A sharp-eyed CCTV operator helped police track down a man suspected of stealing from cash machines.

The worker was monitoring the St Albans city centre surveillance screens when he spotted the suspect at Barclays bank in St Peter's Street.

He recognised the man as someone wanted in relation to a number of cash machine thefts and alerted police.

Officers went to the scene and arrested the suspect.

Police later searched a London property linked to him and recovered a large amount of stolen property.

Andrei Neacsu, 26, was charged with five counts of possessing a skimming device for use in fraud.

He appeared at Hatfield Remand Court last month and pleaded guilty to all the offences.

Neacsu, of Plaistow, east London, was remanded in custody and is due to appear for sentence at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, January 12.

Beric Read, who is responsible for business and the community, said: “Once again one of our CCTV operators has come to the aid of the police. On this occasion, police have gone on to arrest a man wanted over cash machine thefts.

“It is another example of how valuable our CCTV system can be in combating crime.”

St Albans Chief Inspector Shane O’Neill of Hertfordshire Constabulary said: "CCTV footage is an additional resource that can provide vital evidence for us when investigating and solving crime. The CCTV operators at St Albans City and District Council support us in our work to keep the city safe.”

St Albans City and District Council has a CCTV system that covers the city centre and other locations.

Operators support the police and alert them to any criminal activity they spot. The recorded footage can be used as evidence in court.

Among other CCTV successes this year was the arrest of a man suspected of stealing from a charity box in a St Albans church.

Four suspected shoplifters were arrested following separate incidents that were not noticed by the stores.

CCTV has also helped catch three men who had allegedly just committed a robbery, another man seen tampering with a cash machine and a drunk driver.

The CCTV system, provided by a contractor, has been in operation since 2001 to deter criminals and help solve crimes.