London Jewel Thieves go Mission Impossible to Steal £200m

By Gary Cutlack on at

An Easter weekend raid on London's jewellery hotspot netted criminals a haul possibly in excess of £200m, which could, if they're able to cash it in, make it the most lucrative crime in British history.

And the way they went about it was quite impressive. Police say the gang first tunneled through a wall in the Hatton Garden area to access a lift shaft, which they then abseiled down to access the floor of a building that contained a large number of safety deposit boxes. There was no clever hacking here, though, as the vault was ripped open and the contents of around 300 individual boxes looted. Anonymous sources suggest a bag with the word "swag" written on it was used to transport the goods.

Reuters has a video of a man in the street, who says he spoke to a security guard who responded to an alarm call on Friday, checked out the building, decided nothing was amiss and left. That man might be in a bit of trouble soon, as if the £200m haul is verified, it would be the UK's largest successful robbery -- dwarfing the palty £53m taken in the Securitas breach back in 2006. [Reuters]

Image credit: Bank vault from Shutterstock