A burglar has been jailed for four years after being caught by newly installed CCTV cameras in Willington.
Ivor Piggott, 25, of Spruce Walk, Kempston, burgled a home in Bedford Road on Wednesday, November 5.
Piggott broke into the house through the patio doors, ripped the alarm from the wall and removed a CCTV recorder before taking the keys to the owner’s Mercedes.
But he was caught on CCTV as the passenger in the stolen car as it was driven away from the village.
The cameras had been recently installed after a successful funding bid by the village’s Neighbourhood Watch group.
Piggott was arrested and charged with burglary and taking a vehicle without consent. He pleaded guilty and was jailed for a total of four years at Luton Crown Court on Tuesday (December 9).
Detective Constable Jason Wheeler said: “This is a great example of how valuable the CCTV cameras are when investigating crime.
“We were quickly able to identify Piggott and ensure he was brought to justice.
“We are cracking down on burglary across the county at the moment and this case should serve as a reminder for people to vigilant and report all suspicious activity.”
Willington Parish Councillor and CCTV working group member, Shane Horlock said: “This is an outstanding result which shows how a community working together can greatly improve their own security.
“Willington residents, the Neighbourhood Watch team, the parish and borough councillors, the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation and the Bedfordshire Community Safety Fund have jointly given us a great CCTV system which has immediately proven its value to the community.”
Cllr Sarah-Jayne Holland, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, said: “This is a prime example of how the use of CCTV across the Borough, including rural areas, plays a vital role in identifying criminals, stopping crime and reassuring local residents that we are doing everything we can to keep Bedford Borough a safe place to live and work.”
A spokesman for the local Neighbourhood Watch added: “This should make people aware that we have CCTV in place in the village. And anyone who comes here with the intention of committing crime faces being caught on camera.”
People are urged to follow crime prevention advice to deter burglars including keeping their property well-lit, using timers when out, ensure doors and windows are locked and invest in a burglar alarm.