Thursday, 19 July 2012

Car thieves on camera: Busted

Three thugs who broke into a car at Wormwood Scrubs have been jailed after being snared by Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council’s CCTV footage.

When the council’s CCTV operatives spotted known crook John Joe Smith and his friend acting suspiciously, on the evening on Tuesday, June 19, they were sure that they were about to commit a crime.

And low-and-behold, it was not long until Smith’s partner in crime was smashing his way into the parked car and helping himself to a bag from the back seat.

CCTV operatives are able to speak directly with the police so that officers can quickly swoop on alleged offenders and within moments, both men were arrested together with a third who got in on the act.

John Joe Smith, 22, of Brackenbury Gardens, Hammersmith, and Jamal Simpson, 23 of Richford Street, Hammersmith, both pleaded guilty to theft from a motor vehicle at Hammersmith Magistrates on June 21 and were sentenced to six weeks in prison on the same day.

Smith’s brother Danny Smith, 24, of Slough was spotted by two off-duty police officers at Hammersmith Tube Station on July 6. He also pleaded guilty to theft from a motor vehicle and was sentenced to six weeks in prison on Monday, July 9.

Councillor Greg Smith, deputy leader and cabinet member for residents' services, said:
“These crooks thought that they had struck it lucky but thanks to the council’s CCTV team we were able to alert the police within moments of the offence. 
CCTV has proven to be a real asset in helping us to identify offenders and we will be continuing to use it to catch the crooks and take them off our streets. The message to criminals is even when you think that there is no-one around, we are watching you."
Detective Constable Robert Rodak, said: 
“The quick thinking of the CCTV operator was critical in this case which resulted in well-known local criminals being apprehended and convicted in court. 
“The camera footage allowed the police to bring a solid case to court, meaning that the defendants had little choice to admit guilt. This would not have been possible without the CCTV team’s vigilance and professionalism.”


  1. It is good that the camera was strategically placed in a hidden area where the thieves couldn’t easy see it. However, though recordings of CCTV cameras can be credible evidence of a crime, we should not depend solely on them. We should still be vigilant in keeping our loved ones and property safe.

  2. Thieves and burglars are getting more cunning and savvy nowadays. They’ve been known to take out security cameras if they can spot them. It’s a good thing the camera in this article was hidden well enough that the robbers didn’t destroy them. With their faces and other identifying features caught on camera, it was really only a matter of time before these hoodlums were brought to justice. This is why investing in a security camera system is worth it. We’re able to protect our possessions and loved ones even without being physically there, which is a huge relief.