Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. Two men found around the back of a pub try to bluff their way out of trouble.
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Thieves will steal our cash, our cars, our valuables,
just about anything they can get their hands on.
But now the police are using cutting-edge technology
to catch the bad guys.
We want to make sure we've got a concrete case.
Enough evidence to convict at court.
Local councils, shops and businesses
are fighting crime with their own tricks and traps.
It's just unbelievable that she thinks she can get away with this.
And the public are using secret cameras
to make sure the crooks get their comeuppance.
Fair means or foul, I was going to get rid of him.
I thought, "We've got her!"
And I was so happy! Thank God!
So, anyone who's up to no good had better think twice.
They might just get Caught Red Handed.
Today, two men found around the back of a pub,
try to bluff their way out of trouble.
But the pub's landlord, Rob, is watching them on camera.
These bluffers may have a hidden purpose,
but they've not kept everything hidden.
Also today, a woman who preys on frail and elderly people
by stealing their money, heirlooms and treasures.
84-year-old Brian becomes one of her victims,
much to the disgust of his daughter, Julie.
It makes me sick to the stomach that she's done that to him.
It's really below the belt.
Julie sets out to prove the woman is up to no good,
and the result is a surprise for both Julie and the police.
Also later, a cyclist learns that he can't take his eyes off his bike
for even a few seconds without someone trying to nick it.
But this thief doesn't get an easy ride.
Pubs offer an open house to customers from all walks of life.
But sometimes that warm, welcoming hospitality can be an open door
for con men and criminals.
The market town of Sherborne in Dorset has its fair share of
historic buildings, and still has its fair share of pubs, too.
One of them, the Teddy Rowe, has a new owner, Rob.
I got approached by a brewery and they offered me the opportunity
to go into this new pub. It was a big refurb, obviously
to modernise it. It's been a massive transformation.
Rob has a knack of turning around the fortunes of ailing pubs.
He now owns six outright in the south-west.
I'm just doing something that comes naturally to me,
and what I enjoy doing.
Rob always installs comprehensive security camera systems in his pubs.
Unfortunately, it's not the most honest of industries, and there's a
lot of cash that does flow around, so therefore temptation is high.
And if you've got the top technology,
it just makes your job a lot easier.
And Rob's investment in security is about to pay dividends,
when the Teddy Rowe is targeted by a pair of villains
on a criminal pub crawl across two counties.
It's a Saturday morning in the summer, and Rob's in his office
above the Teddy Rowe's bar area.
One of the screens on his desk shows the pub garden,
where a member of staff is taking a short break.
Two chaps walked into the garden,
I didn't think much of it, cos people stop
and have a chat to anyone who's outside a pub, you know,
cos we were quite new to the area.
Rob's mother, Elizabeth, is with him in the office,
and they both notice one of the men coming into the pub.
We watched the guy walk to the toilet.
So we thought, "OK, fair enough,
"he's obviously asked to borrow the loo."
It's not unusual for people to pop in to use the toilet,
but Elizabeth keeps watching.
She said, "Oh, hang on, why's he walked back to the bar area?"
And I just stopped and I said, "Oh, he's probably got lost."
At this point, my mother's then gone down the stairs...
Elizabeth can't see the man,
so she assumes he's gone outside where his friend is on the phone.
She takes some bags to the bins...
..and then, on the way back inside, she bumps into the man.
This camera's microphone records their conversation.
He clearly has the gift of the gab.
The two men wander off.
I obviously spoke to my mother briefly about what had just
happened, and I thought, "OK,"
then nothing more was thought too much of it.
It was just, sort of, you know,
"I need to make sure people don't just wander in behind the bar."
While Rob and Elizabeth get on with their work,
40 miles away in Wiltshire,
the Salisbury police are also having a busy morning.
Detective Constable Rachel Winter is part of a team that's investigating
a burglary at the Yew Tree, a country pub on their patch.
When I went down to the Yew Tree public house and I met the landlord,
he showed me around, and what he had woken up to that morning.
£660 was missing, and that was the float and the night's takings.
And, you know, for a small country pub, that's a lot of money
and hard-earned money.
So he was understandably, extremely upset and felt very violated.
The Yew Tree also has a network of cameras,
so Rachel sifts through its footage and sees that at around 6:30am,
a car pulled up outside the pub.
You can see that it actually drops off our two suspects
at the front of the pub.
