Friday, June 13, 2008

The world's most stupid thief?

Mugger snatches necklace on tram then admires haul in CCTV lens

This is the moment when a mugger provided police with an unmistakable clue to his identity - by admiring his reflection in the lens of a CCTV camera.

The image shows the thief moments after he had stolen a £200 silver necklace and bracelet from a 16-year-old boy.

Rather than escape, he decided to try on the jewellery, apparently unaware - or unconcerned - that he was being filmed by the camera he was gazing into.

The resulting image shows his face clearly.

The robbery happened on a tram in Bromley. The victim was with his girlfriend and another boy when they were approached by the youth.

The mugger demanded that the boy show him a bracelet he was wearing, then grabbed it before asking to see the necklace, which he also snatched.

After putting on the jewellery, the robber took at least 15 seconds to admire his reflection.

When he made to get off the tram his victim asked for his jewellery back but the youth claimed he had a knife and would stab him.

Police said the boy is very upset as the necklace was given to him by his late mother and so has huge sentimental value.

Dc Dan Arundell, of British Transport Police's robbery squad, said: "The CCTV images are very clear.

"It was quite clear that he was checking himself out in the reflection of the CCTV camera.

"The general consensus is that he is not the brightest spark. He was there for a long time and either didn't care or wasn't aware he was being filmed."

He added that the victim tried to go after the mugger, adding: "The youth turned around to face him and said, 'You don't want me to use this,' with the knife in his pocket.

"All three were severely intimidated and felt they could not stop him."