Try as we might to protect ourselves from the evils of this world, from time to time, unfortunately, we still fail. This is precisely what occurred recently at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company in London’s most prestigious diamond district when approximately 70 safety deposit boxes were broken into, leading to a loss of nearly $300 million. The crime seen in this movie-like scenario, where the characters adopted the names used in the major motion picture Reservoir Dogs, reminded us the organized jewelry heist seen in February 2013 when a $50 million was stolen off the back of a plane so quickly they didn't even have time to react.
This astounding heist, of which so far two have been arrested for, has managed to leave Britain stunned, particularly because the robbery took place over several days, conducted by a group of men, believed to be six, and concluded on Easter Sunday.
Minimal, but clear footage, left behind by the culprits indicates that this was a very well organized theft. An attempt was clearly made to destroy all cameras, but that plan backfired, thankfully leaving the authorities with some clues as to who committed this crime, how, and when.
The videos show men, apparently dressed up as construction workers with hard hats, neon vests, and dust masks entering the said building late Thursday evening, April 2, and left early the next morning. The suspects returned Saturday evening and left the following morning, Easter Sunday. Seen entering the building with wheeled garbage bins and bags, the thieves looked calm as they began their two-day heist, which consisted of climbing down an elevator shaft and drilling 6 feet through concrete walls into the vault. While the exact amount of the stolen loot is not known, it is estimated that it stands in the hundreds of millions. This is understandable as jewelers use these vaults to store their diamonds and diamond jewels.
The Daily Mirror, a British media outlet, dubbed the most visible suspects in this thrilling case as “Mr. Ginger,” “Mr. Strong,” and “The Gent.” Three other apparent suspects have been dubbed “Mr. Montana,” “The Tall Man,” and “The Old Man.” Though some details regarding the suspects’ appearances have led them to be dubbed in the first place, such as “Mr. Ginger’s” red hair, “The Gent’s” expensive shoes, and the apparent height and age of “The Tall Man” and “The Old Man”, respectively, for the most part, their faces have been obscured by their hats and masks. Therefore, the police are asking for the public’s help in identifying these criminals who are believed to have fled the country.
Though the heist took place over a holiday weekend when most businesses are in recess and less people are out and about, especially in business areas such as the diamond district, it is still difficult to comprehend how such a tremendous crime could occur. The building where the vault company is located houses other establishments as well. Only the entry way is a shared area. The culprits entered through a side door and deactivated the elevator, whose shaft they used to climb down to the basement where the vaults are stored. An alarm did go off, but it did not, for some reason, lead to any investigation. Why? That is still unclear and being looked into at the moment though it is uncertain that any intervention at that point may have prevented this horrible burglary. If all of this weren’t unfortunate enough, this was not even Hatton Garden Safe Deposit’s only robbery. Two armed robbers succeeded in stealing $90 million worth of jewels in 1987 and in 1993 burglars broke through high-security doors, handcuffed employees, and managed to break through a safe with millions of dollars worth of contents. Let us hope the guilty culprits will be caught as soon as possible and brought to justice.