One can only assume that the latest robbery to take place in London will one day come to be known at the Hatton Garden heist. While the exact details of the operation are yet to be released, early reports indicate that burglars made their way into the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd over Easter weekend and opened as many as 70 deposit boxes. It is thought the thieves broke into the building from the roof before using rappelling gear to lower themselves through the lift shaft and into the basement where the boxes are located. Due to the extended weekend for Easter celebrations, the robbers may have taken advantage of up to four days worth of time in the safe with the boxes before Scotland Yard was alerted to it on Tuesday morning.

While exact figures are yet to be released, it is thought they got away with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of diamonds, cash and gems, although, Roy Ramm, a former Flying Squad member, hinted to the fact that the heist could be as large as £200 million.

Why so large?

The name Hatton Garden may not mean much to most, but it’s simple to work out why this particular location and more importantly, the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd was targeted. Hatton Garden is a street located in Holborn, just a stone’s throw away from the City of London. The area is in fact part of the borough of Camden and is most known for being London’s jewellery quarter, and the epicentre of the UK’s diamond trade and has been since medieval times.

It is no wonder then, that thieves identified the location as the perfect target for a heist of such proportions. Police has so far refused to indicate what the total take from the robbery might amount to, but given the history of Hatton Garden, Roy Ramm’s comments about the value of the robbery being in the region of £200 million, begin to make sense.

Many of Hatton Garden’s safe deposit box customers are of course local jewellers and jewellery store owners, as well as private customers.

How did they manage it?

With all heists, comes an element of fascination, amazement even. It is one of the reasons why the genre is so popular in Hollywood movies. Inevitably, for those who read about and follow the development of the story, the most pressing question is always the same, how did they do it?

Being that police are still riffling through each individual safe deposit box with forensic teams, there is still indication of how it happened. However, a number of customers of Hatton Garden Safe Deposit have provided certain details about the heist. Norman Bean, who has several pieces of jewellery stored at the location explained that the burglars made a hole in the wall on the roof of the building, made their way down the lift shaft and used drills to access the deposit boxes themselves. But how did they manage this without setting off the alarm? According to a report in the Telegraph newspaper, the alarm sounded, but given that neither the front or rear doors were damaged, no further checks were made, a report that could prove embarrassing to say the least.

However, there have also been indications that an insider may have played a role in the robbery. This is due to the fact that a new alarm system had been fitted recently, but was yet to be activated.

A ready made script for Hollywood?

There are still plenty of questions to be answered, however, given the preliminary reports of the robbery, Hollywood may be licking its lips at the possibility of converting this into a big screen adventure. The big robbery is a particularly popular genre in Los Angeles, with the Italian Job, the Ocean’s trilogy, Inside Man, just a few of the blockbusters to have been released with a heist as the central theme. While all the previous mentions have been fictional stories, 2008 movie, The Bank Job, was in fact based on the 1971 Baker Street robbery of the safe deposit boxes at 185 Lloyds Bank.

Being just a few days old, it is probably a little early for the Hatton Garden heist to be converted into a movie, but based on the details released so far, it would appear to have all the necessary ingredients for a future big screen adaptation.