Recently in London, robbers managed to target a vault located in London’s Hatton Garden, and get away with the contents of close to 100 safety deposit boxes. They are estimated to have gotten away with millions. These types of high profile robbery are rare, but they have happened before. Here’s a look at some of England’s most audacious robberies.
Millennium Dome Raid – Back in 2000, a diamond exhibition in London’s Millennium dome, containing massively rare and expensive diamonds, was targeted by thieves. They broke in using a JCB digger, and managed to break through the armoured glass using nail guns and sledge hammers. They had a speedboat waiting on the Thames so that they could make a getaway, but unfortunately for them, the police had been tipped off. The stones had been replaced by fakes, and armed officers from the flying squad had replaced existing staff in the dome. They were doomed to failure before they had even started. All 7 were arrested, and 6 were sent to jail, the 7th man died of cancer before his trial. 14 years later, one of the robbers was jailed for robbery once again.
Antwerp diamond heist – This robbery was more like something you would expect out of a Hollywood movie. In Antwerp, Belgium, a diamond vault was cased for more than two years, by a team of high level crooks. The leader, Leonardo Notabartolo and his gang, raided it, and got away with nearly £80 million worth of diamonds. They managed to crack the door by hiding spy cameras pointing at the door code, and using a thick aluminium plate with sticky tape on it to allow them to bypass the magnetic bolts. Wires in the security system were exposed and short circuited, and using heavy duty drills, the safety deposit boxes were broken into. The leader was amazingly tracked down when a member of the public called the police about a fly tipper, who had dumped video tape reels from the security cameras, and envelopes with the Diamond Centre logo on them. A half eaten sandwich allowed them to match up his DNA and he was sent to jail for 10 years.
Baker Street Robbery – This robbery was actually the subject of a 2008 Hollywood movie starring Jason Statham entitled ‘The Bank Job’. Back in 1971, a Lloyds bank located on Baker Street, was broken into by a team of thieves. They hired a shop a few doors down from the bank, and dug a tunnel from their shop, through to the bank. The tunnel stretched for more than 15 metres. Once they gained access to the bank, they used explosives to blow the vault’s doors down. As it happens, an amateur radio enthusiast managed to tune into the frequency used by the robbers and their lookouts. Police were sceptical at first, but checked the bank out anyway. They even checked the bank when the robbery was taking place, but because the safe door was closed, they believed everything was normal. The thieves managed to get away with more than £3 million, and, although 4 men were caught and jailed, it is believed that the mastermind was never brought to justice.