Police release 'heist' CCTV images
CCTV images of three men suspected of a "highly audacious " raid on a safety deposit firm have been released by police - as it emerged the gang carried out the burglary in two separate visits over the Easter weekend.
Scotland Yard published the images after footage was obtained by the Daily Mirror which appeared to show at least six men taking part in the raid at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company's building in London's jewellery quarter.
The force insisted it had already recovered the footage "at the earliest opportunity" but refused to comment on why it was only released after being published by the newspaper.
Police are still waiting to carry out a face-to-face interview with the owner of the safety deposit company because he is overseas but officers have spoken to security staff working at the building.
Earlier the Metropolitan Police admitted officers were told a burglar alarm had gone off at the scene but decided it did not require a response.
The force claimed it was "too early to say" if the handling of the call would have had an impact on the outcome of the burglary.
The CCTV images released by police show one suspect wearing a yellow hard hat, high-vis jacket, with black gloves and he appears to have grey hair. He is pictured manoeuvring a blue wheelie bin.
Another suspect is wearing a blue Adidas jacket, with his face covered, and is carrying two red tools.
The third suspect's face is also covered. He is seen carrying a black bag over his shoulder and is wearing gloves. Another image shows a white van outside the building.
A Met police spokesman later confirmed they were looking for more suspects in connection with the raid.
Detective chief inspector Paul Johnson said the images showed the three suspects using a side door to enter the building after arriving at 9.19pm on Thursday, April 2, before leaving the following morning at around 8.12am.
The men then returned on Saturday, April 4 at 10.17pm before leaving the next morning shortly before 6.45am, police said.
"They were highly audacious entering on two occasions over that weekend, " Mr Johnson said.
"This footage, along with other material, was already recovered by police at the earliest opportunity, and continues to be evaluated to capture the precise movements of the suspects.
"I would appeal to neighbouring businesses, or members of the public who are either witnesses or in possession of CCTV footage, to contact us with information to support this inquiry.
"The examination of the scene has been painstaking and will continue into next week. These examinations are vital in order for us to arrest these thieves and we must exploit this one-off opportunity to the fullest extent.
"I appreciate that this has been a frustrating process for all those affected by this crime, and I would like to thank them and ask for their continued support in the investigation."
It emerged earlier that a security firm had contacted the Metropolitan police about an intruder alert shortly after midnight on Good Friday, but the call was graded in a way that meant that "no police response was deemed to be required".
It was not until Tuesday morning - more than four days later - that the audacious raid in London's jewellery district was discovered.
Detectives found that of the 72 safety deposit boxes that had been opened, five were vacant and 11 were due to be "drilled out" due to non payment of fees, meaning officers were attempting to contact a total of 56 box holders. So far the force has contacted 42 security box holders.