Thieving window cleaner jailed – caught on police camera hidden in bedroom
A window cleaner who stole money from an 86-year-old customer has been jailed for more than two years − after West Midlands Police snared him on a hidden camera set up at her home.
Joshua Woodhouse was captured searching the pensioner’s bedroom in West Bromwich on 17 May this year.
Detectives set up the camera after relatives of the woman raised concerns that money had disappeared from her address the previous month.
Woodhouse − who was due to clean the woman’s windows once a month − was one of just a few people who had been in the property.
The 26-year-old went into the address on 17 May on the pretence of asking for some water but was seen going into the victim’s room while she went into the kitchen.
A quantity of cash was later discovered missing and as only Woodhouse and relatives of the pensioner had been in the home he was arrested by officers.
He initially denied stealing money but as the weight of evidence built up against him he pleaded guilty to two burglaries between 21-24 April and 17 May. In total he took more than £1,000.
Woodhouse, of Cotterills Road, Tipton, was sentenced to two years and one month at Wolverhampton Crown Court last Wednesday (16 August).
Detective Constable Sarah Forster, of Force CID, said: “Woodhouse targeted this woman knowing she was elderly and vulnerable.
“She trusted him as a regular window cleaner; but he took advantage of this misplaced trust to deceive and steal from her.
"We have a range of tactics to catch criminals and the use of the camera on this occasion proved crucial in snaring Woodhouse. It spotted him searching the room and after the money was later missing he had to be the prime suspect.
“We always assess and improve our ways of securing evidence so those who commit crimes are caught and punished through the courts."