Episode 5 Caught Red Handed


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Episode 5

Dom Littlewood shows how technology is being used to catch crooks. There is a Halloween raid on a clothes shop by ghostly men in grotesque masks.


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Transcript


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Thieves will steal our cash,

our cars, our valuables -

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just about anything they can get

their hands on.

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But now, the police are using

cutting-edge technology to catch the

bad guys.

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We want to make sure we've got a

concrete case.

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Enough evidence to convict at court.

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Local councils, shops,

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and businesses are fighting crime

with their own tricks and traps...

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It's just unbelievable that she

thinks she can get away with this.

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..and the public are using secret

cameras,

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to make sure that crooks get their

comeuppance.

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Fair means or foul, I was

going to get rid of him.

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I thought, we've got her!

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And I was so happy! Thank God!

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So, anyone who's up to no good

had better think twice.

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They might just caught red-handed.

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Today, Samantha is nervous about

running

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a clothes shop for the first time.

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But all is going well,

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until in the dark hours of one

Halloween...

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..a ghostly man in a grotesque mask

breaks into her shop.

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I felt sickness and dread in the pit

of my stomach.

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The man and his accomplice want to

steal designer dresses,

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and for Samantha, it becomes a

late-night horror show.

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Also today, Elaine and her family

finally persuade her World War II

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veteran dad to hire a carer,

because his health is deteriorating.

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But soon, he faces a new problem,

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when his own home becomes a crime

scene.

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Dad got his wallet, and one of the

20s was missing.

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He was visibly shaking, hurt,

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and felt quite sick.

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And, Neil nicknames and shames

shoplifters on a poster board

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in his hardware store. He's had

enough of people stealing

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his takings.

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We lose £30,000 worth a year.

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It equates to one or two

members of staff.

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Neil's called his latest thief

Mr Till Man,

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because he tries to steal

from a cash drawer.

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But it turns out Mr Till Man is a

few tools short of a full box.

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Every year, over half a million new

businesses are started in Britain,

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by people dreaming of a brighter

future.

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Sometimes, they've invested their

life savings.

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But burglars don't care about that.

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All they're interested in...is easy

money.

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Milford Haven in Wales

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is well-known for its marina and

the independent shops

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which line its town centre.

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Samantha owns one of them,

a clothes store.

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She and husband David

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settled in the town with their two

children eight years ago.

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My husband served 27 years in the

Army and it's his home town.

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So we decided to come here because

we thought it would be a good

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upbringing for the children.

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It's a very safe area.

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After David retired from the Army

in 2011,

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the couple decided to take an

enormous risk,

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using their life savings to

buy a clothes business.

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I'd never run a shop before.

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And we used my husband's pension,

so it was quite a gamble.

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But we felt that we wanted to put

something into the town

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and by having the shop, I think,

within the town,

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you're providing a service to the

community.

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For six years, the store ticked

along nicely.

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But then one Halloween,

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a midnight invasion by burglars

meant Samantha's business dream

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took a nightmarish turn.

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It's early in the morning on a

weekday

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and Samantha receives a phone call

from the police with bad news.

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PHONE VIBRATING

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Her shop's been broken into.

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I felt sickness and dread

in the pit of my stomach.

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She rushes to the shop and finds

clothes

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lying on the pavement outside.

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Her front door has been smashed in,

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and there's a metal beer barrel

sitting on top of broken glass.

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I could see that a lot of stock had

been taken,

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and it is a very unsettling

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and very heartbreaking feeling.

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A forensics police officer arrives,

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and Samantha tells him that her

security cameras

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might have captured the crime.

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They watch the recording,

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and at 11pm, as the clock ticks

towards midnight on Halloween,

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the security video turns into a

horror movie.

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Out of the darkness, a ghostly

figure in a scary mask appears...

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..and kicks the door.

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He walks away.

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But then a minute later, he

reappears with what looks like a

crutch.

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He strikes the door,

cracking the glass.

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He rams the glass with the end of

the crutch,

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but still doesn't break through.

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The ghostly villain is determined to

force his way in

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and five minutes later,

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he's back with a new and rather

unusual implement

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for breaking glass - a heavy beer

barrel.

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Watching this recording is very

upsetting for Samantha.

