14/08/2014 16:48 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Open Window Warning: Skinny Thief Squeezes Through Tiny Gap To Steal From Student

Open window warning: Skinny thief squeezes through tiny gap to burgle student

If the weather ever gets warm enough to open a window, this video comes as a timely warning that no matter how small the gap, where there's the will of a thief, there's a way.

In the tape, a 16-year-old can be seen squeezing through the tiny gap before ransacking a student's bedroom and stealing a laptop.

As he searched the room, he came within inches of a hidden camera set up by West Midlands Police.

The force has used a number of decoy 'capture' houses to try and catch burglars red-handed. Motion sensors, mini cameras and coded dye has been hidden within the room.

The burglar, who can't be named because of his age, hauled himself through the window of the student room at the University of Wolverhampton after accomplice Zak Harris, 39, gave him a leg up.

Harris can be heard shouting orders at the boy and telling him what to steal during the March 2 break-in.

The 16-year-old grabs the laptop and a mobile phone before climbing back out of the window.

Neither Harris nor the boy realised they had been caught on camera and were arrested hours later after being recognised by local officers.

On Friday, Harris was ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work at Wolverhampton Crown Court after pleading guilty to burglary.

The teenager was given a nine-month referral order at the city's youth court a week earlier after he also admitted breaking into the property.

Detective Sergeant Andy Padmore, from the Wolverhampton CID burglary team, said: "The technology used in capture houses may sound like something from a spy film, but is in fact technology we use quite often.

"The tiny cameras mean that everyday household items suddenly become the eyes and ears of the police.

"The equipment is portable and easy to install, meaning any home in a hot spot area can be quickly converted to capture burglars.

"The cameras also work on infra-red meaning we can download crystal clear images even at night."