UK

How does Hatton Garden compare with the UK's biggest thefts?

Hatton Garden burglary scene Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption An estimated £14m worth of jewels and precious metals were taken in the Hatton Garden raid

An estimated £14m worth of jewels and precious metals were taken during the Hatton Garden jewel theft, which has been described as "the largest burglary in English legal history". How does this compare with some of the UK's biggest robberies?


£292m: City of London robbery - 2 May 1990

A financial messenger was robbed at knifepoint on a quiet City of London side street. He had been delivering £292m worth of Treasury bonds.

Police believe the mugging was carried out by Patrick Thomas, a small-time crook from south London who was found shot dead before being charged.

The police later recovered all but two of the bonds after a tip-off.

One man, Keith Cheeseman, received a six-and-a-half-year sentence for laundering the stolen bonds.

A report from The Independent newspaper described it as "the world's biggest mugging".


£53m: Securitas depot, Tonbridge, Kent - 21 February 2006

A security depot manager, Colin Dixon, his wife and their child were kidnapped at gunpoint by men posing as police officers.

The family was questioned and driven to the Securitas depot in Tonbridge, where they were tied up along with 14 workers.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The robbers loaded the £53m in cash in the back of a lorry

CCTV footage taken from the depot showed the robbers were armed with a Skorpion machine pistol, a pump-action shotgun, a handgun and an AK47 assault rifle, and they wore prosthetic disguises.

They loaded £53m in cash into the back of a 7.5-tonne lorry - and left behind £153m because no more could be fitted into the vehicle.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption CCTV footage taken from the depot showed the robbers were armed

In 2008, five men were jailed.

During their trial, the court was told that police had recovered £21m of the stolen cash.

A large quantity of the missing money was thought to be in northern Cyprus and Morocco, in cash and assets.

Seven men in total have been jailed for their roles in the raid.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption £10m in cash was found by police stuffed into 12 holdalls a week after the heist

£40m: Graff jewellers, London - 6 August 2009

The £40m raid on the jewellers in New Bond Street was believed to be the biggest-ever British gem heist to date, dwarfing a £23m raid at the same store in 2003.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption A diamond necklace and a pair of diamond earrings stolen in the raid on Graff jewellers

In 2009, two men in smart suits and wearing disguising make-up walked into Graff jewellery after security guards allowed them through.

They then drew handguns, ordered staff to lie on the ground and stuffed 43 different rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches into a bag.

The men escaped in a stolen BMW car and sped off before hitting a taxi. The bag containing the jewels was handed to a waiting motorcyclist as the men jumped into a waiting silver Mercedes. Meanwhile a van and a truck were used to hold up traffic.

In 2010, four men were convicted of conspiracy to rob and one of these was also convicted of kidnap and firearms offences. Three were jailed for 16 years each and the fourth was jailed for a total of 23 years. In 2011, a fifth man was convicted and jailed for 21 years - he was found guilty of robbery and possessing firearm.

A £1m reward was offered for information leading to the recovery of the 43 pieces taken in the raid.


£40m: Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Centre, London - July 1987

Two armed robbers asked to rent a safe deposit box and, after being shown into the vault, produced guns.

They left with an estimated hoard of £40m, but some estimates say it could be as high as £60m.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The raided boxes in the vault of the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Centre

The robbery was an inside job planned with the help of the managing director of the centre, Parvez Latif, who was heavily in debt.

Italian Valerio Viccei was sentenced to 22 years.

The whereabouts of most of the hoard remains unknown.


£26.5m: Northern Bank robbery, Northern Ireland - 20 December 2004

At the time, the Northern Bank robbery was the biggest robbery in British criminal history.

Image copyright Police Service of Northern Ireland/PA
Image caption Two bank employees were forced to bring money to a still unidentified gang

A few days before Christmas 2004, a still unidentified gang stole £26.5m from the Belfast city centre branch.

The gang took two families hostage in Belfast and County Down, forcing two bank employees to bring the money to them.

The police blamed the IRA for the robbery, but the IRA denied involvement.

To date no-one has been convicted of direct involvement in the robbery.


£26m: Brink's-Mat robbery, Heathrow Airport - 26 November 1983

A gang of six armed, masked robbers burst into Brink's-Mat high security warehouse near Heathrow Airport in November 1983.

