The Met Police say between 60 and 70 safe deposit boxes were broken into during the Easter Holiday burglary at a Hatton Garden safety deposit centre.
News media have been speculating that the raiders could have seized £200 million worth of diamonds and other valuables.
Detectives and scenes of crime officers are currently carrying out a forensic examination of the scene at Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Ltd.
The Met Police say:
This is a slow and painstaking process involving forensic examination, photographing the scene and recovering exhibits in meticulous detail in order to preserve the evidence. Officers anticipate this process to take approximately two days.
The Met Police add:
At this stage it is believed that approximately 60 – 70 safety deposit boxes were opened during the burglary. Officers are working closely with Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Ltd to establish the identities of those affected. Police will be contacting victims directly as and when they are identified.
Flying Squad officers are keen to speak to anyone with who may have any information about the burglary on 020 8785 8655 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The Police were called to the business at 8.10 am yesterday morning.
It appears that heavy cutting equipment had been used to get into a vault at the address.
There’s been speculation that the thieves entered the building by the roof and from an office above the safe deposit company abseiled down a lift shaft where they used heavy equipment to access the vault.
Norman Bean has told the Press Association he has a diamond ring and bracelets stored in one of the vaults: ‘I was devastated, I was shaken, I cannot believe it.’
The Met Police are not describing the heist as a robbery as there is no evidence that the theft involved violence against anybody apart from damage to property to gain entry.
The media has begun to glamorize the event by comparing it to films such as The Bank Job (2008) and Sexy Beast (2000), but the reality for owners of property taken is great distress and acute anxiety.
Safe deposit boxes are sometimes used to secure property by people who cannot afford the insurance premiums to replace it.
It is also understood that Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Ltd would have been used by jewellery and diamond dealers to store their stock safely over the long Easter holiday.