Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

GOTCHA! Moment House Burglars Caught in Police Sting

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

GOTCHA! Moment House Burglars Caught in Police Sting

Article excerpt

Byline: By GARETH LIGHTFOOT

THIS is the moment two burglars were caught on camera breaking into a house in an extraordinary police "sting".

Mark Robson and Daniel Conroy broke into the house on Garnet Street, in central Middlesbrough, not knowing that it was kitted out with the latest hi-tech camera equipment.

The camera, fixed into the living room of the unoccupied council house, captured crystal-clear footage of the pair getting in and stealing a PlayStation.

The sting was today hailed a victory in the campaign against house break-ins which has seen burglaries in Middlesbrough almost halved compared with last winter.

During Operation Eagle, police furnished houses and rigged them with hidden cameras to gather evidence against house burglars.

Police said today that the two were the first to be caught in such a sting operation, a strategy which may be repeated in other areas.

The video in the Garnet Street property showed the burglars banging on the window first, to check there were no occupants, then breaking in and taking the console, box, leads and other items from the front room before fleeing.

Detective Sergeant John Sproson told the Gazette: "We identified them pretty much straightaway.

"It's very, very good quality, and obviously we use the best technology that is available to capture these images.

"It's very new within the Cleveland area. It has previously been used nationally but it's a very new tactic and it's something that we may use again."

Conroy, 24, and Robson, 22, both of Marton Road, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to the burglary, from November 1 last year. Robson was to stand trial at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

His barrister Andrew Turton said he did not accept the property was a "dwelling house" because it wasn't lived in at the time.

But Judge Peter Fox QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, pointed out that the house was "capable of being dwelt in".

He said: "If you're on holiday, or if indeed it's a second home, and it's burgled, I think it's still a dwelling house."

After the judge's comments, Robson entered his guilty plea. …

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