Hatton Garden safe deposit burglary

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The entrance to Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd at number 88-90, Hatton Garden

In April 2015, the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company, an underground safe deposit facility in London's Hatton Garden area, was burgled. The total stolen may have a value of up to £200 million,[1][2][3] and the incident has been called the "largest burglary in English legal history."

The heist was planned and carried out by four elderly men who were experienced thieves, all of whom pleaded guilty and received prison sentences in March 2016.[4][5] Four other men were also tried on suspicion of involvement; three were found guilty and sent to prison, while the fourth was cleared.[6]

Burglary[edit]

The burglars worked through the long weekend of the Easter Bank Holiday and Passover holidays, when many of the nearby businesses (many of them also connected with Hatton Garden's jewellery trade) were closed.[7] The police first announced that the facility had been burgled on 7 April,[8] and reports based on CCTV footage state that the attack on the facility commenced on 2 April.[8][9] The theft was so significant that the investigation was assigned to the Flying Squad, a branch of the Specialist, Organised & Economic Crime Command within London's Metropolitan Police Service.[1]

There was no externally visible sign of a forced entry to the premises.[10] It was reported that the burglars had entered the premises through a lift shaft,[11] then drilled through the 50 cm[12] thick vault walls with a Hilti DD350 industrial power drill.[2][13]

The underground fire in Kingsway which disrupted the area

On 8 April, press reports emerged speculating that a major underground fire in nearby Kingsway may have been started to create a diversion as part of the Hatton Garden burglary.[14] The London Fire Brigade later stated that the fire had been caused by an electrical fault, with no sign of arson.[15]

A CCTV recording of the incident was released by the Daily Mirror before the police released it. The video showed people nicknamed by the newspaper as "Mr Ginger, Mr Strong, Mr Montana, The Gent, The Tall Man and The Old Man".[16][17]

On 22 April, the police released pictures of the inside of the vault showing damage caused by the burglary, and how the burglars had used holes drilled through the vault's wall to bypass the main vault door.[18]

On 19 May, the Metropolitan Police announced that nine arrests had been made in connection with their investigation into the raid.[19]

On 1 September 2015, the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company went into liquidation as the business had become insolvent because "trade dried up" as a result of the theft.[20]

Timeline[edit]

Police at Hatton Gardens Safe Deposits
  • On 1 April 2015, electrical cables under the pavement in Kingsway caught fire, leading to serious disruption in central London. The fire continued for the next two days, with flames shooting out of a manhole cover from a burst gas main,[21] before being extinguished.[22] Several thousand people were evacuated from nearby offices, and several West End theatres cancelled performances.[21][23][24] There was also substantial disruption to telecoms infrastructure.[25]
  • 2 April: 21:19 staff lock doors for Easter weekend[8][9]
  • 2 April: 21:23 "Mr Ginger" descends to the vault, followed by three men pulling wheelie bins[9]
  • 3 April: 00:21 police at Scotland Yard are informed that the burglar alarm has been triggered
  • 3 April: 08:05 gang members talk before going to their van and driving away
  • 4 April: 21:17 "Mr Ginger" goes down into vault, and is later joined by two other men
  • 5 April: 06:10 the gang members drive away from the building
  • 7 April: Scotland Yard state they are aware of the burglary[8]
  • 10 April: The Daily Mirror releases CCTV footage[17]
  • 19 May: The Metropolitan Police announce that they have arrested nine suspects[19]
  • 28 March 2018: Another man was arrested[26]

Arrests[edit]

On 19 May 2015, 76-year-old Brian Reader, who was previously involved in laundering the proceeds of the Brink's-Mat robbery, was arrested in connection with the burglary by Flying Squad officers.[27][28]

In November 2015, Carl Wood, William Lincoln, Jon Harbinson and Hugh Doyle were all charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property. The theft was described as the "largest burglary in English legal history."[29]

On 28 March 2018 Michael Seed, 57, was arrested after his home in Islington, London was searched. He was charged with conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to conceal or disguise criminal property.[26][30]

Sentencing[edit]

On 9 March 2016, at Woolwich Crown Court, three members of the gang, John "Kenny" Collins, Daniel Jones and Terry Perkins, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary and were each given a seven-year prison term.

Carl Wood and William Lincoln were found guilty of the same offence and also one count of conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property, after trial. Lincoln was also given a seven-year sentence, and Wood was jailed for six years.

Hugh Doyle was found guilty of concealing, converting or transferring criminal property. He was jailed for 21 months, suspended for two years.[31]

Finally, the ringleader, Brian Reader, was sentenced to six years and three months in jail on 21 March 2016.[5]

The eighth man, Jon Harbinson, was found not guilty and discharged.[6]

In January 2018, John "Kenny" Collins, Daniel Jones, Terry Perkins and Brian Reader during a confiscation ruling at Woolwich Crown Court must pay a total of £27.5 million or face another seven years in jail.[32] Perkins died in prison in February 2018, just a week after the ruling.[33]

In television and film[edit]

The heist was one of the main features of the American investigative science web-TV series, White Rabbit Project, released on 9 December 2016. The programme sees the presenters investigate and demonstrate the methods used in the heist as well as featuring dramatised re-enactments. It is featured in series one, episode five, "Heist!".

