State: Easter jewel heist largest in British history

2015-11-23 19:22
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London - A prosecutor said on Monday that an Easter weekend break-in to a vault in London's Hatton Garden diamond district was the largest burglary in English legal history, with a haul estimated at £14m. 

Prosecutor Philip Evans said a "very substantial quantity of gold, jewellery, precious stones, cash and other items" were stolen from the basement vault over the holiday weekend.

He said the gang used sophisticated methods and meticulous planning to drill into the wall of the vault before ransacking 73 safe-deposit boxes.

Four men said to be ringleaders have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary. Four others are on trial at Woolwich Crown Court accused of involvement in the high-profile theft.

"These four ringleaders and organisers of this conspiracy, although senior in years, brought with them a great deal of experience in planning and executing sophisticated and serious acquisitive crime not dissimilar to this," Evans said of the four who pleaded guilty. They range in age from 58 to 76.

The four defendants on trial are: Carl Wood, 58; William Lincoln, 60; Jon Harbinson, 42, and Hugh Doyle, 48. They are accused of being part of the conspiracy and helping with the planning and the logistics.

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