Luton burglar jailed after distinctive tattoo captured on video doorbell

A burglar who was identified by his tattoo after being recorded on video doorbells in Luton will spend two years in prison.

Christopher South, 30, of The Grove, Luton, was sentenced today (Friday) at Luton Crown Court after pleading guilty to burglary, attempted burglary and theft of a motor vehicle.

Christopher South

Christopher South

On September 23, South approached a property on Fairfax Avenue, Luton, and attempted to gain access. He was unsuccessful so made another attempt on a second property in Third Avenue, where he stole a set of car keys, and subsequently a car, a phone, a Ralph Lauren wallet and a grey Superdry coat.

The victim of the first incident was told by a neighbour that a man had tried to get into her house. She checked footage from her Ring doorbell, where she saw a man attempting to break in using a chisel.

Despite covering the lower part of his face, a tattoo on his right hand could be seen. The footage was submitted to police.

South was identified as the potential offender, and officers subsequently arrested him. On searching his home address, none of the stolen property or the clothing worn in the footage was recovered.

Christopher South's tattoo

Christopher South's tattoo

However, in custody detectives saw his tattoo and found that it matched the tattoo of the man seen on the doorbell footage.

When interviewed, South admitted to carrying out the offences, telling officers he sold the stolen goods and left the car parked up in Luton.

In a statement submitted to the court, which was taken shortly after the incident, one of his victims said: “It has been just over two weeks since this has happened and it has left me feeling shaken. After it happened we were double locking the door even if people were in the house as we were worried. I still worry that this could happen again. I should be able to feel safe in my home.”

Detective Constable Jason Wheeler said: “I am pleased another burglar is off the streets of Bedfordshire, and I hope this result has helped his victims feel safe again.

"I’m glad South will spend time behind bars and I hope that he spends his time reflecting on his actions. Not only can video doorbells be a good deterrent against potential burglars, but as we have seen in this case, they are also incredible helpful in identifying a burglar.”

To report suspicious behaviour, call Bedfordshire Police on 101 or report information online at www.bedfordshire.police.uk/report. If a crime is in progress, always call 999.