Caught on camera: Brazen burglars swig from wine bottles during Dudley break-in
This is the moment cheeky burglars were caught on camera lounging on a sofa and drinking from wine bottles after breaking into a house in the Black Country.
Hidden police cameras captured Craig Law and Luke Smith as they strolled around the Dudley home while microphones captured complaints about the lack of items to steal.
They decide a Freesat box that Smith picks up is hardly worth stealing as they will only get "a tenner for it".
The amazing video clip, released by West Midlands Police today, shows Smith wanting to leave before neighbours could raise the alarm.
But Law, wearing a T-shirt, decides to make himself comfortable and begins opening what he believed was a bottle of wine stolen from the kitchen.
What they did not know was that the house was a "decoy home", controlled by West Midlands Police to catch burglars red handed.
When Law realised the bottle was filled with water, he poured the contents on the carpet and tried to wipe his fingerprints from the bottle with his T-shirt.
He dropped it on the floor and can then be heard complaining that the homeowner must be "cheap".
Law, who lived in the same street as the burgled house in Duncan Edwards Close, Dudley, was arrested within hours after he was recognised by officers who viewed the CCTV.
Smith, who is wearing in the coat in the video, handed himself into police weeks later and brought the Freesat box that he had taken with him.
Law, 34, was jailed for eight months at Wolverhampton Crown Court while Smith, of Chichester Avenue, Netherton, was given a ten week suspended sentence by Dudley magistrates.
Both admitted the burglary, which happened on the afternoon of June 24.
Police had installed the cameras in the house, which had recently been vacated, as part of a blitz on burglars in the area. They have set up a number of "decoy properties" in the area, in houses, sheds, outbuildings and garages.
Sgt Matt Morgan, from Dudley CID, said: "The pair were completely unaware that their every move was being filmed by the cameras that were dotted around the property.
"We are using more and more of these sites to catch unsuspecting thieves - houses, sheds garages and outbuildings can be fitted with equipment which is portable and easy to install, meaning any property in a burglary hot spot area can be quickly converted to capture thieves.
"The cameras also work on infra-red meaning we can download clear images - even ones filmed at night.
"We also work with the local community to reduce the likelihood of being a victim of crime in the first place and officers continue to offer crime prevention advice and encourage people to register property through the online property recording website immobilise.
"As police officers we see the negative impact crime can have on, not only people's property but also their sense of safety and their quality of life. That is why we will relentlessly pursue burglars and ensure they are brought before the courts."
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