London Jewel Heist ‘Inspired By Plot of Crime Novel’

AP Photo/Alastair Grant

The thieves who stole millions of pounds worth of jewellery from safety deposit building in London may have been inspired by 1990s crime novel, analysts have said.

The Times reports that Criminologist Richard Hoskins said there were “curious and numerous” parallels between the Easter weekend heist and the plot of The Black Echo by Michael Connelly.

Hoskins said: “In The Black Echo, it’s a long bank holiday weekend with the heist on the safety deposit boxes not discovered until the Tuesday morning when everyone returned to work. Parallels right down to the alarm. It is so similar, it’s extraordinary. It gets you thinking — did the thieves read the book?”

Police have yet to put a figure on the amount of jewellery stolen from the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company, but the value of the stolen goods is likely to be in the tens of millions. The thieves broke in on Good Friday, when most of the staff were on holiday, and were able to come back numerous times over the weekend.

Despite setting off an alarm, security personnel did not properly check the building and the break-in was not discovered until staff returned to work the following Tuesday.

In Connelly’s novel, the thieves repeatedly set off the alarm so they were eventually ignored, something that may also have happened in the real-life heist.

One of the gang is thought to have hidden in the building overnight on the Thursday before clambering down a lift shaft to the underground vault where the safety deposit boxes were kept. He then let the others in through a side door before they drilled through a 2m (6ft) thick concrete wall.

As well as local jewellers, who used to safe deposit boxes to store their goods overnight, potential victims also include Premiership footballers. Reports even suggested former gangster Terry Adams may have been affected as he stored valuables at the location.