A DIY detective couple watched a thief raiding their house on a mobile phone CCTV app – before spotting the crook on a bus and following him until police could arrest him.
Shaun Patterson was jailed for 16 months after breaking into a house in Dundee’s Coupar Angus Road two days after Christmas 2017.
Sandra Keir had gone out – leaving only her Christmas tree lights switched on – when her phone alerted her to movement in her house.
She called her son to ask if he had gone home – and when he confirmed he hadn’t she downloaded the CCTV clip to her phone.
It showed Patterson standing in her back garden, prompting her to head home and call in police.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court that on returning home she found a window smashed, the alarm sounding and lights on throughout the property.
She said: “She was worried that the perpetrator may still be inside the house so waited for police.
“They searched the house but there was no-one within.
“An iPad Pro, an Xbox, an Amazon Firestick, a holdall, rucksack, car care kit, debit cards and personal papers relating to Mr Keir’s employment had been stolen, a total value of about £1490.”
Police circulated the CCTV images internally within Tayside Police Division but they couldn’t identify him.
But on January 13 last year Mrs Keir’s husband, David Keir, spotted Patterson on a bus in Dundee and immediately recognised him as the thief.
Miss Robertson said: “He followed the bus into the city centre and alerted police who stopped the accused as he exited the bus.
“The police officers who stopped the accused were also ultimately able to identify him from CCTV.”
Patterson, 42, of Lansdowne Gardens, Dundee, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of theft by housebreaking committed on December 27 last year in Coupar Angus Road, Dundee.
Sheriff Tom Hughes jailed Patterson for 16 months.