Police have appealed for information after a suitcase containing over 1 million in jewels was stolen from a Birmingham bound train. The valuable gems including sapphires, rubies and emeralds were being transported by a jewellery dealer before being stolen. After boarding the Virgin service at Euston the victim placed the valuable case on a luggage rack, seemingly without taking any security precautions, and realised his loss when the train reached Rugby. British Transport Police detectives believe the crime occurred before the train left Euston, as thieves often use the commotion of boarding to raid passengers’ personal belongings.
Detectives have released CCTV images of a dark haired man using a mobile phone, and Detective Sergeant Nick Thompson of British Transport Police said “I would like to speak to the man in the CCTV images about this extremely high-value luggage theft. I would also like to hear from anyone who was on board the train or at Euston station on Wednesday evening who may have seen a man acting suspiciously.” Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call BTP on 0800 40 50 40, quoting reference 529 8/11/17.
In more positive police news, a Welsh force is trialling cutting edge technology which allows 999 callers to stream live video directly to the force control room. Using the 999eye technology Gwent police dispatchers are able to view footage of developing events in real time, thanks to resourceful members of the public and their smartphones.
The potentially life-saving technology was developed by West Midlands Fire Service, and Gwent Police are the first force in the UK to test the service on police emergency calls. Control room head superintendent Ian Roberts said it is ‘fantastic’ to be leading the way and that 999eye ‘will provide crucial evidence to support ongoing investigations’. In addition, 999eye provides police with caller’s precise GPS co-ordinates, and when phone signal is poor the system can accept still photographs instead of a video stream.
The first phase of the two-month pilot is almost complete, and Gwent police expect to extend the 999eye service to non-emergency 101 calls in the following weeks.