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Thieves rob hundreds of thousands from London safe deposit vault

The thieves managed to disarm the building’s sophisticated alarm system.

A police forensics officer enters the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company.
A police forensics officer enters the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company.
Image: Dominic Lipinski

THIEVES RAIDED SOME 300 deposit boxes in London’s diamond quarter, accessing the vault through a lift shaft and using heavy cutting equipment, the police and media reports say.

The daring heist apparently took place over the long Easter weekend and police said in a statement that they were only called to the address in Hatton Garden in central London at 8:10am this morning.

“It appears that heavy cutting equipment has been used to get into a vault at the address and a number of safety deposit boxes have been broken into,” London’s Metropolitan Police said.

No estimate was given of how much the thieves have made away with, but it is believed to be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The thieves managed to disarm the building’s sophisticated alarm system, The Daily Telegraph reported, while Sky News said there were a total of around 600 safety deposit boxes in the vault.

Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company raid Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The company said on its website that it was founded in 1954 and was one of the first places in Britain to offer safety deposit boxes, which are used by local jewellers and could contain loose gemstones.

The company website shows different types of safe available for rental, including walk-in safes, and advertises the vaults as “a secure and cost-effective solution to store and protect important and irreplaceable personal belongings”.

The last major safety deposit raid in London, which occurred in plush Knightsbridge in 1987, is thought to have been one of the largest robberies in history.

The hoard was valued at the time at £60 million.

There have been two previous raids in 1975 and 2003 on safety deposit boxes in Hatton Garden, a jewellery hub since the 19th century that also houses the global headquarters of the De Beers diamond company.

Read: Armed men escape with €9m of jewels in French motorway heist

Read: Thieves break into bank, hack into computers and steal over £1.25 million…but get caught

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