Film shows Sutton people doing nothing as a man breaks into a car

The supposed car thief was filmed breaking into a car in Mulgrave Road near Sutton station.

The supposed car thief was filmed breaking into a car in Mulgrave Road near Sutton station.

First published in News
Last updated
Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Members of the public did not feel the need to call police when they were confronted by a man brazenly breaking into a car near the town centre.

As part of a special Channel 5 television show called 'Law & Disorder: Catching Criminals Live', a dummy car was left in Mulgrave Road so an actor posing as a thief could break into it while secret cameras filmed people's reactions.

During the hour-long show on Friday, three scenarios were tried out.

First the so-called suspect tried the handle of the car, then he tried to force it by jamming a screwdriver into the lock and finally he smashed the window before reaching in and taking a bag.

Despite the incidents taking place outside a restaurant and just a few yards from Sutton station, no one who saw the incidents thought to call police.

The programme's narrator said: "There were a lot of people looking on, a lot of horrified faces, but no one intervened."

The programme aimed to highlight the importance of calling 999 if you witness a crime. It also encouraged people who own expensive jewellery to make sure they keep it safely by showing CCTV footage of a burglary in Burdon Lane, Cheam in January.

Sutton Guardian: SUTT YELL: Hapless burglars who broke into a house and did not steal anything caught on CCTV

CCTV taken in the Burdon Lane house

The film showed burglars entering the property and searching for gold jewellery but leaving empty handed after discovering the family had stored their items in a safe deposit box  

During the show, Sutton officer Detective Chief Inspector Jane Corrigan appealed for information about the incident and stressed the importance of CCTV. Inspector Richard Hall was interviewed at Sutton police stations control room and explained how the town centre's CCTV helps catch criminals.

Did you see the supposed car thief on Friday evening? If so contact reporter Mike Murphy-Pyle on 020 8722 6359 or email mike.pyle@london.newsquest.co.uk.


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Comments (3)

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2:53pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Sutton and Merton driver says...

The reason that no-one paid much attention was probably down to the fact that it was so badly operated, the 20year old vauxhall had wires coming out of the windows, which were trailing along the pavement and down into the side alleyway where 2 watching stooges stood, also across the road stood behind a tree were " 2 big burly doormen looking" chaps, and the over acting chap pretending to break in was so over hamming his attempts to break in just looked to ridiculous for words, us taxi drivers watching the event for 3-4 hours thought Jeremy beadle might appear, but then realised that would not happen because he passed away a few years back, channel 5 obviously have a very small budget to work on if that was their best effort
The reason that no-one paid much attention was probably down to the fact that it was so badly operated, the 20year old vauxhall had wires coming out of the windows, which were trailing along the pavement and down into the side alleyway where 2 watching stooges stood, also across the road stood behind a tree were " 2 big burly doormen looking" chaps, and the over acting chap pretending to break in was so over hamming his attempts to break in just looked to ridiculous for words, us taxi drivers watching the event for 3-4 hours thought Jeremy beadle might appear, but then realised that would not happen because he passed away a few years back, channel 5 obviously have a very small budget to work on if that was their best effort Sutton and Merton driver
  • Score: 24

5:20pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Snork says...

No one is going to intervene when there's a good possibility they themselves will be charged with some sort of crime ie assault of the culprit along with the fact that the police are rarely interested in car break ins so why should we be!
No one is going to intervene when there's a good possibility they themselves will be charged with some sort of crime ie assault of the culprit along with the fact that the police are rarely interested in car break ins so why should we be! Snork
  • Score: 7

12:06pm Tue 15 Apr 14

lulu64uk says...

Maybe they would have got more mileage out fo watching the flower beds !
Maybe they would have got more mileage out fo watching the flower beds ! lulu64uk
  • Score: 1

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