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It feels like a huge violation,

and anger, that they've got no

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thought for anybody else.

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Now he's broken in,

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the burglar goes to the back of the

shop and grabs a large bundle of

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expensive clothes.

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I was horrified to think that

obviously it was stock

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that I'd paid for,

so really it was my money.

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The man lifts a backpack off one of

the mannequins,

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then goes to the door to pass the

stolen goods to an accomplice.

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They leave with Samantha's valuable

stock.

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But the show isn't over yet.

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15 minutes later, and the men are

back.

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One goes to the till.

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I keep my till empty at night.

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And he tries the key, which was a

key to my stock room.

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He tries to open it, and obviously

it's the incorrect key.

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It's frustrating for Samantha and

the police officer,

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that both men's faces are covered

with ghoulish masks.

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And being Halloween, they won't even

arouse suspicion in the street.

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I felt quite devastated,

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because I realised at that point

that we may never ever find out

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who had been involved.

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But the men's attempt at a slick

operation is about to run into a

problem.

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Because as one of them leaves, and

tries to get past the beer barrel,

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he gets caught up in the clothes,

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and suddenly he goes bump in the

night...

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..falling flat on his face.

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The other man comes over to see

what's happened.

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He'll wish he hadn't, because one of

the cameras captures a moment

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that will come back to haunt him.

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He's obviously had problems

speaking to the person he's with,

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and at this moment, he removes his

mask quickly, at which point I felt

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quite uplifted in a sense and...

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Praying, almost, that people would

recognise who he was.

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The ghostly figures then gather up

their ill-gotten gains

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before vanishing into the night.

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Samantha's business has been dealt

a bitter blow.

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That stock value would be maybe

£4,000.

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The police officers take away the

footage to try and identify the man

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who removed his mask.

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And Samantha's left to come to terms

with what's happened.

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It's the run-up to Christmas,

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and the timing of the burglary

couldn't be worse.

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It took me to a very dark place.

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I cried for much of the time.

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Because it had had a huge impact

on my life,

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and obviously on my family's life.

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I did actually think at that point

that I may have to close.

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But a few days later, Samantha gets

some welcome news.

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The police have identified and

arrested the burglar who took off

his mask.

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My immediate feeling was of relief.

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I thought, I can't let this beat me

any more.

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For the future of my family,

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I believed that I had to make the

shop work

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and to completely turn it around.

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While Samantha's fortunes were on

the way up, the unmasked burglar

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was about to be sent down.

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When he appeared in court, the man

was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison.

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Since the break-in, Samantha has

improved her security

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with bars on the door and a new

alarm system.

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And she's been able to put her

frightening Halloween

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well and truly behind her.

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The future after this incident is

looking quite positive now.

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I've introduced a few new brands to

encourage our younger shoppers

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into the shop and we hope to be

here for many years to come.

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This armed robber is about to find

out the hard way

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that you don't mess with Post Office

staff in Cardiff.

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Wearing a mask, he struts in

demanding money

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and points a large knife at the

52-year-old shop assistant.

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But if he expects her to be

terrified,

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he's going to get a painful

surprise.

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Take that, and that!

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She's pulled out what looks like a

rolling pin.

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The robber tries to threaten her

again,

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and gets another swipe for his

trouble.

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When he refuses to go away,

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the angry shop assistant bravely

comes around the counter

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and chases him out.

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Thankfully, the courageous woman's

uninjured

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and because of her actions,

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nothing's been taken.

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But police are still keen to track

down this would-be robber.

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Though he's probably lying low

after being beaten

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at his own game by a brave

shopkeeper's counterattack.

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A World War II veteran keeps finding

his money's going missing.

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As soon as his back is turned,

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a woman who's been hired to help him

decides to help herself.

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His health may be frail,

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but a decorated sailor who survived

the dangers of war

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isn't the sort of man to be cheated

by a sneaky thief.

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Peter, from Spalding in

Lincolnshire,

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is a 89-year-old Merchant Navy

veteran.

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He was awarded two medals for the

dangerous work he undertook at sea

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after D-Day in World War II.

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His daughter Elaine

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and the rest of his family are proud

of Peter's bravery.

