Safe deposit facilities are regarded as a smart choice for storing valuables and other irreplaceable items and documents in a location that is separate from your home or business. However, these facilities can present an appealing challenge for some thieves and burglars looking to profit greatly from a single burglary. In 2015, the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company, located in the Hatton Garden area of London, became the target for a group of several elderly yet experienced thieves in what has been termed “the largest burglary in English legal history.”
Last year’s Hatton Garden Heist began on April 2, 2015, during the English Easter Bank Holiday. The day before the heist began, electrical cables beneath the street in Kingsway caught fire, leading to a major fire that caused disruptions throughout London over the next few days. It is unclear whether this fire was coincidental, or whether it was started by the burglars to aid in their efforts. On the night of April 2, after the facility was closed for the Easter weekend, a burglar termed “Mr. Ginger” by the newspaper during the investigation descended into the underground vault via an elevator shaft, followed by three additional men. However, this action triggered a burglar alarm, causing the men to leave the scene via van, and the police never investigated the alarm. The next night, Mr. Ginger returned and regained access to the vault, followed by two comrades. Nine hours later, the men drove away.
Arrest of the Thieves
Following the announcement of the burglary by the police on April 7, the newspaper nicknamed the burglars involved in the heist “Mr. Ginger, Mr. Strong, Mr. Montana, The Gent, The Tall Man and The Old Man.” On May 19, nine suspects were arrested with regard to the burglary, including 76-year old Brian Reader and his 50-year old son. In November, four additional men, Carl Wood, William Lincoln, Jon Harbinson, and Hugh Doyle, were also charged for their part in the crime.
This article is part of HISTORY’S MOST HEINOUS HEISTS