Latest twist in the Hatton Garden heist: was raid inspired by a novel?


Is the break-in linked to building site theft last year?

The dramatic raid of Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd, over the Easter weekend is among one of the most daring heists in living memory.

It is estimated that over £60m of jewels and valuables were stolen from 72 deposit boxes after the gang drilled through a two-metre reinforced concrete wall and abseiled down a lift shaft.

Daring heists are a staple part of literary and screen plots, and the Hatton Garden raid instantly evoked responses such as “it’s like something from a movie”.

But now a criminologist has said that “numerous parallels” exist between the heist and a one described in Michael Connolly’s 1992 novel The Black Echo.

Speaking to the Times, Richard Hoskins, who specialises in African ritual crime, said:  “In The Black Echo, it’s a long bank holiday weekend with the heist on the safety deposit boxes not discovered until the Tuesday morning when everyone returned to work. 

“Parallels right down to the alarm. It is so similar, it’s extraordinary. It gets you thinking — did the thieves read the book?”

Let’s just hope they didn’t watch The Italian Job while planning a continental getaway route. We all know how that ends.

Raid linked to theft last year?

Meanwhile, it has also been suggested that the raid was linked to a theft from a building site last year.

The diamond-tipped drills used to break open the safe boxes could have been stolen from a nearby building site on Fetter Lane – just the other side of High Holborn from Hatton Garden, it has been claimed.

According to the Evening Standard, the Hilti drills used in the raid were identical to those stolen from a building site on Fetter Lane on December 1 2014, in which drill bits and other cutting equipment were also stolen.

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