A pair of bungling burglars caught on camera lounging on a sofa and helping themselves to WINE in a police sting have been jailed.
Shocking CCTV footage shows brazen Craig Law, 34, and Luke Smith, 22, swigging from bottles and joking during the broad daylight break-in, unaware their every move was being recorded .
Crystal-clear video captured on hidden police cameras shows the pair breaking into the property in Dudley, West Mids., before scouring for valuable items.
At the start of the two-minute clip, Law can even be heard moaning “there’s nothing worth nicking” as he marches into the kitchen.
Shortly afterwards both men appear in shot holding wine bottles and electrical items.
Smith appears keen to leave, but Law makes a beeline for the sofa and plonks himself down with the bottle.
He then opens it, only to find the bottle is filled with water so proceeds to spill it all over the living room carpet.
After wiping his fingerprints from the glass container with his t-shirt, Law flings it away and a loud smash can be heard.
Both men then return to the door and make their way back out, unaware they had just entered a decoy ‘capture house’ set up by West Midlands Police.
Law, who lives on the same street, was caught within hours after local officers reviewed the CCTV and recognised him.
He was handed an eight-month sentence at Birmingham Crown Court this week after he pleaded guilty to robbery.
Smith, also of Dudley, received a ten week suspended sentence after he handed himself in at a police station and admitted breaking into the house on 24 June this year.
The pair were the latest thieves to be stung by Operation Challenge – a network of decoy homes, sheds and other outbuildings rigged by cops to nab unsuspecting crooks.
Sergeant 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.”