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    Dark Times for London’s jewellery industry London’s Hatton Garden is hit by Safety Deposit Robbery

    Hatton Garden, home to London’s jewellery trade, a small and tight knit community of jewellers, craftspeople, dealers and retailers selling their glittering wares has this week taken a huge blow. Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd , a large housing of 600 plus safety deposit boxes was broken into over the Easter break, with an estimated 70 boxes emptied by sophisticated criminals who took their time to get away with an estimated 20 million pounds worth of goods over the duration of the holiday.

    Hatton Garden, the home of London’s jewellery trade, does not boast about its wealth. It doesn’t possess the polished glamour of Bond Street or the luxury of Knightsbridge but the people who work here have been quietly supplying the trade since the medieval age, in an area of central London that the majority outside of the industry have not even heard of.  
    Normally secretive and discreet places, the tragedy of the vault robbery is that the people that will haven been hit hardest are those who have their lifetimes worth of savings and goods in the vaults, not the super-rich as many would imagine.  Some clients admitted they had no insurance, either because the contents of the box could change on a weekly basis, or because pieces belonged to clients, or because they believed their goods were safe. 

    In order to access the vaults it is believed that thieves used heavy cutting equipment, including tools with a market value of £3,500, to break into the safety deposit boxes - police said a specialised drill was used to bore holes in the vault door. They disabled a communal lift on the building's second floor to access the vault and there is speculation they abseiled down a disused lift shaft from the roof to the vault in the basement.  The heist is understood to have been carried out by a “professional team” in a “highly sophisticated crime". 

    Assumed sequence of events  c/o The Daily Mail

    The press is likening the operation to an Oceans Eleven style raid, describing the awful act as carried out by the “ordinary decent criminal”.  By this meaning that no violence was involved, but was likened to an old fashioned break in.  Not your run of the mill criminals, the thieves used sophisticated methods and took their time, whilst being aware of and avoiding the high security of the area.  
    The hunt for the gang that carried out the robbery could hinge on forensics, by examining the tools used to smash through a two-metre-thick wall and open boxes, and mistakes – or even betrayal – by junior members of the gang.  Detectives investigating the heist are waiting for the results of forensic tests, hoping that the gang left DNA traces, fingerprints and even footprints in the dust and rubble created as they drilled through the reinforced concrete wall.

    Forensics investigators outside the building – c/o The Mirror

    Our thoughts go out to all of our neighbours in the garden and those affected by this awful crime.

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    5 Hatton Place
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