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My dad joined the Merchant Navy

when he was 15

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and his first ship was actually

torpedoed.

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And ten people died,

and ten people survived.

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So that was his first-ever trip.

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What a way to start, really.

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Peter suffered a damaged eardrum

when his boat was hit,

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but thankfully, survived the rest of

the war.

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And in 1951, he married his

long-time sweetheart, Sheila.

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Mum and Dad had a great

relationship

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Mum and Dad had a great

relationship

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and had my sister and I.

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We had great family holidays.

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Peter and Sheila were happily

married for 54 years.

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Unfortunately, I lost my mum to

cancer in '05.

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It was a hard, sad time.

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And he still misses my mum

every day.

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Elaine lives in Hertfordshire,

two hours away.

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But she visits her dad every week,

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and speaks to him daily

over the internet.

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My dad's got the latest technology,

so we FaceTime a lot.

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Because he's not very mobile now,

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he walks with a Zimmer Frame.

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Because Peter's health started to

deteriorate over recent years,

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he agreed to his family's suggestion

that he employ a carer

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to look after him two days a week.

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But it turned out that the carer

was less interested in Peter's

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wellbeing than she was in his cash.

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It's a Monday in autumn.

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Peter has decided he'd rather

not talk on camera,

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but he wants us to tell the story of

what happened with his carer.

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It all starts with Elaine receiving

a worrying phone call from her dad.

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He noticed that his money was

getting less and less.

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He likes to pay cash for everything

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and he ended up having to withdraw

more and more.

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So, something wasn't right.

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Peter suspects the money's going

missing from his wallet.

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So he decides to carefully check it

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every time a visitor leaves his

bungalow.

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The next day, he has a visit from

his regular care assistant.

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She's been with him for well over a

year

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and Peter's come to regard her

as a friend.

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When this woman left, dad got his

wallet and counted the money.

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And lo and behold, one of the 20s

was missing.

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Peter finds it hard to accept that

someone he had grown to trust

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could be stealing from him.

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We FaceTimed, and he was visibly

shaking, hurt, and felt quite sick.

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The fact that this woman could

actually do this,

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it's not a nice thing to see.

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You know, a frail old man,

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you know...almost in tears.

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It occurs to Peter that he could be

making a terrible mistake,

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so he decides to seek more proof.

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Dad said, she's coming back again

on Friday morning.

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Let's do it again.

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After the woman leaves on Friday,

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Peter checks his wallet and finds

that money's gone missing.

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Knowing how astute my dad is,

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it could only have been her.

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Elaine goes with her father to

report what's happened to the

police.

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They say they need clear-cut video

evidence before they can take things

further.

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We kind of thought, well,

shall we just sack this woman?

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But then we were thinking, well,

if she's doing this to my dad,

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how many other people is she doing

it to?

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They hire a security expert,

who installs a covert camera,

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and tells Peter he mustn't give the

suspect carer any indication that

it's there.

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It was just like a little black box

on a shelf in the corner.

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It was set to go off at a certain

time.

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The following Tuesday,

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the camera's in position and ready

to roll as soon as

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the woman starts her shift.

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Peter puts his wallet in its usual

place on a table by his chair.

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Everyone's on tenterhooks.

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My dad especially - the fact that

he was not well anyway,

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having that woman in the house...

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..knowing what she was doing...

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How would you feel?

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I really felt for him.

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The carer arrives,

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and Peter realises he needs to act

normally

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to avoid giving the game away.

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He's gone to get a shower,

as usual.

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But while he's washing,

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the camera shows how she goes

into the empty sitting room,

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and heads straight for his wallet.

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She's stolen a £20 note.

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After Peter finishes his shower,

she leaves.

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The security expert

retrieves the footage,

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and shows the family what this carer

has been up to.

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It was disbelief.

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You really can't believe

what you're seeing.

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And especially when it's your dad!

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But even though they appear to have

caught the theft on camera,

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there isn't a clear shot

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of the woman taking Peter's cash

out of his wallet.

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So the family decide to try

again when she comes next,

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from a different camera angle.

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Peter's already proved

he's a good actor.

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But now he must prepare

for a repeat performance.

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He was amazing, I don't think I

could do it.

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Trying to act normally...

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I think he deserves an Oscar.