They beat up and poured petrol over the security guards and made off with £26m worth of goods they had been guarding.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Scene of the Brink's-Mat robbery, 1983

This included three tons of gold - 6,800 bars of it, packed into 76 cardboard boxes - and two boxes of diamonds.

Robbers Micky McAvoy and Brian Robinson were jailed for 25 years, while the inside man, Anthony Black, received a much shorter sentence after giving evidence against them.

Kenneth Noye, who was jailed for 14 years for handling some of the stolen gold, was sentenced to life in 2000 for a murder committed in 1996.

The vast bulk of the haul remains uncovered.

It has been suggested that it would have vanished into a criminal underworld and reappeared in foreign bank accounts in Luxembourg, Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Miami and the Bahamas.


£23m: Graff jewellers, London - 20 May 2003

Thieves took £23m of jewellery from the same Graff's store in New Bond Street, Mayfair, on 20 May 2003.

The robbery took only three minutes, although a security guard was able to wrestle to the ground Serbian-born Nebojsa Denic, 34, who had a gun.

Denic was later jailed for 15 years for conspiracy to rob.

The other man, known as Marco, escaped.

Montenegro national Milan Jovetic, who admitted helping a Marco escape with the gems, was sentenced to five-and-a-half years, also for conspiracy to rob.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Nebojsa Denic (l) and Milan Jovetic (r) were convicted for their roles

Only £3m worth of the stolen jewellery has been recovered - one, a £500,000 blue diamond ring was found in a jar of baby cream at Jovetic's house in Bayswater, west London.

Police believe Denic and Marco were members of a Balkan group, known as the Pink Panther gang.


£6.6m: Midland Bank Clearing Centre, Salford, Greater Manchester - 3 July 1995

A gang ambushed a Securicor van at the Midland Bank Clearing Centre in Salford.

They forced the van's driver, Graham Huckerby, to let them in and they drove it away, escaping with £6.6m in cash.

Mr Huckerby was accused of being the "inside man" and was convicted in 2002, along with another man, and jailed for 14 years.

Both men's convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal in December 2004 and they walked free.

None of the money was ever recovered and the robbery remains unsolved.


£6m: Security Express depot, London - 1983

On Easter Monday 1983 a gang broke into the Security Express depot in Shoreditch, east London, and escaped with £6m.

The robbery was masterminded by John Knight, the brother of Ronnie Knight - the former husband of actress Barbara Windsor.

John Knight was later jailed for 22 years.

Ronnie Knight, who was living in Spain, later admitted handling some of the stolen money and was jailed in 1994.


£2.6m: The Great Train Robbery, Buckinghamshire - 8 August 1963

A gang of 15 armed robbers stole £2.6m in cash from the Glasgow-to-London Royal Mail train that they brought to a halt near Cheddington, Buckinghamshire, with a fake stop signal.

Train driver Jack Mills, who was struck on the head with an iron bar during the robbery, never fully recovered from his injuries and died in 1970.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police/PA
Image caption The cash was stolen from the Glasgow-to-London Royal Mail train

Police found the robbers' base, Leatherslade Farm, and a series of clues recovered there led them to most of the gang members, who were caught and sentenced to up to 30 years in jail.

One of them, Ronnie Biggs, later escaped from Wandsworth prison and fled to Brazil.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ronnie Biggs was jailed but escaped and fled to Brazil

He returned to Britain in 2001 to serve the remainder of his sentence, and in 2009 was released on compassionate grounds due to his deteriorating health. He died aged 84 in December 2013.

Most of the money was recovered in the months following the robbery.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The driver of the train, Jack Mills, died in 1970, having never recovered from his injuries

And the raid police foiled:

An armed gang attempted to steal 12 diamonds on display at the Millennium Dome - including the priceless Millennium Star - in 2000.

Police at the time said if it had not have been foiled it would have been the largest robbery in the world.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The shattered case that held the Millennium Star diamond

Unknown to the gang, the real jewels had been replaced with replicas.

They used a JCB digger to smash through the perimeter fence and the Dome's gates to reach the Money Zone, where the De Beers diamonds, worth an estimated £350m, were usually housed in a secure vault.

But the police were lying in wait for the gang and they overpowered the men.

Several men were jailed over the attempted diamond theft.


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