Tuesday 23 January 2018

Hatton Garden jewellery heist: 'Gang ruined lives of many uninsured victims'

Credit: British Metropolitan Police \ AFP
Credit: British Metropolitan Police \ AFP
Thieves bored through a half-meter thick concrete wall to access a vault in a safe deposit centre in Hatton Garden, London Credit: British Metropolitan Police \ AFP
The vault's shutters were forced open Credit: British Metropolitan Police \ AFP
Credit: British Metropolitan Police \ AFP
Credit: British Metropolitan Police \ AFP

Scoot D'Arcy

Victims of the Hatton Garden jewellery raid have found "their livelihoods have gone", according to a loss adjuster.

Rick Marchant of Marchant and Marchant Limited said many of those who lost valuables taken when a gang of thieves ransacked 72 safety deposit boxes over Easter weekend were not "mainly small businesses".

He told the BBC he was dealing with seven clients who had lost items worth up to £2 million in the burglary at Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Company, in London's famous jewellery quarter.

Police have offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of all those involved and have released images of the Hilti DD350 drill that was used to bore a hole 20in (50cm) deep, 10in (25cm) high, and 18in (45cm) into the vault wall.

Mr Marchant told the broadcaster: "These aren't extremely wealthy people, for a lot of them their livelihoods have gone. All of us might be forgiven for thinking how audacious, how clever, but what (the gang has) done is ruin the lives of many people within the Hatton Garden jewellery quarter.

"I have been told by individuals I have interviewed that they have had friends and colleagues who work in the quarter with them, grown men, hardened dealers, in sobs - (they) don't know what to do because of course some haven't insured at all.

"Their view was it is in a safety deposit box - the key word is safety - it should be OK and of course they have lost everything."

He added the chances of uninsured victims recovering their losses was "pretty remote" and their "only hope" was there was evidence of negligence.

Meanwhile, Scotland Yard is reviewing why officers were not sent to investigate an intruder alarm set off at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit shortly after midnight on the Friday.

A call was received by the force's Computer Aided Despatch system from the security company but no police response was deemed necessary.

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