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The woman arrives, and Peter goes

for his shower.

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As he leaves the room,

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she glances across to a window to

see if anyone is looking in.

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Then, she goes over to the wallet.

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Glances again at the window...

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And with the coast clear, she takes

a £20 and a £10 note,

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then pops the wallet back,

and goes in to see Peter.

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As soon as the woman leaves,

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Peter lets Elaine know more money

has been taken.

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I said, "Right. I'm not putting

my dad through any more."

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I phoned the woman up, and I said,

"I know what you've been doing.

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"I'm sacking you." I didn't tell

her that we'd been filming.

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And she was saying, "How dare you?

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"What do you mean? I've never

stolen," and all this on the phone.

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And I said, "I don't care,

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"just don't ever come near my father

again."

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The police arrest the woman.

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In court, she changed her tune and

pleaded guilty to the two thefts

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that had been caught on video.

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She was sentenced to 150 hours of

unpaid community work,

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and ordered to pay £220 in costs

and compensation.

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Peter is now looked after by a

different carer,

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who the family trust 100%.

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And he continues to sail on with the

same fortitude that took him to war

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as a teenager.

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It's his 90th birthday coming up,

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and the amount of effort it takes

for him to get up, do anything...

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But he's still forcing himself out

of that chair, out of bed,

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to actually be independent.

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It's absolutely amazing.

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There are millions of carers in the

UK,

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There are millions of carers in the

UK,

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and very few of them are dishonest.

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But it's always wise to take

precautions when hiring anyone

0:19:140:19:18

who's got access to our house,

or the homes of our loved ones.

0:19:180:19:21

I think an important thing to know

about somebody

0:19:210:19:24

before you employ them is in fact

why they've left their previous job,

0:19:240:19:27

and if they're happy for you to

speak to their previous employer.

0:19:270:19:30

And if they're reluctant to allow

you to do this,

0:19:300:19:32

then I think that would raise some

concerns.

0:19:320:19:35

I would strongly advise anybody

bringing an employee

0:19:350:19:38

into their home,

0:19:380:19:39

to ask them for their DBS check, to

check on their criminal history.

0:19:390:19:43

If they're unwilling, or unable

to provide it,

0:19:430:19:45

then you take a pass on them,

and you interview somebody else.

0:19:450:19:48

A really simple thing that you can

do to find out

0:19:480:19:50

about somebody's history is to have

a look on social media.

0:19:500:19:54

Perhaps you'll find out something

that they didn't disclose

0:19:540:19:56

during the interview, and it's

really interesting -

0:19:560:19:58

if you put somebody's name into a

search engine,

0:19:580:20:01

along with the town where you are or

where you think that they used to

0:20:010:20:04

reside, then effectively you can get

quite a lot of information back.

0:20:040:20:08

We have a reputation of being a

polite society and not wanting

0:20:080:20:11

to be too intrusive. But you can't

be too intrusive in this situation.

0:20:110:20:15

And if it doesn't feel right, then

move on, ask them to leave politely

0:20:150:20:19

and look for somebody you feel

comfortable with.

0:20:190:20:22

There's trouble at t' till in a

hardware store,

0:20:270:20:30

when a shoplifter goes after a cash

drawer the moment a staff member

0:20:300:20:34

leaves it unguarded.

0:20:340:20:35

The thief smuggles the till into a

quiet corner to remove the cash.

0:20:370:20:41

But the light-fingered felon

has a problem -

0:20:420:20:45

the member of staff is on his way

back,

0:20:450:20:47

and will discover the theft

any moment.

0:20:470:20:50

Mackay's family hardware shop in

Cambridge has been a popular

destination

0:20:560:21:01

for local builders and DIY-ers for

generations.

0:21:010:21:06

It's something of a regular on

Caught Red Handed,

0:21:060:21:08

because in recent years, it's also

proved popular with shoplifters.

0:21:080:21:13

And the store's owner, Neil Mackay,

0:21:130:21:15

has come up with a radical

solution - posters displaying images

0:21:150:21:19

of people suspected of stealing from

the store.

0:21:190:21:22

Well, here's our famous Rogues'

Gallery.

0:21:240:21:27

CCTV images of all the people

we've caught recently.