A four-part mini-series, Hatton Garden, starring Kenneth Cranham and Timothy Spall, was due to broadcast on ITV from 11 December 2017, but has been postponed until 2018.[34]

The Heist was also the subject of two films, Hatton Garden: The Heist from 2016 and The Hatton Garden Job (aka One Last Heist) from 2017. A third film, King of Thieves starring Michael Caine and Ray Winstone, is in post-production.[35][36]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rose Troup Buchanan (9 April 2015). "Hatton Garden jewellery burglary: How was the £200 million heist pulled off?". The Independent. 
  2. ^ a b Catherine Neilan (9 April 2015). "Hatton Garden jewel thieves used used heavy duty drill Hilti DD350 to bore holes into vault – but did not break into the building". City AM. 
  3. ^ "Hatton Garden safety deposit box vault burgled". BBC News. 7 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "The Graying Thieves Who Nearly Got Away With a Record Heist in London". The New York Times. 2015-12-12. Retrieved 2015-12-13. 
  5. ^ a b "Hatton Garden heist ringleader jailed". BBC News. BBC. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Hatton Garden heist: Three men found guilty over £14m jewellery raid". The Daily Telegraph. 7 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Bonnie Estridge (17 April 2015). "How we got our Hatton". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 25 June 2018. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Hatton Garden raid: CCTV images of 'audacious' raid released". BBC. 11 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c Tom Pettifor (14 April 2015). "Hatton Garden heist: Detectives to quiz jewellery boss who was out of country". Daily Mirror. 
  10. ^ Alexandra Topping (9 April 2015). "No forced entry in Hatton Garden safety deposit box raid, say police". The Guardian. 
  11. ^ "Hatton Garden raid: Vault breached via lift shaft". BBC News. 9 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Hole drilled by burglars at Hatton Garden revealed". BBC News. 22 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "How the Hatton Garden robbery was carried out". ITV News. 9 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Rachel Blundy and Sebastian Mann (8 April 2015). "Holborn fire 'could have been deliberately started by burglars responsible for Hatton Garden jewel heist'". London Evening Standard. 
  15. ^ Ross Lydall (9 April 2015). "'Holborn fire wasn't deliberate,' says London fire boss after claims it was linked to London jewel raid". London Evening Standard. 
  16. ^ Collins, David (12 April 2015). "Hatton Garden heist: Robbers returned a SECOND time after cops failed to respond to alarm". Daily Mirror. Mirror Group. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Hatton Garden heist CCTV: Watch dramatic moment £60m gem raiders are caught on camera". Daily Mirror. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  18. ^ Martin Evans (22 April 2015). "Hatton Garden heist: First images from inside vault". 
  19. ^ a b "Hatton Garden raid: Nine men arrested". BBC News. 19 May 2015. 
  20. ^ Jamie Grierson (1 September 2015). "Hatton Garden safe deposit firm hit by gem heist calls in liquidators". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "Holborn electrical fire causes mass evacuation". BBC News. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  22. ^ "Holborn underground fire extinguished". BBC News. 3 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  23. ^ "Holborn fire costs London firms £40m: Full scale of damage and disruption revealed". The Standard. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  24. ^ O'Connor, Roisin. "Holborn fire: Kingsway remains closed as firefighters continue to tackle blaze burning under pavement in central London". The Independent. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  25. ^ Alex Scroxton (2 April 2015). "Kingsway fire brings down broadband services in London". Computer Weekly. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "New arrest over Hatton Garden heist". BBC News. 2018-03-28. Retrieved 2018-03-28. 
  27. ^ "Brink's-Mat: 30 years on from Britain's most notorious gold robbery – Metro News". Metro. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  28. ^ "Father and son car dealers are suspects in Hatton Garden heist". Telegraph.co.uk. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  29. ^ "Hatton Garden raid 'largest in English history'". BBC News. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  30. ^ "New charge over Hatton Garden heist". BBC News. 2018-03-28. Retrieved 2018-03-28. 
  31. ^ "Hatton Garden heist gang members jailed for total of 34 years over £14 million raid". Daily Telegraph. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  32. ^ "Hatton Garden gang ringleaders ordered to pay £27.5m". BBC News. 30 January 2018. 
  33. ^ "Hatton Garden jewellery raider dies". BBC News. BBC. 5 February 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018. 
  34. ^ "ITV postpones Hatton Garden jewellery heist drama starring Timothy Spall". Radio Times. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017. 
  35. ^ Fifield, Nicola. "Michael Caine and Ray Winstone crook the part as they star as the OAPs behind £25m Hatton Garden heist". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 27 May 2017. 
  36. ^ "The King of Thieves - British Films Directory". British Council. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Tom Pettifor, Nick Sommerlad, One Last Job: the Extraordinary Life of Brian Reader, Britain's Most Prolific Thief (Mirror Books, 2016)
  • Wensley Clarkson, Sexy Beasts: the Inside Story of the Hatton Garden Heist (Quercus Editions, 2016)
  • Nigel Cawthorne, The Great Diamond Heist – The Incredible True Story of the Hatton Garden Robbery (2016)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′10″N 0°06′30″W / 51.5194°N 0.1083°W / 51.5194; -0.1083