Police have made arrests in the UK’s biggest jewellery heist, and you won’t believe who is behind bars – three pensioners!
Three men aged 67, 74 and 76 are among seven British men who have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle.
According to Reuters, more than 200 police officers raided 12 addresses in north London and south-east England and arrested the seven who are all aged over 48.
Detectives said large bags containing “significant amounts of high value property” were found in one of the properties they raided which they believed had been stolen during the burglary.
“This has been an exceptional, complex investigation and I thank everyone for remaining patient,” Detective Superintendent Craig Turner, head of London Police’s Flying Squad, told reporters.
The multi-million pound jewellery heist happened in London’s jewellery business district over the Easter weekend last month.
In the audacious raid, thieves abseiled down a lift shaft at Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Ltd when businesses in the area were closed, and bored their way through a two-metre thick wall into a vault using a heavy duty drill.
There, they ransacked dozens of boxes, taking cash and gems, some of which belonged to businesses in Hatton Garden, which is home to almost 300 diamond, gold and gem dealers and more than 50 jewellery shops.
Police have given no official detail of what was stolen but media have estimated it could be as much as 200 million pounds ($A390 million), dwarfing the amounts taken in Britain’s previous biggest heists.
Police have faced criticism for failing to respond to an alarm at the safe depository that went off during the burglary, and Commander Peter Spindler admitted that proper procedures had not been followed.
“For that I want to apologise,” he said, although he added that there had been no external sign of a break-in.
“At times we have been portrayed as if we’ve acted like Keystone Cops,” Spindler said. “But I want to reassure you that in the finest traditions of Scotland Yard these detectives have done their utmost to bring justice for the victims of this callous crime”.
Imagine: a 76 year old pensioner allegedly being caught up in Britain’s biggest jewellery heist. At that age, you would think it was time to ‘give the game away’. Perhaps it was all part of the retirement income plan?