Bubba Ambala, a teenage burglar, thought he had done everything he could to hide his identity when he broke into a flat in Birmingham, England.
Wearing an old sock over his right hand, the 18-year-old crook made sure he wasn’t going to leave any fingerprints behind. But what Bubba hadn’t counted on was the tiny video cameras that recorded his every move and helped police catch him red-handed in a high-tech police sting.
Video footage of him rummaging through the flat has now been released by police as a warning to other burglars.
Detectives set up the operation as they sought to clamp down on a spate of break-ins in Teviot Tower, in Mossborough Crescent, Hockley, earlier this year. Police had been left baffled because, on each occasion, the mystery crook appeared to have sneaked in and out of the high-rise without alerting anyone.
So officers borrowed a flat from Birmingham city council and strategically placed the cameras inside the property in a bid to catch the offender. Within just seven hours of moving in on August 4, their house was targeted.
The footage captured two loud bangs, as the front door was kicked in. The thief was then filmed walking though the flat, opening drawers and looking under the sofa. But eight minutes later, his luck ran out. For the cameras had sent a message to Det Sgt Dave Keen that an intruder was inside and he dispatched officers to the flat.
When police burst inside shouting ‘police officers, stay where you are’, the stunned thief could be heard replying ‘Oh, no’.
Officers discovered he lived in the block with his family. Ambala pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and at Birmingham Crown Court on September 5 was handed a 12-month sentence suspended for two years, a two-year intensive supervisory order and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.