Lowestoft - Attempted burglar convicted thanks to smart technology
A 40-year-old man from Lowestoft has been convicted for an attempted burglary after footage from smart technology helped secure a conviction.
Tony Kirk, of the High Street, Lowestoft, appeared before Ipswich Crown Court, on Thursday 15 August, where he was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.
It follows an incident on Tuesday 18 June when an attempted break-in at a property in The Meads took place, although no entry was made and nothing was taken.
Following enquiries, Kirk was arrested the next day and was taken to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre for questioning.
He was subsequently charged on 20 June with attempted burglary, vehicle interference and a separate charge of common assault.
Key to securing the conviction was the footage captured by a Ring Video Doorbell, which was fitted near the front door of the property.
The occupants went to bed around 9pm on Monday 17 June and Kirk’s movements were recorded just before 1am by the doorbell camera. An occupant was alerted to Kirk’s movements by a notification on his mobile phone and when he checked it the following morning, it depicted Kirk attempting to try the door handle and also try the front passenger door of a parked car on the drive.
Detective Inspector Matt Adams of Lowestoft CID said: “This result demonstrates how technology such as Ring Video Doorbells and other remote-monitored security cameras can play a key role in catching criminals and prevent crime when footage is captured, downloaded and shared with the police.
"Such smart technology products available are not only affordable but proactively help to deter and detect burglars.
“In this case the whole incident lasted just over 30 seconds, but with it caught on a doorbell camera, the evidence is there for all to see. It seems Kirk also noticed the doorbell camera device and backed off before riding off and out of the driveway.
“The fact that the property was locked and secure, also clearly helped prevent Kirk entering and stealing items of value. So, it is also a timely and significant reminder to all residents to keep their properties secure when they go to bed.”
Dave Ward, Director at Ring, said: “We’re pleased to hear that by using a Ring device to capture this unfortunate incident, and by choosing to share their footage with the police, the homeowners were able to help keep local residents safe.
“Ring’s mission is to make neighbourhoods safer, and we’re happy to see that our devices helped make an impact in the community."
Between his arrest and sentencing, Kirk also chose to work with Suffolk police’s Operation Converter Team and went on to admit six other offences including three incidents of theft from motor vehicles, two incidents of interference with motor vehicles and one burglary other building.
All of the incidents occurred between September 2018 and June 2019 in the Lowestoft area.
Operation Converter is an initiative aimed at encouraging offenders to admit their crimes. This has benefits for all – police are able to give victims some peace of mind that an offender has been caught for the burglary of their home or the theft of their property and the individual has the opportunity to clear their slate so they can have a fresh start when they are released from prison, without the possibility they will later be traced for a further offence. Offenders have to give sufficient detail for officers to be sure they have committed the crime and these offences are then ‘taken into consideration’ at sentencing.
Footage of the incident on Tuesday 18 June can be viewed and downloaded by following this link
The image has been pixelated due to Tony Kirk receiving a suspended sentence and not an immediate prison term. The purpose of issuing this footage is to highlight the benefits of technology when used for crime prevention.