Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/19/teddybear_robocop/

Surveillance Teddy nabs granny-bag robber

Part soft toy, part robot - all cop

By Lewis Page

Posted in Law, 19th August 2008 11:15 GMT

An NHS care assistant who stole from a grandmother dying of cancer was nabbed in the act by an electronically enhanced teddy bear, according to reports.

The Guardian brings us the news that Yvonne Allen, 28, of Halewood, Liverpool, admitted two counts of theft last week and agreed to pay back the stolen £60. The larcenous healthcare worker was given a six-month stretch in the slammer, and has lost her job with Liverpool Primary Care Trust Provider Services.

Allen was snared by an electronic teddy deployed by Emma Sampson, granddaughter of Thelma Sampson, after grandmother Thelma reported cash missing from her handbag. Robert Sampson, Emma's father, told the Guardian:

"My mother has end-stage leukaemia and we had to get a carer in who worked for the primary care trust. The next day my mum said £40 had gone out of her purse.

"I said 'Are you sure?' and she said 'I may be dying but I know how much money I had in my handbag'."

The crime-busting Sampsons rigged up a surveillance sting in which a teddy bear's eyeball was replaced with a miniature security camera and the serial numbers of £20 notes in Thelma's purse were noted. The mock-ursine CCTV platform swiftly delivered the goods.

"We thought it would be a long process," said Sampson, "but [Allen] was greedy. We called the police and showed them the footage and gave them the serial numbers."

Justice was swift, with the medical miscreant braceleted and hauled before the beak in short order. ®