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How police officers caught Nightstalker Delroy Grant after his 17-year reign of terror

ITV drama Manhunt: The Nightstalker, sequel to the 2019 series starring Martin Clunes, airs on Monday September 20.

The drama, which consists of four parts, tells the story of Delroy Grant’s pursuit by police. He was a serial burglar and rapist who became known as The Nightstalker.

Grant was responsible for a number of burglaries and rapes that took place in South East London between 1992 and 2009.

The 2009 Nightstalker investigation led to his arrest by DCI Colin Sutton. These diaries form the basis of the Manhunt: The Nightstalker series.

Here’s the story of how Operation Minstead team member Colin Sutton captured the Nightstalker. It took 17 years.

Undated Metropolitan Police handout photo of Night Stalker Delroy Grant
Undated Metropolitan Police handout photo of Night Stalker Delroy Grant

In 1998, Operation Minstead, a dedicated task force was set up to hunt down the man known as the Night Stalker.

Police dismissed Grant in 1999 as a suspect after the DNA of another man with a similar name to Grant was misinterpreted.

Police also rejected a call to Crimewatch on BBC in 2001 regarding information about Delroy Grant, a suspicious person living in South London. Delroy Grant was already excluded from their investigations.

In 2009, DCI Colin Sutton was called to take over the case.

He was a serial killer himself and had just caught Levi Bellfield.

Metropolitan police handout photo dated April 2004 of how Nightstalker who has struck 84 times may be dressed.
Photo taken by Metropolitan police in April 2004 showing Nightstalker’s possible attire.

Sutton proposed a strategy that he believed could catch The Nightstalker and focused the team’s efforts on a large surveillance operation around an area of south east London, which police analysts has identified as the area where the Nightstalker most commonly committed his crimes.

The surveillance program involved 70 undercover officers who used hidden cameras and helicopters to observe the streets of Shirley near Croydon.

Metropolitan Police handout photo taken from CCTV dated 13/08/09 of Delroy Grant approaching an ATM machine in Honor Oak Park.
Metropolitan Police handout photo from CCTV, 13/08/09 showing Delroy Grant approaching Honor Oak Park’s ATM.

The Nightstalker was seen on camera in August 2009, and during the surveillance operation, a local business’ CCTV camera caught the outline of a Vauxhall Zafira, while another CCTV camera also caught the shadow of a man sat in the car near to where a burglary had recently taken place.

Investigators created a list using the DVLA’s database and were directed to keep track of silver Vauxhall Zafiras seen.

An undercover officer saw a silver Vauxhall Zafira sitting on a street and saw a man leaving the vehicle at 12.30 AM.

Grant drove the car and police followed him. They pulled the vehicle over.

The police found evidence in Grant’s car that connected him to the Nightstalker crimes.

Undated Metropolitan Police handout photo of a crowbar in the boot of the Vauxhall Zafira which Delroy Grant used to enter a house on October 18, 2009.
The Metropolitan Police handed out a photo of a crowbar that Delroy Grant used in his attempt to gain entry into a house by opening the windows with the Vauxhall Zafira’s boot.

A crowbar used to open windows of the houses where he struck, and a dark blue anorak and fleece worn by Grant as he withdrew money using victim’s cash cards, were found in the car.

Grant’s scent was also traced by a police dog from the car to the house where he tried to break in.

Grant was taken to the police station where DNA testing confirmed that Grant was The Nightstalker.

Delroy Grant was sentenced on March 25, 2011 to minimum 27 years imprisonment.

How police officers caught Nightstalker Delroy Grant after his 17-year reign of terror
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.


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