London jewel heist police did not respond to burglar alarm

10th April 2015, Comments 1 comment

Police in London Friday admitted they failed to investigate a burglar alarm which apparently went off during a heist worth up to £200 million (275 million euros, $300 million) in the city's diamond quarter.

The raid in Hatton Garden, the centre of London's jewellery industry and home to hundreds of shops, is one of the biggest in British criminal history and happened over last week's Easter holiday weekend.

Thieves climbed down a lift shaft and used an industrial drill to bore their way into a vault at Hatton Garden Safety Deposit, where many jewellers had stored their stock.

Once inside, they broke into 72 safety deposit boxes, police said Friday, updating their earlier figure of 70.

Media reports suggest the criminal gang may have hidden inside the building on Thursday, only emerging after staff went home, although the crime was only discovered on Tuesday after the holiday.

Scotland Yard issued a statement Friday revealing that it received a call in the early hours of last Friday from the company operating the building's alarm telling them that it had gone off.

"A grade was applied to the call that meant that no police response was deemed to be required," police said, adding they were now investigating that decision.

"It is too early to say if the handling of the call would have had an impact on the outcome of the incident," the statement added.

Scotland Yard's Flying Squad, which investigates heists, have not confirmed the value of the burglary.

But British media have reported that as much as £200 million in diamonds, other jewels and cash were taken.

Police are currently trying to contact 56 people who were the holders of the safety deposit boxes.

© 2015 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • David posted:

    on 16th April 2015, 17:11:07 - Reply

    If the burglar alarm went off, as reported, why did the robbers take no notice, and carry on with their job in hand? Did they know the police would ignore it?