In Southwales, a thief was tracked down thanks to a CCTV image of his face, which was posted to Facebook.On July 14, at around 10am, Karen Jones was working with the accounts and wages of Celtic Lodge. Jones had withdrawn £2,100 ($3,490) from her bank in order to settle the accounts. The money was in her handbag in one part of the lodge. Jones ate breakfast in another section. During this time, a thief broke in and stole all her cash — a crime that Jones didn’t notice until several hours later, when she left to go shopping.After realizing she had been robbed, Jones checked the lodge’s CCTV. There, she was able to watch as the thief entered the property at around 10:45am, went through her bag, and took the money. Jones posted the image to Facebook, where it quickly circulated throughout the region. Within an hour, Jones received a name by someone who had viewed the image: 19-year-old Matthew Andrews.
Mrs. Jones went so far as to visit Andrews’ address, but he wasn’t home. Instead, she spoke to the thief’s mother. Police visited the residence later, and were able to quickly apprehend Andrews.
As it turns out, the Celtic Lodge wasn’t Andrews’ first hit: last February, he had received a community order sentence as a result of three other burglary and theft charges. Stealing Jones’ money counted as a breach of that order. One of Andrews’ former burglaries had been of a homeless hostel, which he re-burglarized in order to steal the CCTV that fingered him as the culprit — but apparently his previous stint with security cameras wasn’t enough to convince Andrews that it isn’t so easy to get away unseen from a crime anymore.
“CCTV cameras solve crimes like this on a daily basis,” says Uri Schick, Owner of GES Security. “It is an excellent idea to protect your property with a CCTV system, whether it is for your home or business. When you have a reliable CCTV system in place, you will always have the evidence needed to keep everything worth protecting safe.”
Since the crime occurred, Andrews’ case has gone to trial. Robin Rouch, Andrews’ lawyer, admitted to the courts that he realized building work was taking place at the Celtic Lodge and saw it as an opportunity — he intended to steal tools and happened across the handbag. As a result of his crime and violating his community order, Andrews was sent to a Young Offenders’ institute for 16 months.