D0 THE BANK ROBBING TECHNIQUES OF THE 1970’S AND 1980’S STILL WORK? In April, 2015, there was a theft of millions of dollars of diamonds and other valuables from a vault in Hatton Garden, the London diamond district. This article in Vanity Fair by Mark Seal begins with the suppositions of experts who “insisted that the heist was the work of a foreign team of navy-SEAL-like professionals….” Instead the crime was committed by a gang of retired London criminals who had credits like a $59 million theft from safety deposit boxes in 1971, a theft of $145 million in gold bullion in 1983, and the theft of $ 9 million in cash in 1983 (all in today’s prices). Rather than being athletic, they were old and feeble.
The “villains” (as English criminals are apparently referred to) had followed a number of the principles that Herman Lamm and George Leonidas Leslie had used. It was a team with extensive experience (“Someone for drilling, someone for electrics. someone as a lookout”). The planner had spent three years planning it and had studied diamond-industry magazines.They left no DNA evidence behind because of their study of FORENSICS FOR DUMMIES. The heist was planned to take place over a three day Easter holiday. According to Seal, their way of getting into the vault, “presupposed deep inside knowledge of the building’s layout”. Another principle was followed by the planner of the operation. When their pump broke and they had to purchase a new pump at a retail store, the planner decided that the risk of capture was too great and went home (by subway).