20 May 2015

Hatton Garden heist: two Brians and a building site

“You’d have vans coming and going at all hours,” says one elderly neighbour, looking out at the manor of Brians Reader – Senior and Junior – now cordoned by blue and white police tape.

The two men are among those arrested in connection with the Hatton Gardens jewellery heist, and are now being questioned by police.

The £800,000 detached thirties-style house is only the beginning, fronting onto Dartford Road with security lighting system and burglar alarm tucked in under  the front eaves.

Out back, not one but two almost completed four-bedroomed houses stand amid the debris of recent construction. Scaffolding is still partially up; sacks of plaster mix; piles of sand and two substantial red-brick faux-thirties style houses standing there .

Some planning coup to pull off that, you might think.

Over the garden fence neighbours are still fizzing at the decision as to how the Readers managed to get them built.

It also explains why not a few neighbours are only too willing to invite the media to film Britain’s Most Bizarre Building Site.



“He used to go for his paper at the newsagent every morning but that was about it, ” says one neighbour who fought long and hard to stop the houses going up.

“He hasn’t been there for the last few weeks though,” volunteers another about the habits of Brian Reader senior, a life member of the kept-himself-to-himself club.

At least so far as the good people of Dartford Road, Dartford are concerned for whom a bitter local planning dispute was about as far into public engagement Brian’s Senior or Junior went around these parts.

From the old house and the back garden houses, intermittent drilling, hammering and yes, singing and laughter at one point as forensics staff in blue bio-suits go about work they so clearly enjoy.

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