It's the same two men who we've seen at the Teddy Rowe.
They scout around the back of the Yew Tree,
looking for a way in, and eventually use a screwdriver
to lever open a door.
Once inside, they go straight to the till
and break it open.
Then they creep upstairs to the landlord's private quarters,
where he's in bed, to search for more money.
That's horrible, isn't it,
to have somebody invading your personal space whilst you're asleep?
I think he was deeply upset by that.
Rachel goes back to the police station and checks their database
to see if any other similar crimes have been reported.
That was when we saw that there was two other burglaries, both in pubs,
done over the same 24-hour period.
I realised this was a series of burglaries.
Rachel goes to see those other pubs, and one of them, The Swan,
also has CCTV cameras.
The same two men are filmed entering the pub,
and one is caught on camera ripping a safe from a wall.
We've got the faces of the two suspects,
but what we don't have is the names to put to the faces,
and it's the vehicle, really, that's key in making that link for us,
but there's nowhere near enough quality
to establish the number plate.
Rachel and the team decide to appeal to the public for help.
They publicise the case on Facebook and in the local news,
in the hope that someone recognises the burglars.
We did have a couple of names put forward
but we were quite quickly able to bottom out
that those weren't the people that we were looking for.
Rachel's case comes to a grinding halt.
It looks like the men are going to continue
getting away with their crimes.
Later, they have been escaping capture at pubs across a wide area -
the Yew Tree in Warminster, The Swan in Salisbury,
as well as the Teddy Rowe at Sherborne.
But the Teddy Rowe's landlord, Rob,
hopes to provide a missing link that will call time on these burglars
and their campaign of crime.
How long is it safe to leave a bike unlocked?
Well, about 17 seconds,
judging by what happens when this cyclist
pops into a shop for a moment.
Because, in those few seconds,
his smart bike catches the eye of a pair of chancers,
and one of them decides he'd like to swap the bike he's riding
for a better one. But he's spotted by the angry owner,
who must be a rugby player!
Nice tackle, sir!
Here's a slow-motion action replay.
After removing the thief from his bike,
the owner shows he has some boxing skills too.
But he thinks better of it,
deciding it's more important to protect his bike
that's lying in the middle of the road.
The would-be thief realises he's met his match
and scuttles off.
The owner decided not to report the incident to the police,
but puts this footage online as a lesson to fellow cyclists not to
leave a bike unlocked, even for a few seconds.
As for the failed cycle thief,
he must be feeling a little saddle-sore,
because it's not just his pride that's been bruised.
This woman's been stealing from an 84-year-old man.
Her victim knows something's wrong,
but he doesn't know who's taking his money.
When a secret camera reveals the truth,
it turns out this woman's crimes go further than anyone's realised.
Lowestoft in Suffolk is the most easterly town in the UK.
It's a port and a seaside destination for tourists.
84-year-old Brian worked here as a coalman for more than 30 years.
His daughter, Julie, is very proud of her father.
I can remember him coming home with a black face, full of coal dust.
You know, absolutely filthy.
-And he used to chuck his jacket up in the corner.
Julie's parents split up when she was in her 20s,
and Brian later remarried.
My dad got together with my stepmum, Betty.
They had a lovely relationship, they used to go everywhere together.
But 20 years after meeting Betty, Brian suffered a severe stroke.
Doctors thought he wouldn't survive, but he did,
though he had to learn how to regain his mobility.
Though he couldn't do what he could do before, he got on with his life.
He still went out now and again,
cos my stepmother still had a little car.
Years on, Betty also became frail,
and the couple required more help than their family could give them,
so a care package was organised through an agency.
Dad's relationship with the carers was very good. He liked them all.
He classed them as his friends,
because they don't see anybody else, and it's company, isn't it?
Sadly, Betty passed away three years ago,
and Brian's health declined further.
He now needed more help, so additional carers were enlisted,
but it turned out, one of those carers was less interested
in Brian's wellbeing than she was in his cash.
Brian's decided he'd rather not talk himself about what happened
with his carer, but he does want us to tell the story.
It all starts one Saturday with Julie visiting her dad
and getting some worrying news.
My dad said he thought he'd got some money gone missing
out of a black box that he kept in the bedroom drawer.
Julie counts what's left of the money in the box.
