Diamonds, fire, abseiling and theft – all in a weekend’s work
*** Update ***
According to London Fire Brigade, the fire does not appear to have been deliberately started. An electrical fault is thought to be the cause. Click here for the full statement.
The underground electrical fire which closed several roads around Holborn and left homes and businesses without electricity may have been started by the gang which carried out the Hatton Garden heist, a former senior police officer has said.
Speaking on LBC, John O’Connor, the former head of Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad, said the fire may have been a deliberate part of the raid on Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Ltd – a vault used by many working in the diamond trade.
O’Connor said: “Yeah, I think that probably was deliberate. I’ve never heard of an outage of electricity like that causing a fire that lasted as long as that. That seems to me too much of a coincidence.”
The total value of what was stolen is not yet known, but it could turn out to be Britain’s highest-value burglary in history, surpassing the 2006 raid on a Securitas Depot in Kent in which £56m was stolen.
In a raid likened to a Hollywood film plot, the thieves are said to have tunnelled through walls to reach a lift shaft, abseiling down to reach the basement where they used heavy cutting equipment to cut through an 18 inch security door leading to the vault.
Once inside, they drilled security boxes to reach the diamonds and jewellery stored within.
It is thought the thieves may have broken in on Good Friday, and spent several hours, if not days, clearing out the jewels.