VIDEO: It’s You’ve Been Framed for would-be burglar after homeowner catches him on camera

Ely Attempted Burglary Victim Bernie Sawford

Ely Attempted Burglary Victim Bernie Sawford - Credit: Archant

QUICK-thinking homeowner Bernie Sawford caught a bungling burglar on camera as he loitered in his back garden, intent on breaking into his house.

Neal caught on camera in Mr Sawford's garden

Neal caught on camera in Mr Sawford's garden - Credit: Archant

The would-be buglar caught on camera in an Ely garden

The would-be buglar caught on camera in an Ely garden - Credit: Archant

Taxi driver and part-time handyman Bernie, 58, was working on his computer at home in Silver Street, Ely, on March 6 when he saw Stephen Neal attempting to force his way into the house.

Neal caught on camera in Mr Sawford's garden

Neal caught on camera in Mr Sawford's garden - Credit: Archant

Incensed, Bernie went out to ask Neal what he was doing and was told by the 26-year-old that he was taking refuge in his garden as he was bring chased.

Neal caught on camera in Mr Sawford's garden

Neal caught on camera in Mr Sawford's garden - Credit: Archant

The grandfather was having none-of-it however, and grabbed a video camera he uses for work and filmed the thief looking a little bewildered in his back garden.

Stephen Neal

Stephen Neal - Credit: Archant

Armed with the footage, Bernie called police, who arrived at his home within five minutes. He showed them the footage and a man-hunt was launched, with Neal, who was carrying a metal bar about his person, in custody just 10 minutes later.


You may also want to watch:


Bernie said: “He tried to tell me that he was hiding from some people who were after him but I told him he wouldn’t be hiding in my garden.

“I got my video camera and I told him that I was going to video him and he didn’t seem to mind. I called the police soon after and they arrived at the door within minutes.

Most Read

“Apparently, the police were holding a training exercise in Ely on that day for just such an incident so it was quite unlucky for him.”

Neal, of High Barns, Ely, has 29 previous convictions for 65 offences. Appearing at Cambridge Crown Court for sentencing in April, he was given a year in jail by judge Anthony Bate.

Neal had previously admitted charges of attempted burglary and possession of an offensive weapon at magistrates’ court.

In mitigation, the court heard that Neal had picked up the bar while on route to see his girlfriend as he was concerned about being attacked by drug dealers.

It is not the first time the 26-year-old has been caught red-handed by a homeowner. Back in November 2011, he was sentenced to two years and five months in prison after being chased and apprehended by the occupant of a house in St Mary’s Street, in Ely, that he had burgled.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter