7 – Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company in 2015 (£200 Million+)
This was an exceptionally clever theft perpetrated by a gang of up to six men. It had shades of Ocean’s Eleven insofar as evidence of the crime wasn’t discovered for several days. On April 1, 2015, electrical cables beneath the pavement in Kingsway caught on fire which caused major problems in central London for several days. The police now believe the fire was started by the robbers.
The following day, six men descended onto the roof of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company, disabled the elevator shaft, and went down to the basement where they found safety deposit boxes filled with valuables. Then they disabled the security system and drilled into a concrete wall to gain access to the boxes. The men apparently worked all night, and after 11 hours, finally left with millions of pounds worth of jewelry. The gang returned a couple of days later and stole even more goods! The building was closed because it was an Easter Bank Holiday weekend, and although police at Scotland Yard received information regarding a burglar alarm being triggered, they didn’t announce that they knew of theft until April 7.
UK newspaper the Daily Mirror released CCTV footage to the public on April 10. By May 19, the Metropolitan Police Force announced the arrest of nine suspects. In the end, seven men were convicted of the robbery and received terms of 6-7 years apiece. The four ringleaders pleaded guilty and probably shocked police when they found the men ranged from 58-74 years of age. The four men had an enormous amount of criminal experience under their belts and proceeded to use a book called Forensics for Dummies to avoid leaving a DNA trail.
It later transpired that the gang benefited from a huge slice of luck during the heist. One of the thieves triggered a silent alarm and security guards were contacted at home. A call was made to Scotland Yard and officers should have been sent to the scene. However, there was a mix-up in the way the call was categorized, so the police were not dispatched. When one of the security officers arrived on the scene, he found that the main doors were secure with no other evidence of a break-in, so he classified it as a false alarm.
Police called in the Flying Squad, who quickly identified the suspects and made the arrests. The unfortunate Hatton Garden company went into liquidation in September 2015 because business dried up after the robbery.