I was literally aghast, really,
of how much money had gone out of the box
cos I know there was quite a bit of money in there.
I thought, "Has he given it to my brothers?"
Cos he's quite generous like that, and if somebody was in need of it,
he would give it to them.
But he was quite insistent that it had been stolen.
Even though money's missing, Brian decides not to phone the police.
But, two weeks later,
he discovers the entire money box has disappeared,
and realises they have to report it.
Detective Constable Hayley Coleman of the Suffolk Constabulary
takes on the case.
I received a phone call from Julie.
There was a substantial amount of money that had gone missing,
and the only logical explanation
was that someone had been in the house and taken it.
Carers have keys to go into his house. Other than that,
there's only family members, which Julie didn't have any issues with,
they wouldn't take money from Dad.
So I went round to see the family and we spoke about what had gone on.
A few days later, I had another call from Julie
to say yet more money had gone missing.
But with numerous carers coming in and out,
Hayley needs to identify which of them could be stealing from Brian.
She decides to turn to technology to help find the answer.
The only way I could think of to progress any kind of investigation
was to put a camera into the flat, so a decision I made,
along with Julie, was that we'll put a camera into the bedroom,
so it points at this drawer
that the money had specifically been put into,
so that we could try and see if anyone was looking around the house,
in places they shouldn't be, to try and find any money.
They install a camera which only records when it senses motion.
I had to take my dad out, down the town,
while the police came in to put it in,
cos we couldn't tell my dad that it was there,
because he would tell everybody,
-cos he's quite a chatterbox!
Julie's husband takes down the serial numbers of some banknotes,
and they're placed in an envelope in a chest of drawers.
Julie then asks her dad to check it daily.
It was horrible. Absolutely horrible, waiting to see if anybody
would take anything, and it went on for weeks.
And then, all of a sudden, I get a phone call off my dad, and he said,
"The money in the drawer, Julie, in one of the envelopes, is gone."
So I straightaway phoned the police.
Having the cameras in the property, knowing it was there, we were, like,
you know, it's quite exciting for us to think, "Well, actually,
"we're now going to find out exactly who's been stealing
"all this money from Brian's house."
They retrieved the camera
and it does show one of Brian's regular carers acting suspiciously
in his bedroom. While Brian is having a meal in the living room,
the carer has sneaked in and gone to his bedside drawer.
She steals £70 and tucks it inside her uniform
as she walks back to where Brian is sitting, totally unaware.
We caught somebody on camera!
"We've got her!"
It's shocking for Julie to see the woman
taking advantage of her elderly dad.
It makes me sick to the stomach that she's done that on him.
Take money off an elderly person, it's really below the belt.
We couldn't believe how blatant someone could be.
It was very obvious what she was doing.
For us, that's a perfect bit of evidence,
and a it's good start and a good base for an investigation.
Hayley goes to arrest the woman at her home.
Because it was so brazen, the way she'd done it on the CCTV,
I was confident that maybe we'd find some other things at the property,
so a search was conducted.
Whilst we were there,
a large quantity of jewellery and medals were seized.
What they find is astounding.
There's a treasure trove of jewellery in the woman's home.
There was a lot of wedding rings,
which is quite an unusual thing for one person to have.
There was a lot of commemorative medals,
a lot of medals that would have been awarded to people
that had been in the Forces, and, to my knowledge,
she hadn't been in the Forces in any way.
Hayley's convinced the valuables don't belong to the suspect.
Her investigation has suddenly taken on a whole new dimension.
I was more than happy that we were going to find other people
that had lost these items, so I decided that we would try
and reunite all these items back with their owners.
You do start thinking, "If that was my mum or my dad or my nan
"or grandad that had these items stolen from them,"
and I just wanted so badly to get everything back to them,
because it seemed to me that
a lot of these would have been sentimental value.
I was overcome with emotion, cos I thought,
"At least these people are going to get those things back."
It's a nice feeling,
especially when you hear what she did take off some people.
Medals, wedding rings... Yeah,
I was really pleased that they were going to get their things back.
I thought, "What a nasty person she must be!"
Hayley gets a list from the care agency
of everywhere the woman has worked over the years.
I realised, from that point,
it was going to be quite a big task ahead of me.
I had masses and masses of paperwork arrive on my desk with, basically,
hundreds of people that she had been involved with.
Hayley and her team set about contacting all those people.
