Crime & the Law

Hollowed hole of fortune in Hatton Garden safe deposit heist

This is the hole cut out through the vault wall by the Hatton Garden jewellery thieves. Image: Met Police

This is the hole cut out through the vault wall by the Hatton Garden jewellery thieves. Image: Met Police

The Flying Squad has released an image of the hole cut through thick reinforced concrete using a diamond tipped drill at the Hatton Garden safe deposit raid.

The suspects used a  heavy duty drill – a Hilti DD350 that needed water to cool the heat friction generated by precision energy needed to cut into the concrete.

The hole is 50cm deep, 25cm high, and 45cm wide; and sits 89cm from the floor.

The vault was covered in dust and debris and the floor was strewn with discarded safety deposit boxes and numerous power tools, including an angle grinder, concrete drills and crowbars.

The graphic shows how the police believe the suspects entered the building and got into the vault over the period between Thursday, 2nd April at approx 21.20 and Friday, 3rd April at approx 08.05; and Saturday, 4th April at approx 22.17 into Sunday 5th April at approx 06.30.

The building is made up of a number of businesses, with a communal entrance.

The safety deposit business is in the basement.

There was no sign of forced entry to the outside of the building.

The thieves disabled the communal lift on the second floor and then used the lift shaft to climb down into the basement.

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They forced open shutter doors into the basement and bored holes into the vault wall.

The methodical forensic examination of the scene has taken a significant amount of time, using both standard and specialist forensic tactics.

The Met Police forensic officers and detectives have recorded, packaged and recovered approximately 400 exhibits, including items for DNA profiling, fingerprints and other evidence.

Digital forensic specialists have recovered thousands of hours of CCTV footage and analysis of the material continues.

Specialist forensic photographers have mapped out the crime scene and used digital techniques to record the inside of the premises.

Detective Superintendent Craig Turner, head of the Flying Squad said:

We have now completed our forensic examination of the scene. The hours of forensic work and inquiries have been vital in order to ensure we are able to exploit all investigative opportunities to their fullest extent and assist us in identifying those individuals responsible.

We appreciate that this situation has been frustrating for those affected by this crime and thank those individuals for their ongoing patience and support.

He added:

Those safety deposit boxes not opened by the thieves during the burglary have been left secured as they were found throughout the examination. HGSD are in the process of making contact with owners to arrange collection of it.

Of the 72 boxes opened during the burglary, we have only been unable to make contact with six people who we believe have been a victim of crime. We continue to make efforts to trace them.

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