0:21:270:21:32

We name them after the products

they've attempted to steal.

0:21:320:21:37

Neil's nicknaming and shaming of

thieves,

0:21:370:21:39

and his extensive security camera

system, are helping reduce

losses,

0:21:390:21:44

together with his vigilant staff.

0:21:440:21:47

People like Nigel, who works in the

power tool department,

0:21:470:21:50

and is always on the lookout for

shoplifters.

0:21:500:21:53

I don't think it's fair on the

people

0:21:540:21:56

who are working hard for a living,

0:21:560:21:58

and it's money which pays our wages

and bills.

0:21:580:22:02

I don't think people should be

allowed to get away with things like

that.

0:22:020:22:06

Nigel thoroughly enjoys working at

Mackay's,

0:22:060:22:09

but he doesn't enjoy it when a thief

chances their arm

0:22:090:22:12

as soon as his back is turned.

0:22:120:22:14

Especially when it isn't only tools

they're after,

0:22:140:22:17

but the store's hard-earned cash.

0:22:170:22:20

It's early afternoon on a busy

Saturday.

0:22:230:22:25

One of the store's CCTV cameras

0:22:270:22:30

shows Nigel standing at his post

0:22:300:22:32

in the power tool department.

0:22:320:22:34

A customer asked me where some goods

was,

0:22:340:22:37

so I took the gentleman out to the

garden department and showed him

0:22:370:22:41

what he was looking for.

0:22:410:22:43

While Nigel's taking the customer to

a different part

0:22:430:22:46

of the shop, a man peers through

the front door and comes in.

0:22:460:22:50

He walks behind Nigel's counter, and

looks at the goods on display.

0:22:520:22:55

He might seem innocent, but actually

this man's a thief,

0:22:570:23:00

and he's not here to buy - he's here

to steal.

0:23:000:23:03

Nigel is waylaid as he makes his way

back to his till.

0:23:050:23:10

I spoke to a couple of members of

staff behind their counter.

0:23:100:23:13

While Nigel chats to his colleagues,

0:23:140:23:16

the man has noticed his till is

temporarily unguarded.

0:23:160:23:20

I think he must have been in before

at some point,

0:23:200:23:23

so he knew there was a till behind

there,

0:23:230:23:26

that he could get at quite easily.

0:23:260:23:29

He continues to stake out Nigel's

till for several minutes,

0:23:290:23:32

circling the racks of tools nearby.

0:23:320:23:34

He knew what he wanted to do,

0:23:360:23:38

and was just waiting for the

opportunity to take the money.

0:23:380:23:41

When he thinks the coast is clear,

0:23:430:23:45

the man walks behind Nigel's

counter,

0:23:450:23:48

makes sure no-one's watching,

and pounces.

0:23:480:23:52

He grabs Nigel's till drawer, and

tries to remove it,

0:23:520:23:55

but it's attached by a cable.

0:23:550:23:57

His plan has hit a snag, and

Nigel will be back any minute.

0:23:590:24:04

And as the view from this other

camera shows,

0:24:060:24:08

it's not just the staff that the man

has to worry about.

0:24:080:24:11

A customer's about to walk past

and spot what he's up to.

0:24:110:24:15

So he quickly puts the drawer back.

0:24:150:24:16

Then the man seems to move away from

Nigel's counter,

0:24:190:24:22

but he's actually gone to pick up a

pair of scissors he's seen nearby,

0:24:220:24:26

before going back to Nigel's till

again.

0:24:260:24:28

The thief crouches down and cuts the

cable securing the till.

0:24:320:24:35

Having removed the drawer,

0:24:390:24:41

the man takes it to a quiet part of

the shop

0:24:410:24:43

and starts trying to open it.

0:24:430:24:45

But not surprisingly,

0:24:450:24:46

a drawer designed for storing money

isn't easy to get into.

0:24:460:24:50

After struggling for several

minutes,

0:24:520:24:54

the frustrated thief gives up.

0:24:540:24:56

He hides the drawer in some

shelving,

0:24:580:25:00

perhaps planning to come back and

retrieve it later.

0:25:000:25:03

Then he leaves the store.

0:25:030:25:06

When Nigel returns to his till,

he's horrified.

