When was the Hatton Garden Heist, who were the suspects and what did they steal from London’s jewellery capital?
THE Hatton Garden Heist has recently been retold in a new blockbuster film with Michael Caine and Ray Winstone.
It is no surprise the raid was turned into a movie because it has all the ingredients of a good old-fashioned crime caper. Here’s how the crime was carried out.
What happened in the Hatton Garden Heist?
During the Easter weekend of 2015, four elderly raiders ransacked an underground safe deposit facility in London’s Hatton Garden, which is known as the capital city’s jewellery district.
High-duty drills were used to tunnel into the vault, boring through 7ft thick walls to cracked open 73 boxes.
They contained millions of pounds of jewels and precious metals, including diamonds, sapphires and gold.
Eventually the men – all experienced thieves doing “one last job” – were all caught and all pleaded guilty to the crime.
Four accomplices were also tried for the crime. Only one walked free after being cleared of their involvement.
The raid is now being retold in a new film called The King of Thieves.
Who were the suspects?
In 2016, just under a year from the heist, the so-called “diamond wheezers” comprising of a total of seven men – with an average age of 63 – were convicted of their involvement in the heist.
Ringleaders Brian Reader, 76, Terry Perkins, 67, Daniel Jones, 58 and Kenny Collins, 75, admitted conspiring to commit burglary from the start.
Collins, Jones and Perkins were handed seven-year sentences while Reader got six years and three months in jail.
Perkins, who had diabetes and heart problems, died in jail in February 2018 of natural causes.
Carl Wood, 58, and William Lincoln, 60, were found guilty of the same charge by a jury following a trial.
Lincoln – aka “Billy the Fish” – was given a seven-year sentence and Wood was jailed for six years.
Hugh Doyle, 48, was found guilty of conspiracy to conceal, convert or transfer criminal property and given a suspended prison sentence.
Jon Harbinson, 42, was cleared of all charges.
The last suspect, Michael Seed, claims he could have been on a family holiday at the time of the raid but will forever be known as “Basil”.
Giving evidence at Woolwich on February 28, he said is now known as “Basil”, the nickname given to the alarm expert caught on CCTV letting himself in to the safe deposit building.
Seed has denied playing any part in the 2015 Easter bank holiday burglary and also denied any involvement in the burglary at the Bond Street jewellery store.
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What did they steal from the London jewellers?
Initially it was reported that £14m of valuables, including gold, diamonds and sapphires, were stolen but it’s not known officially what the total value of what they stole was.
But some reports estimate it could be up to a staggering £200m.
An estimated two-thirds of the valuables remain unrecovered.
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