One of the family members to get a call is Ina.
Her parents-in-law, Jean and Frederick,
had been visited by this carer previously.
Hayley came to see us at Dad and Mum's house
and explained that she'd managed to track down
the fact that Mum had had medals in the house,
and they'd been stolen from them.
But we didn't know this at the time,
we had no idea that anything was missing in Mum and Dad's house,
nothing. So it was very shocking, and I sort of galloped upstairs
to see where they were, cos I remembered putting them in a drawer,
and they were gone.
It was a real shock, a shock to think that somebody had been in the
house and taken things, and I think, as a family, we just felt ill.
I did feel ill.
Ina goes to the police station to retrieve the medals.
The whole family's delighted to get them back.
Mum was in the WRAF. The service medals were given to her in the war.
And it meant a great deal to Mum, a great deal.
She had a very great sense of loyalty and service.
Which is more than can be said for the offending carer.
In the weeks that follow,
Hayley builds a compelling case against her,
while at the same time reuniting stolen items
with their rightful owners.
I've met so many lovely people during the investigation that I felt
I just wanted to carry on and I wanted to just help everybody else.
And it's so nice when you get a nice smile and a nice thank you from
someone, because you've been able to give their property back to their
mum or their dad or whatever, so it's lovely.
Hayley conducts numerous interviews with the suspect,
and eventually the woman pleads guilty to six counts of theft.
In court, she was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
Everyone was pleased with the outcome.
It was amazing, from a police point of view,
but also for all the victims involved.
They were so pleased with the result,
and I was pleased that I was able to help them out with that.
I fist-pumped the air because I was so grateful.
Justice was served and, as a family, we were ecstatic.
We really were. I was thrilled.
Julie's immensely proud of the role her father played
in kick-starting the investigation.
I said to my dad, "Because of you,
"all those people have got treasures back that meant a lot," and he was
really over the moon that these people had got their things back.
He wasn't worried about himself,
as long as the people had got theirs back, especially the medals.
He was quite emotional about it, but happy as well.
It's not just carers that go into peoples' homes - other workers,
like builders and cleaners, also need to be trusted
when they come through the front door.
So, what can we do if we suspect somebody in our house
is up to no good?
We get lots of questions from the public about,
can they film in their own home
or in homes of the people, their relatives too?
-Yes, you can.
-Really good evidence for the police to use for these
sorts of investigations is CCTV footage.
It shows people in your property,
exactly what they're doing,
where they might conceal any items that they take of your own.
It's very important that, as a victim, you keep a log of events,
a log of when money has gone missing.
There's two methods that are really effective - one is to use
an ultraviolet pen to make distinct markings on the notes,
or two is to record the serial numbers,
so that it can be traced at any later date.
Come to the police at the earliest opportunity,
before you become a real victim of high-value crime.
It may be that it's just started, but their intention is to continue.
If you feel that there is something wrong when somebody's working in
your house, you're probably right,
and that really is the time to start gathering that evidence.
We're back in Salisbury, where Detective Constable Rachel Winter
and her team are trying to identify two burglars
who are targeting country pubs in Wiltshire.
Police have CCTV recordings from some of the crimes
but don't recognise the men.
Rachel hopes the thieves' car will be the key
to revealing their identities.
It's really frustrating, because we're so close
and we know that the car is our link to finding these people,
but we just don't quite have the quality that we need
to be able to identify a registration plate.
The police have released images of the burglars
in a public appeal for help, but so far have no leads.
But then, a stroke of luck.
Rob, owner of the Teddy Rowe pub, 40 miles away in neighbouring Dorset,
has businesses in Wiltshire too and regularly travels to Salisbury.
As we've seen, his pub in Dorset has recently had a visit
from two suspicious-looking men.
I was back in my Salisbury office, and I've got Facebook on the feed
for various marketing things etc, and on the feed, there it is,
came as clear as day, was the Wiltshire Police warning about
some people that had broken into pubs that I knew in the area.
I looked at the times and I thought, "Well, hang on,
"so that was at, sort of, six, seven or eight o'clock in the morning.
"This one was at nine o'clock and we're about an hour away,"
and this would all link together.
And it was sort of like a realisation moment, I suppose,
and I was like, "Were we just part of a possible burglary attempt?"
Rob phones the police and they ask to see his CCTV footage.
Rachel and her colleagues go to his pub in Dorset to take a look.