0:25:060:25:09

As I walk behind the counter, I

normally check my cash drawer.

0:25:110:25:14

There was nothing there!

0:25:140:25:17

Looked down under the counter and

saw a wire hanging down...

0:25:170:25:20

It was a moment of panic.

0:25:200:25:23

I shouted out that someone's stolen

my till drawer

0:25:230:25:26

from under the counter.

0:25:260:25:28

Everybody jumped to alert,

rushing around,

0:25:280:25:30

trying to find out where it had

gone to.

0:25:300:25:32

The till's been well hidden, and

despite a thorough search,

0:25:320:25:36

the team can't find it.

0:25:360:25:38

Nigel's beside himself with worry.

0:25:380:25:40

After 34 years of working in the DIY

business,

0:25:410:25:45

I've never had a till been stolen

from my counter,

0:25:450:25:49

what I've been in charge of.

0:25:490:25:51

So, yeah. It was quite a shock to

the system.

0:25:510:25:55

With a heavy heart, Nigel reports

the theft to the police.

0:25:550:25:58

But then he gets some good news.

0:25:580:26:00

The manager, luckily enough, found

the drawer at the back of the shop.

0:26:020:26:06

That made me feel relief,

0:26:060:26:08

cos I did feel guilty at times

for not being on the counter.

0:26:080:26:11

Sort of blaming myself.

0:26:110:26:13

Even though the duty manager has

found the till drawer,

0:26:130:26:16

and Nigel was only away from his

station for a few minutes,

0:26:160:26:20

he feels responsible and goes to

apologise to shop owner Neil.

0:26:200:26:24

He was very nice about it, saying,

"It's not your fault,

0:26:240:26:28

"these things happen..."

0:26:280:26:29

Although no cash has been taken,

0:26:290:26:32

Neil is keen to check out what their

various security cameras have

recorded.

0:26:320:26:36

I was absolutely amazed at

what I saw.

0:26:360:26:40

The bungling would-be burglar

didn't even wear gloves.

0:26:400:26:44

So when a police forensics officer

arrives and dusts the drawer for

0:26:440:26:47

fingerprints, he gets a positive

result.

0:26:470:26:50

We got some really good fingerprints

off it.

0:26:500:26:52

There was only mine on there,

and his.

0:26:520:26:54

With the fingerprints and CCTV

pictures,

0:26:540:26:57

the police identify the man,

0:26:570:26:59

who has a history of offences.

0:26:590:27:01

They go and arrest him

0:27:010:27:03

and Neil has another pilferer poster

to go on his wall of shame.

0:27:030:27:07

Here we have our latest entrant on

the Rogues Gallery, Mr Till Man,

0:27:070:27:11

who's been caught. And being before

the courts...

0:27:110:27:15

..we won't be seeing him

for a long time.

0:27:170:27:19

The man was sentenced to nine months

in prison for a series of crimes,

0:27:230:27:27

including his attempt to get into

the Mackay's till.

0:27:270:27:30

All the till drawers in the store

are now kept under lock and key.

0:27:340:27:38

Fortunately, we have our own

fasteners department,

0:27:390:27:42

so they've been using a lot of the

stock and bolting everything down.

0:27:420:27:45

Neil's son Andrew recently joined

the business,

0:27:450:27:48

and is just as security-conscious

as his dad.

0:27:480:27:51

We've got to keep everything chest

height.

0:27:510:27:54

So no matter where you are in the

store,

0:27:540:27:56

you are able to see not only the

staff, so they can help you,

0:27:560:28:00

but also anyone who might be acting

suspicious.

0:28:000:28:03

Neil has asked Andrew to devise a

comprehensive anti-thief strategy

0:28:030:28:07

which they are calling

Operation Metamorphosis.

0:28:070:28:11

I'm trying to make sure that Andrew

has the best opportunity to make our

0:28:110:28:16

business successful in the future.

0:28:160:28:18

That's it for today - and that's it

for a few more criminals,

0:28:230:28:26

who've been caught red-handed.

0:28:260:28:28

There is a Halloween raid on a clothes shop by ghostly men in grotesque masks, a World War II veteran's new home becomes a crime scene, and a thief stealing a cash drawer from a hardware store bites off more than he can chew.