Burglars using heavy cutting equipment break into several safety deposit boxes in a vault in London’s Hatton Garden, centre of the UK’s diamond trade.
Officers from Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad are investigating the raid after police were called to the central London address, in London’s jewellery district, at around 8.10am this morning.
The raid is thought to have happened over the Easter bank holiday weekend at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company. Safety deposit boxes at the store are mainly used by Hatton Garden jewellers, with reports suggesting that up to 300 boxes might have been broken into.
Some of my work colleagues have got boxes down there and we are talking about hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds in goods
— Lewis Malka (@lewismalka) April 7, 2015
Diamond jewellery expert Lewis Malka, who works on Hatton Garden, tweeted: “Quiet day in the office and then I find out one of my client’s antique bracelets was stolen in the Hatton Garden robbery.”
Mr Malka said the haul was likely to amount to “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds”. He said: “From what I understand it happened over the weekend and it looked like they had come in through the lift shaft and gone into the basement where the safety deposit is.
“Most of the people who have got safety deposits there are people in the trade. I know for a fact that some of my work colleagues have got boxes down there and we are talking about hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds in goods.”
Mr Malka said the boxes were used to store both jewellery and loose diamonds in packets. “The police aren’t allowing anyone in yet, so no one is too sure whose box has or hasn’t been touched,” he said. “With the robbers having probably four days over the Easter weekend, there’s a good chance that they went through everything.”
Officers in forensic suits could be seen leaving the Hatton Garden Safety Deposit building with evidence bags and boxes. There was no visible damage to the outside of the property, other than a loose wire in the side of the door.
Hatton Garden has been at the centre of London’s diamond trade since medieval times and is made up of 300 jewellery businesses and 55 shops – the most concentrated cluster of jewellers in the UK.
The largest company there is De Beers, which dominates the global diamond trade.