It was the first time I'd watched it,
so I actually watched it with the police officer at the same time.
That's the moment when I said, "Yes, this was a massive burglary attempt
"here for us as well, and we managed to be lucky enough to swerve it."
As Rob and Rachel go through the footage in detail, it's clear that
the suspicious-looking men were indeed up to no good.
After sneaking in,
one stops outside the gents and starts speaking into his phone.
He's talking to his chap outside and scoping out where the cleaner is,
waiting for a natural point where he can nip round the corner.
The burglar inside is waiting for the staff to be distracted so he can
get to the pub's safe. When Rob's mother Elizabeth walks downstairs
and then outside with the bags,
the lookout man calls his accomplice to tell him the coast is clear.
He's seen her walk through, seen his opportunity,
and he's nipped into the cellar.
But the safe in the cellar is always locked,
and it's too large to remove.
With Elizabeth about to come back in and a cleaner vacuuming nearby,
the burglar must have given up trying to steal it.
When he bumps into Elizabeth on the way out, he has to think quickly.
She's exposed to this situation
which, had these people just got away with money or anything, could
have ended so differently, and you do find yourself thinking how
lucky...you know, how lucky we were
that there was no harm done to anybody.
Watching the footage,
Rachel realises Rob's extensive CCTV system
might provide an important lead.
We said, "What are the chances
"that you might have a camera that faces out on to the road?"
And people don't. But he did!
And it gave us an excellent quality image of the vehicle
that we were looking for.
The excitement of that moment when they've gone, "There's the car!
"We've got it!" And it was great to watch.
You can see how much it means to the police officers that they can
actually get in there and, you know, something tangible to get hold of.
Rachel now has a registration number for the car.
She traces it to an owner who lives in Swansea.
We went and paid a visit to the registered keeper of the car
in Swansea. Very disappointed to find that the vehicle
parked on the driveway was not our vehicle.
The car in Swansea is the same colour,
make and model as the suspects' car, and it has the same number plate,
but it doesn't have a towbar and ten-spoke wheels
like the one caught on CCTV.
It was then that we realised we were dealing with cloned plates.
It's so disappointing.
The burglars had copied the number plate of a similar car
to evade capture.
But we don't give up and we go back to the drawing board.
Rachel analyses Rob's high-quality video once more.
This time, we focused on the suspects and what they look like,
their visual appearance, and that was when we spotted this tattoo.
They zoom in on the lookout man
and see the distinctive tattoo on his arm.
Now they have another lead,
the team puts out another public appeal for information.
What we need to do now is take this beyond the local media,
on a national scale, and we send it off to BBC Crimewatch.
Crimewatch broadcasts the men's faces nationwide, and it pays off.
A member of the public phones in with a name for the lookout man
with the unusual tattoo. He lives in Manchester.
Rachel and the team travel to the city.
Soon, they find and arrest the suspect,
then they interview him at a local police station.
The key to a good interview is knowing what you want to disclose
and knowing what you want to keep back, and that was the way that we
decided to play this interview, so we asked the suspect about all of
the different burglaries. We gave him every opportunity to tell us
whether he was or wasn't responsible,
and he gave us a "no comment" interview.
Then Rachel and her colleagues show him the CCTV pictures.
We're asking him to describe the person he can see in this CCTV.
And you can see, as he's going on,
that he's beginning to get more and more uncomfortable.
Then they show him the tattoo.
When faced with an image of a very distinctive tattoo, and he's sat
there in a short-sleeved T-shirt with the same very distinctive
tattoo, I think that was the point that the interview was over, really.
The man realises the game is up and decides to plead guilty
to three counts of burglary.
In court, this man was sentenced
to two years in prison for each crime, to run simultaneously.
A combination of Rob's high-spec cameras and tireless police work
across county borders had succeeded in putting one of the two men away.
It is a good result, but we are still very aware that we still have
an offender outstanding. What we do know is that he knows
that we're after him, and hopefully he knows that
we're not going to stop until we find him.
Rob's delighted he could help.
It's really pleasing that you can find that people that do these
bad things and think they can just get away with it, they can't.
That's it for today. And that's it for a few more criminals
who've been Caught Red Handed.
Two men found around the back of a pub try to bluff their way out of trouble, and a cycle thief spots an unattended bike - but doesn't get an easy ride.