over the shelves and
over some of the boot boxes, that we realised was cooking oil,
from the smell of it.
They can't fathom why anybody would leave cooking oil in the shop.
Kieran has already checked their CCTV, but found the recording was
-Although it was light outside, it was dark inside,
which is why the CCTV wasn't great,
but the security company next door came round and mentioned that they'd
got the whole thing on film.
When the police arrive,
officers go to view the security company's footage,
and this is what they see.
A man walks across the street and peers through the shop's window.
Then he walks around the buildings, checking the coast is clear.
Anne and Kieran notice that he's sporting an unusual line
in facial hair.
This guy had what looked like a very obvious Mexican moustache.
We weren't sure whether it could even be his own moustache,
but he did seem to keep putting his hand up to his face,
so that might have indicated it was a false moustache.
The man then pulls out a small crowbar and levers off a metal panel
under the window, but he can't get in.
So he goes and gets a heavy rock.
You're thinking, "He must be quite strong."
He throws it hard at the window and kicks the glass through.
He tries to make the hole bigger with his hand, but quickly pulls it
-He does seem to hold his hand in a way that you think,
"He's hurt himself."
The man comes back a moment later and puts gloves on.
Then he clambers through the hole.
He was very agile and quick.
Inside, the man forces the till open,
steals the cash drawer and puts it in a bag,
and then he leaves.
But how did the cooking oil end up in the shop?
Staff at the security company think they've solved the mystery.
They spot that, later, a suspicious-looking man arrives at
the scene of the crime with a watering can full of oil.
They believe it's the burglar.
They think he may have come back to pour oil over the broken glass, to
mask any traces of blood.
But during his attempt at a cover-up, he actually reveals
-When he returned to put the oil through the window,
he had taken the disguise off.
The police officers can now get a clear view of the man without his
hoodie and oversized moustache.
And that's not all - it turns out that the oil-pouring idea was a case
of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
One of my staff members had noticed that there was some blood staining
on some papers under the counter.
Blood must have seeped through the burglar's gloves as he was rummaging
near the till. A forensic officer takes a swab.
We were very pleased, because the fact they've got blood is probably
the best bit of evidence that you could find,
because it would enable them to name the guy straightaway if he was on
-And he is on their records.
The man is soon arrested.
Because of the video and DNA evidence against him,
he realises there's no disguising the truth.
In court, the thief pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary,
possession of cannabis, and numerous driving offences.
He was sentenced to two years in prison, and, for the driving
offences, banned from driving for three years after his release.
The repair bill after the burglary came to £1,000.
After increasing the shop's security, Anne and Kieran have now
put the break-in well and truly behind them.
Being burgled hasn't affected my enjoyment of running this business.
We're carrying on. We're coming into our busiest season of the year,
and I'm very much looking forward to that.
That's it for today. And that's it for a few more criminals
who've been Caught Red Handed.
At a jeweller's, a man wearing a comical wig turns deadly serious. And a hard-hearted thief is trapped after ransacking children's bedrooms.