On the afternoon of August 6, 2009, two men pulled off one of the largest gem heists of all time in Britain with an execution that seemed to be taken directly out of a Hollywood production. In fact, theatrical elements played a big role in the heist, since the two robbers were cleverly disguised with wigs, prosthetics, and professional makeup that led to their flawlessly unsuspicious arrival at Graff Diamonds of London, where the heist took place. This article will take a closer look at the details of this infamous robbery.
A daytime heist
After spending hours in the makeup chair under the guise of filming a music video, robbers Craig Calderwood and Aman Kassaye entered Graff Diamonds dressed sharply in suits after arriving by taxi. Upon entry into the shop, the men held shop assistant, Petra Ehnar, at gunpoint and made off with nearly 50 pieces of jewelry containing laser-inscribed Graff diamonds. The robbers fled the scene by car, switching vehicles twice to evade the police.
A total of about $10 billion was lost in the robbery, as the actual value of the stolen pieces and jewels was $39 billion, and only about $28.9 was recovered through insurance.
The robbers were caught following the discovery of a mobile phone left in a drop car that was abandoned following the heist. While the men were arrested and charged, the stolen goods have never been recovered. It is likely that the stolen jewels were recut and sold, making them virtually undetectable for a possible recovery.
This article is part of HISTORY’S MOST HEINOUS HEISTS