A burglar turned part of his haul over to police after discovering the video tapes he had taken depicted graphic scenes of child abuse.
A 64-year-old suspected paedophile has now been arrested in Southern Spain following the tip off from the thief “with a conscience”, police in the city of Jean said.
The burglar had taken the tapes and an old Super 8 camera which the footage was apparently filmed on, along with a number of other electrical items from the man’s home.
But after watching the footage, the thief called police from a public pay phone and directing them to the three tapes which he had put in a brown envelope and hid under a parked car.
Inside the envelope, he included a note with the address of the home that had been robbed, along with a short message:
“I've had the misfortune that these tapes have fallen into my hands and I feel obligated to turn them in so that you can do your job and put that... in prison for life.”
Confirming the arrest of a suspect, police said the man is as a local youth football coach who lived alone.
He had lured some members of the young players into watching pornography with him, then sexually abused them, police said.
Four minors have been identified as victims of the the alleged abuse, including a 16-year-old boy who may have been a victim since the age of 10.
When police searched the suspect’s home, further tapes showing sexual abuse of young boys were found.
He had reported the robbery and listed a number of stolen items, but had not mentioned the camera or tapes, police said.
In a similar case, a British man was jailed for three and half years in 2009 after the thieves who stole his laptop found child pornography on the device and turned it over to police.