Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Men quizzed over Hatton Garden raid

Police are continuing to question nine men in connection with the Hatton Garden jewellery heist in which 72 safety deposit boxes were raided.

Scotland Yard said a further two men, aged 58 and 43, were detained yesterday following an earlier announcement that seven had been held on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle.

Among those arrested were two men held in Dartford, Kent, named widely in reports as Brian Reader, 76, and his 50-year-old son, also named as Brian but sometimes known as Paul.

The force revealed it had recovered a "significant amount of high value property" after raiding 12 addresses across London and Kent.

All nine suspects, described as white British men, were taken into custody while officers continue to search properties.

More than 200 officers raided addresses yesterday morning, and four suspects - aged 67, 74, 58, and 48 - were arrested in Enfield.

A 59-year-old man was detained in east London, while a man aged 76 was held in Dartford, along with a 50-year-old. The other arrests, of men aged 58 and 43, were made in north London.

Police in forensics overalls were this morning seen searching a house and garden in Dartford. Locals spoke of seeing a man in his 60s or 70s being led from the large house in handcuffs by detectives who swooped on the property yesterday morning with officers carrying riot shields.

Delivery driver Jon Donadio, 37, who was nearby at the time, said: "I parked up to do a delivery outside the dry cleaners. I saw them bring him out in handcuffs. He came quietly. They tried to make it look low-profile by draping something over the handcuffs."

He added that a "massive" crane had been seen at the back of the large property a month ago. Local residents said that the family living at the house were not well-known locally.

A gang of thieves broke into the vault at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company in London's jewellery quarter over the Easter weekend.

The Met has faced criticism after it emerged that a call from a security firm about an intruder alert at company shortly after midnight on Good Friday was deemed not to require a response.

Detectives from the Flying Squad apologised after confirming that alarm response procedures had not been followed, but rejected the suggestion they were bungling "Keystone Cops".

Commander Peter Spindler said: "On this occasion the systems and processes that we have in place with the alarm companies weren't followed and as a result of that officers did not attend the premises when in fact they probably should have done and for that I want to apologise."

Defending the Met's response, he added that the force took these types of crime very seriously, saying: "At times we've been portrayed as if we have acted like Keystone Cops, but I want to reassure you that in the finest traditions of Scotland Yard, these detectives have done their utmost to bring justice to the victims of this callous crime.

"They've worked tirelessly and relentlessly, they've put their lives on hold over the last six or seven weeks to make sure that justice is served. They've exemplified the finest attributes of Scotland Yard detectives."

A more detailed investigation into the defeat of the alarm system is continuing and Scotland Yard says it will share any lessons learnt.

Detectives said they were confident the items recovered during the searches had been stolen in the burglary.

Detective Superintendent Craig Turner, head of the Flying Squad, urged victims of the crime to "stay patient", adding: "Police officers will be in contact with them in order that we can restore this property back to its rightful owners."

The Met is also appealing to the public for information about a white Ford Transit van that was seen in the area around the time of the raid.

Speaking on a Periscope broadcast, Mr Turner said: "I am making an appeal for information around a van that was seen in the area of Hatton Garden over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

"It was a white Transit van, index number DU53 VNG, which was caught on CCTV in and around Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd."

He added that police had the footage for "quite a period of time", but it had not been released for operational reasons.

The van has not been recovered, and the public is being asked if they know where it is, or if they saw it in the area on April 2.

Anyone with information can call the inquiries team in 020 8785 8655, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph