19:14 GMT +322 October 2019
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    A security door at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company in London.

    Met Police Handling of London Jewels Heist Labeled 'Utterly Incompetent'

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    London's Metropolitan Police have revealed the first images from inside the vault showing how the thieves, using a massive drill fought through the thick concrete to reach the jewels.

    The scene that greeted Hatton Gardens Safety Deposit Limited staff after the bank holiday reveals black metal upturned and empty safety deposit boxes strewn across the basement floor.

    An angle grinder, concrete drills and crowbars discarded nearby — evidence that the boxes weren't so safe after all.

    The images from inside the vault are in stark contrast to the outside of the building in London's famous jewelry quarter where there was no sign of a forced entry.

    Having completed their forensic examination of the crime scene, the Metropolitan Police are appealing to the public for any information that might lead to an arrest.

    Detective Superintendent Craig Turner, head of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad said:

    "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."

    "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," said Detective Superintendent Craig Turner.

    Meanwhile, the former head of Scotland Yard's robbery unit has labeled the police handling of the heist as "utterly incompetent." John O'Connor said he was shocked that a British newspaper had released CCTV images of the suspects before Scotland Yard did.

    A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said that investigators were "already aware" of the CCTV footage before it was published.

    It also emerged that Scotland Yard didn't respond to an automatic alarm which went off in the early hours of Good Friday. The Met has began an internal investigation into why the alert was ignored.

    A combination of images from closed circuit television shows the robbery at Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Ltd.
    © REUTERS /
    A combination of images from closed circuit television shows the robbery at Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Ltd.

    Around six men were caught on camera arriving on Thursday around 9:30 pm.

    Once security guards had left for the weekend, thieves hiding in an office began to drill into the lift shaft. Once in, they abseil down the lift shaft to the basement — cutting through two rows of metal bars. It's then they disable the alarm on the vault door to cut through 18 meters of reinforced metal. During the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, the thieves, undisturbed and uninterrupted break into around 70 safety deposit boxes. Leaving on Easter Sunday with wheelie bins crammed full of jewels.

    But Police in London may never know what exactly was stolen because the owners often prefer not to reveal what's inside their safety deposit boxes — making the Hatton Garden heist worth of a Hollywood film.

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    Tags:
    money, investigation, robbery, police, jewellery, Scotland Yard, London Metropolitan Police, Great Britain, United Kingdom
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