The exact details of the Hatton Garden heist are yet to be released, however, the robbery does provide us with a perfect opportunity to look at the largest diamond/jewellery heists of the past.
- In 2013, a single armed robber held up a jewellery exhibition being held at the Intercontinental Carlton Hotel in Cannes. He managed to steal jewels worth an estimated £91 million. He slipped past three guards and walked out with jewels, diamonds, emeralds and rubies. Incredibly, the thief has never been located and none of the jewels have since been found. It only took the individual one minute to execute the heist.
- Four years previously, in 2009, two men posing as customers entered the Graff Diamonds store in New Bond Street, London.
They proceeded to rob jewellery worth £40 million, in what is believed to be the greatest ever gems heist in British history. While the stolen jewels have never been recovered, the two men were caught after they left a mobile phone in the getaway vehicle they used.
- In 2008, three men dressed up in skirts and wigs robbed the Harry Winston jewellers in Paris. It took the men just 20 minutes to get away with as much as £74 million worth of jewels. Eight of those men were eventually found and convicted of their crimes this year. Furthermore, several of the artefacts stolen from the store, totalling millions of pounds, were recovered in a drain of a Paris suburb.
- 2005 saw what is thought to be the biggest diamond heist of all time. Thieves targeted the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, dressed as airport #Security guards and hijacked a truck full of uncut diamonds, worth £76 million, directly from the airport tarmac.
The truck was later recovered but had been emptied and the thieves have never been found, leading investigators to believe the job was carried out with help from the inside.
- Finally, in 2003, the Antwerp Diamond Centre in Belgium was the location for what has been labelled the "heist of the century." The planning is believed to have taken four years. The group of Italian thieves, known as "La Scuola di Torino", inserted fake tapes into the surveillance recorders, somehow bypassed an alarm system that included an infrared heat detector and a seismic detector and proceeded to break a lock with more than 100 million combinations. They made off with £70 million worth of diamonds, however, Leonardo Notarbartolo, the ringleader of the operation was arrested and convicted after being connected to the crime by DNA evidence from a partially eaten sandwich found near the crime scene. He has since been released on parole while the diamonds remain unrecovered.
"The heist of the century" became the subject of the book Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History. Since then, Paramount acquired the right to created a film about the heist. #Police